The first time you exit Camden Tube on a weekend afternoon and face this pulsating, twisted cornucopia of souls is a breathtaking experience.

In a world where most high street shopping strips look the same, Camden has managed to retain its niche as a hangout for freaks, weirdos, goths, retro heads, hippies and anyone with a slightly seedy underground vibe. And despite the mass of tourists it’s this vibe that makes it unique.

Curiously, there’s actually numerous individual markets on and just off the side of Chalk Farm Road, starting at Inverness Street, past the lock to the Stables Market. All up, it’s a fascinating, if slightly chaotic, place to visit. But if you take the view that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – at least for the duration of your visit – you’ll have a ball.


» Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 Tube: Camden Town. Free

Verdict: Be amazed, and appalled.