In some ways, the borough of Camden is kind of a microcosm of London as a whole, so if you are considering a relocation to London, it’s a good area to start considering for your potential home. From the posh streets of Hampstead to the grime of Camden Town, just like London as a whole, there’s probably a place for everyone somewhere in Camden. If you’ve visited Central London before, you’ve probably walked the streets of Camden without even realising. Love it or hate it (and people usually fall on one side of the fence, indifference isn’t an option), Camden Town itself may be the destination location for tourists, but it also has its appeal to people looking for an exciting and ever-changing place to live.
There’s a lot going on in Camden, so, let’s explore the other parts of the borough that you might not know about as well as giving you more insight to the places that you’ve already heard of. You never know, you might find the ideal place to setup your new home. At worst, you might get some ideas on places to go on your next night out once you’ve moved to London! At Cornerstone, we know how important it is to get your relocation right, whether that be the right home, schooling for your children, or just being in the right area for you, why not have a read of our guide below and then get in touch… how can we help you?
Where do I begin?
Geography of Camden
When people hear the name Camden, they tend to think of the eccentric and exciting streets of Camden Town, but there’s an awful lot more to the borough than that. Camden stretches all the way into Central London and you’ll probably be surprised to find out which famous areas fall within its boundaries…
The modern borough of Camden came into existence in 1965, when several traditional boroughs were amalgamated. The new borough includes urban areas like Camden Town, Chalk Farm and Kentish Town, as well as suburban towns like Gospel Oak, Somers Town, Belsize Park, Dartmouth Park and Hampstead Heath. The borough also encompasses more central parts of London such as Kings Cross, Holborn, Fitzrovia. All in all, the current population of the borough stands at around 210,000 people.
As you might imagine, given its location, Camden is a prosperous borough that contributes greatly to the London economy. In fact, it has the seventh largest economy in the UK and several major businesses are located in the borough, including Google and Camden Town Brewery, now owned by the multinational drinks company Anheuser-Busch InBev. Other businesses, both large and small, from publishing to marketing to retail and filmmaking, are spread across Camden, so whatever industry you’re in, you’re sure to find work there.
Many properties within the borough of Camden are period properties, with most dating back to the Georgian or Victorian eras. More modern properties are few and far between, but do occasionally come up. Houses and flats tend to be found on the more suburban areas, whilst the closer to the centre you look, the more likely it is that you will find only apartments.
As you might expect, it’s quite a pricy area to live in. With all its amenities and the general quality of housing, rents can be quite high. The proximity to many workplaces and the relatively short commute that this can bring does compensate somewhat, especially if you’re within a walk or a cycle ride from your work and don’t have to pay for public transport.
Kings Cross St Pancras sits astride the border of Camden and Islington and provides access to most tube lines as well as national and international train services (via the channel tunnel). Euston Station is also within the borough’s confines and trains from there will take you across the country.
Scattered across the borough are a cornucopia of tube and Overground stations, so, when you do want to leave the borough, or, indeed, just get around it you certainly have a plethora of options. The 18 tube stations are Camden Town, Kentish Town, Chalk Farm, Hampstead, Belsize Park, West Hampstead, Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, Tottenham Court Road, Warren Street, Goodge Street, Russell Square, Chancery Lane, Holborn, Mornington Crescent and Euston Square.
Areas of Camden
Camden Town itself has become something of a tourist trap, though there are plenty of places to live just of the High Street, away from all the noise and congestion. It would be an understatement if we described the centre of town as being ‘bustling’, it is indeed one of London’s key attractions with people flocking form all over to check out the market or any number of other shops. Pubs and bars are a plenty, and it’s not short pf places to eat either. There are plenty of places to listen to live music too. Similar, though less energetic vibes, can be found in neighbouring places like Chalk Farm or Kentish Town.
Hampstead, on the other hand, is a completely different story. A comparatively sedate part of Camden, Hampstead has a reputation for its upmarket properties and its fabulous Heath where you can enjoy vast green spaces without leaving town. Similar areas like Highgate, Belsize Park, and Primrose Hill offer similar experiences at a slightly lower cost, but you’ll still be paying a price for living in such a sought-after area of the capital.
On the subject of expensive areas, let’s look at the parts of Camden that are closer to the centre of London. There’s Holborn, Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury and Tottenham Court Road. All offer excellent, though expensive, places to live as well as shops, pubs, bars, restaurants, and other night life. You’ll also find theatres, cinemas, universities (UCL has their campus in Russell Square and St Martin’s College is in King’s Cross), many museums (the British Museum, for example) art galleries and Regents Park which the borough actually shares with Westminster.
Things to do in Camden
With the borough encompassing parts of the West End, you’re never going to be short of places to go for food, drinks or shopping. There are plenty of pubs within the boundaries of Camden, many of them dating back hundreds of years. On the flip side, London is an ever-changing city, with Camden being at the forefront of its evolution, so you’ll find new and exciting places to explore on a weekly basis too.
Shoppers are well served by Camden. There are the markets of Camden Town where you can cruise the stalls for vintage fashion, handmade jewellery, extraordinary gifts, and unique accessories. If you’re looking for something a little more exclusive, then the boutiques and independent stores in places like Hampstead will suit you better.
If art and culture are your thing, the borough has you covered. In Camden Town, there are a handful of tours you can take that are aimed at reliving the area’s best artistic wall pieces from some well-known street artists. However, if you’re looking for more of a curated experience, stop by the Wellcome Collection near Euston Square. For art and antiquities from Egypt to Ancient Rome, the British Museum near Holborn Station should be your destination. You’ll find plenty of theatres across the borough along with a fair few cinemas. Live music venues are concentrated across the borough, but especially in Camden Town and the nearby area.
If you just want a pleasant day out in a park, there’s Hampstead Heath, Regents Park or Primrose Hill to choose from, each offering their own unique delights.