Addison Lee are Camden through and through. Which is how we’re sure our Camden taxi drivers know the area better than anyone. We guarantee this by hiring, training and rewarding our team to the highest possible standards at all turns – Addison Lee standards.
For anyone who’s never been to this corner of north west London before, get ready. It’s an intoxicating rush of colours, sights, sounds and aromas. One of London’s original boho corners. But with great popularity comes great crowds. Which is exactly why we’ve put together this Camden area guide – to help you skip them.
Officially formed in 1965, the London Borough of Camden was created to replace and encompass the former metropolitan boroughs of Holborn, St. Pancras and Hampstead. By the 1970s and the birth of the market, Camden Town had started to take an exciting shape.
It may have taken until the the early 90s until it became really cool – when the likes of Kate Moss and her trendy troupe decided to move in – but the pieces were already in place.
Camden town’s stylish market, cascading and colourful buildings, as well as its famous locks made for a desirable destination for everyone from tourists to trendsetters. Today its famous bars, restaurants, theatre and nightlife are the envy of London. And our great guide has pinned down the best of the best to help you navigate it with ruthless efficiency.
Come for the market, stay for the lifestyle. And remember, Camden’s a large and sprawling borough that stretches right down to Euston and King’s Cross. Meaning that even though you’re but a stone’s throw away from rural Hampstead and Highgate, you’re also in short reach of two of London’s major railway stations. Camden really has it all.
Addison Lee have been serving London for over thirty years now. Providing a Camden cab service (as well as everywhere else in the city) that our customers can not only rely on, but also one which keeps them safe.
Today that same Camden cab service operates over 2,000 journeys across the capital each day. Each one meticulously directed from our headquarters right here in central London. So whether you’re browsing for bric-a-brac in Camden Market or strolling along the canal to Regent’s Park, Addison Lee are never more than a couple of taps on your phone away.
Don’t settle for a Camden taxi service that’s anything less than executive class. Choose Addison Lee
Where to drink
If you’re here for the legitimate Camden experience, then you really have visit the Dublin Castle. Although if you’d rather skip the town’s more salty side you might want to give this one a miss. An established local staple, this slightly gritty boozer is absolutely bursting with character (and characters). It can be a little bit rowdy but always in a friendly way. Plus, they have a club at the back where bands are more often than not blasting out all kinds of music. If you’re the adventurous type and want to meet some real locals, don’t be put off. Plough in and get with the party vibe. This is a true Camden original.
94 Parkway, NW1 7AN
Head away from Camden Town, down the High st towards Mornington Crescent and you’ll find yourself in a less crowded part of town. At the heart of the ‘other end’ of Camden is the Blues Kitchen. Arguably the area’s most accomplished bar, they also pride themselves on having live music every night of the week. It’s just a little more gentrified (if that’s not too much of a dirty word these days). Part bar, part restaurant, the Blues Kitchen is always popular, so get there early at weekends if you don’t want to queue. This is one of the best places to get a cocktail in Camden.
111-113 Camden High St, NW1 7JN
An excellent source of solace for those trying to flee the mania of Camden High street for a little bit. The Spread Eagle is only a two minute walk from Camden Town station but offers an altogether more civilised and relaxed feel than bigger pubs found on the main drag. Stop by for a pint (they have a seating area out front for when it’s sunny) or even a meal (the food is equally terrific). We recommend the Spread Eagle for anyone who’s been for a decent stroll around Regent’s Park and is in need of some proper refreshment. Their Sunday Roast is also not to be missed. Arguably the best you’ll find in the area.
141 Albert St, NW1 7NB
Where to eat
If you live in Camden, life can be quite hectic. Its overwhelming popularity with visiting tourists can make it a tough task just getting to the shops or stopping for a pint in the local without encountering large crowds of dawdlers & oglers. Step away from the madness towards Camden Road station and discover the quiet delights of the Colonel Fawcett. This place not only holds a vast gin collection, it also pings out some rather good cocktails. Of course, it’s the food that really impresses here. Winner of the Observer’s ‘best Sunday roast in London 2015’, they don’t shy away from making some truly great gnosh. Always a good idea to book ahead. Especially at weekends. The pub may be hidden but their glowing reputation isn’t.
1 Randolph St, NW1 0SS
Quick disclaimer here: if you’re wondering why we’ve not chosen anywhere from Camden’s iconic market as a favourite place to eat. It’s not because there’s nowhere we like. It’s because there are too many places. For a taste of something altogether different (and incredibly cheap), try Seto. To walk past this place would be to ignore it. As many have done before. But the truth is Seto has done a great job of disguising itself as a rundown looking joint. When actually this is one of the best places to get Japanese food in NW1. Their Ramen are especially popular with the lunch crowd and although it does get quite busy, you won’t be queueing for a table like some places in Camden.
5 Plender St, NW1 0JT
There are a certain breed of restaurants you’ll find in almost every borough in London now (this isn’t a complaint). These are the homely brasseries which focus on creating great menus based around local British produce. The food tends to be simple but delicious. Market is arguably one of the best of these types of restaurant. Offering up seasonal ingredients to create fantastic ‘farm-to-market’ inspired dishes. The setting is as you’d expect. Exposed bricks, low fi decor but always warm, inviting and friendly. Also they’re open pretty much all day, which means even if you can’t make it for dinner, you’d be a fool not to try their incredible range of brunches.
43 Parkway, NW1 7PN
What to do
The world famous Camden Market. What is there to say that hasn’t been said before? Well, if you’ve never been it’s certainly a sight to behold. Stretching from Camden Locks right up towards the Roundhouse theatre and Kentish Town, this buzzy hive of stuff and junk is a hawker’s paradise. Head to the waterside part of the canal for all the food. We especially recommend the sticky Mac & Cheese or the dutiful Frenchman serving incredible Boeuf Bourguignon burgers, if you can find them. But for the real flea market and vintage clothes shops push on further afield to the Stables. It gets really busy here at the weekends but try to keep your eyes peeled, there are all sort of hidden treats to be found.
Camden Lock Pl, NW1 8AF
When you’re knee deep in the throb of the Camden crowds it can be easy to forget how close you are to a little rural retreat. Head up Parkway from Camden Town and the magnificent Regent’s Park will open up in front of you. This vast green space covers a whopping 390 acres so even if you think you’ve seen it all, chances are you haven’t. Explore north to the famous Primrose Hill for incredible views of the city, or head right into its heart to find wild animals aplenty in London Zoo. Us? We just like to take it all in our stride, from Regent’s University through to the hidden outdoor theatre, there’s something here for everyone.
Chester Rd, NW1 4NR
One of our absolute favourite places in Camden has to be the Roundhouse. Built in 1847, this Grade II listed building was conceived, designed and built by Robert Stephenson as an ingenious repair shed for his trains. Fast forward to the 1960s and it was renovated and remastered to become an arts and performance space. Hosting some of London’s most influential punk bands. Nowadays you can enjoy anything and everything from gigs, to theatre to galas at the Roundhouse. Its circular hall allows for near 360° viewing platforms and seating. Making it an exciting challenge for directors and musicians alike. Check their website to see what’s coming up.
Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH