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Camden Market Review
What started as a small group of clothing stalls in the 1970s has since grown into one of London's biggest (and most crowded) tourist attractions. Centered on the Grand Union Canal, this isn't actually a single market, but a vast honeycomb of them that sell crafts, clothing (vintage, ethnic, and young designer), antiques, and just about everything in between. Here, especially on weekends, the crowds are dense, young, and relentless, with as many as 100,000 visitors on the busiest days. Camden Lock Market specializes in crafts; Camden Stables Market is popular with Goth kids and aspiring rock stars. Print out the (appropriately psychedelic) map of Camden Market from the website before coming; it's super helpful for first-time visitors.
Electric Ballroom. A nightclub that doubles as a retro/designer fashion and music market on weekends, the Electric Ballroom has been a scuzzy, dilapidated, wild, and wonderful Camden institution for decades. On a half dozen or so dates per year it also plays host to the busy Camden Film Fair, beloved of collectors and old-school cult movie enthusiasts. 184 Camden High St., NW1 8QP. 020/7485–9006. www.electricballroom.co.uk.
Hawley Arms Pub. Just around the corner, the Hawley Arms Pub gained fame as a hangout for celebrities such as Kate Moss and the late Amy Winehouse. It's a good spot for an inexpensive pub lunch. 2 Castlehaven Rd., NW1 8QU. 020/7428–5979. www.thehawleyarms.co.uk.
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