Grouped around two locks on the Regent's Canal, Camden Lock Market proper began in the early 1970s, when weekend stalls sold the output of nearby craft workshops. Today the markets host more than 1000 stalls offering a spectacular array of merchandise ranging from vintage and new clothes to antiques and junk, rare vinyl, ceramics, Indian bedspreads, fetishwear, obscure band memorabilia, and toys.
The markets on Camden High Street (both the outdoor Camden Market and
the indoor Electric Ballroom) mainly sell cheap jeans, secondhand clothes, and tacky pop-culture paraphernalia; it's best to head to Camden Lock Market for crafts and the Stables Market for furniture. The recently renovated Camden Lock Village (formerly the Canal Market) has more that 500 shop units, many specializing in vintage wear, plus street-food stalls. Though much of the merchandise is youth-oriented, aging hippies, street-fashion aficionados, and anyone with a taste for alternative culture (Goths are particularly well catered for) will also find plenty that appeals. This shopping experience is best suited to those who don't mind large crowds and a boisterous atmosphere, especially on weekends. Camden Market, Camden Lock Market, Camden Lock Village, and Stables Market are open daily (9:30 or 10 until 6); The Electric Ballroom Market is Sunday only (9–5).