Vee and I spent a lovely day in London. We quite enjoy our days out, and often try to see a show. But this time, we decided to go somewhere, where neither of us had been. When you consider how frequently she goes to London, and how many of the touristy things I've done, finding something that neither of us has done is amazing. That something was to visit the Camden Town Markets.
After a lovely lunch with my friends Anca and Doru from Romania, we set off for the markets.
These markets are nothing less than eclectic! Are you a skater, looking for clothes? - done! Are you an educator, looking for school appropriate dresses (Vee and I were!)? - done! Are you a designer, looking for unique pieces of art, bedding and furniture for a house? - done! Are you a Mum, looking for kids clothes and toys? - done! Are you a teenager looking for cool iPhone cases and hoodies? - done! Are you an older woman looking for jewelry? - done! And the list goes on.... if you can think of it, you can probably find it there.
The market was an outdoor market, centered around the locks (they appeared to still be in working order). It wound it's way through the streets and up and down stairs. One might think they had seen it all, but turn a corner and there was so much more to be seen. Some of the shops were big, others were tiny closets under a set of stairs, and yet others were stands out in the open.
It was one of those places, where not only is haggling acceptable, but expected. One should not buy something from the first place they see it, as you might find a better deal at another stand. For example, Vee and I were looking at cotton dresses. We saw some, liked them, and moved on. Then we went to another stand and saw that these dresses were on offer at a 2 for price. But we didn't like those as much as at the first stand. However, armed with that information, we went back to the first place, where they wanted 15 (or was it 18) quid per dress, but we managed to bargain with the seller, 2 for 25. So Vee and I got them for 12.50 each. Another case in point, Vee was looking for a new case for her iPhone and really liked the wooden cases. As she asked around, she heard prices of 25L and 20L, which was really too much. However her persistence paid off, as she ended up with a really lovely wooden case for 15L. (I must admit I considered one for myself). This type of bargaining, looking around, wandering and not immediately buying was enjoyable!
As we arrived at the market, it was already getting dark, and there were lights everywhere. The way it was lit up and the smells of the various foods the market sold made for such a great atmosphere, that one could almost forget they were in the middle of central London!
Inside the market was beautiful as well. One part of the market had carved wood ceilings and stairwells. Another part had seating made from the backs of motorcycles. Unique!
The market itself was not the only area that was decorated and unique. The streets leading up to the actual market were full of shops that did not scrimp on making themselves stand out. Large items (such as shoes and dragons) stuck out from these buildings, beckoning customers to come hither.
Overall, we spent about 1 1/2 to 2 hours at the market and only saw maybe a quarter of it. We decided it was definitely one of those places, where each time you return, you would find something new and that if you found something you really liked, you must get it on that trip, as you might never see it again. We also agreed, that it was a place to which both of us would like to return.
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Location:Camden Town Locks, London