London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo, originally founded in 1828 and now home to over 750 species. Located in Regents Park in the heart of the city the zoo is part of the Zoological Society, with a strong focus on conservation. See the world’s animals in a range of exciting and immersive settings.
Explore the Land of the Lions where three walkways take you through an India-themed journey and provides the chance of an interactive adventure as you help the forest rangers in their work. London Zoo remains a much-loved family attraction.
Regent’s Park is a treasure trove of things to do in central London for the whole family. Originally used as a hunting park by Henry VIII it now offers lots of different outdoor activities for people to enjoy.
With a host of walks and gardens, the park offers a green oasis within the capital. Take a stroll up nearby Primrose Hill for stunning views across London or just sit back and watch the varied wildlife which calls the park home. Regents Park has a number of cafes where you can recharge your batteries before exploring further.
This 7 day a week market is home to stalls selling a wide range of items and food produce. An arts and craft market when originally opened in 1970, Camden Lock Market is now renowned for its artisan trading stalls.
This bustling market sees thousands of people visit every year, attracted by the diverse range on offer. This former timber yard is now a thriving hub for artisan-style gifts, clothing, food, hand-made jewellery, music and so much more.
The 8-foot metal robots standing guard outside the entrance to one of the clothing stores will let you know you have reached Stables Market. Formerly stables and a hospital for horses needed to pull barges on the canal, the buildings are now home to many independent businesses.
Here you will find a whole range of antiques, vintage clothing, jewellery, furniture plus many more unique items and character pieces. With galleries, restaurants and bars there is plenty to keep you entertained.
cross from Camden Lock Market you will find Camden Lock Village. This Village market of over two hundred stalls made the Camden Market area known for its street trading and market stalls. Here you will find may creative outlets offering fashion, jewellery, crafted items and more.
Camden Lock Village has a great variety of food and coffee stalls to browse, adding to the vibrant atmosphere as the stallholders call out their produce. Once you have chosen you can sit and eat on the markets famed vintage moto scooter seats. Close proximity to the canal allows for a pleasant post-meal stroll to complete the day.
One of the six protected viewing points in the capital, Primrose Hill offers spectacular panoramic views across London. The trees are maintained at a low level to ensure they do not impose on this view. Take a picnic, take your family, take your dog and enjoy a gentle stroll to the top of the hill.
Just across Prince Albert Road from Primrose Hill, you will find yourself in Regents Park, close to London Zoo. Yet the surrounding streets also have a charm of their own as many of the buildings have remained unchanged for years.
It’s not just Shoreditch that attracts world-class street artists as Camden has some real hidden gems.
To find them all you need to take a tour with Nelly as she knows where to find some of the most secret and unique street art in the area.
I loved having things pointed out that were clearly missed by most passing by such as Ben Wilson’s chewing gum art, ceramic designs stuck high on walls and wooden blocks you could turn on a lamp post.
But remember, street art is temporary so what you see will be different to what I found.
This independent contemporary art gallery provides a platform for new, emerging and mid-career London-based artists to develop and show their work.
It’s a small gallery and only open Wednesday to Saturday but you may see something really interesting here so it’s worth popping in when nearby.
This 1,000 capacity club started out with the rave scene and is now an electronic music warehouse super-club in King’s Cross with a 24-hour licence.
Inside there are three levels with five dance rooms. And when you need to take a breather there are relaxation areas inside and out.
Egg is for over 19s only and the door security is strict.
There’s been live music at this Camden Lock venue since 1973 (although it’s now also home to The Comedy Loft). In the ’70s it was popular with punk bands including The Sex Pistols and The Ramones, and it’s where Blondie played their first gig in the UK.
Amongst all the new music there have also been shows by the Foo Fighters and Mumford & Sons in recent years, and it’s popular for secret shows from big bands. It truly is a legendary music venue.
One look at the Grade I listed tomb for architect Sir John Soane and his wife and you’ll understand how it inspired the iconic red telephone boxes designed by Giles Gilbert Scott.
And the Hardy Tree is named after the writer Thomas Hardy but actually relates to his days working for the local railway. Graves had to be moved and he arranged for the gravestones to be piled here.
Later an ash tree seeded itself and has grown up through the middle of the gravestones.
Everything on Camden High Street is bright and jostling for attention.
There are ground floor shops with stalls outside and it starts looking the same until you look up. The first floor and second floor levels of the terraced shops have been brightly painted and giant objects now protrude from the brickwork.
Look out for trainers, biker boots and dragons. I like the shoe selection over a shop near Camden Lock the best.
This is the national library of the UK so, yes, it’s a popular place for researchers but everyone is welcome.
If you only see one room, go to the Treasures Gallery where there are handwritten Beatles lyrics, Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook and the Magna Carta.
There are free temporary exhibitions too or you can just walk around and see King George III’s library housed in a huge glass tower or a 15th-century printing press by the toilets.
The pay-for exhibitions are usually inspiring, and the shop is excellent. (There’s always Alice in Wonderland merchandise and that makes me happy.)
I loved this club when it was Camden Palace in the 1990s. It’s a Victorian theatre at Mornington Crescent and is a popular live music and club venue.
This was the location of Madonna’s first UK show and Koko has hosted performances by Prince, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Ariana Grande and loads more stars.
The new rooftop bar is a great addition for summer evenings.
Goodness, I’ve had some great nights here over the years. It’s a family run pub with a back room for live music, smothered in band posters. Before the days of the internet I used to scour the gig listings in the NME and often ended up here a few nights each week.
There are four bands each night from Wednesday to Sunday with DJs after the bands on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Coldplay and The Killers have played here, and Amy Winehouse was a regular in the bar.
The room above the Camden Head pub has live comedy seven nights a week. It’s been the Camden Comedy Club since 2014. Gigs range from alternative comedy to TV headliners such as Russell Howard and Harry Hill.
The big names are on Fridays and Saturdays and it’s generally new material nights for the rest of the week. Weekend tickets are £10 and other nights are free or pay-what-you-can. This is a great place to know about for the Edinburgh Festival preview shows.
As the only dedicated folk arts centre in England, this is a great place to brush up on your fiddle playing, attend a ceilidh or see live music.
While Cecil Sharp House is dedicated to the traditional arts – music, song, dance, storytelling, etc – that doesn’t mean the acts are all unknown as Mumford & Sons, Graham Coxon and Goldfrapp have performed here.
Drinks are well-priced but the bar food is a bit pricey.
market has over 50 award-winning farmers, artisan producers and street food traders. It’s great for grabbing brunch bits and taking them to enjoy with the views from Primrose Hill.
This is a nice area so the food is displayed beautifully and the produce is as fresh as it comes. I know I should choose something healthy but I can never resist the chocolate brownies here.
When all I wanted to do was dance all night this was the place I went to. The Underworld is a small grungy club under the World’s End pub, opposite Camden Town tube station.
It’s good to see it still has Friday and Saturday indie and rock nights. Check out the gigs too as previous headliners have included Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and the Foo Fighters.
This somewhat run-down chain cinema is on Parkway, close to Camden Town tube station.
You can get bubble tea and Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream in the entrance foyer, but popcorn (loads of flavours and toppers) is upstairs with the screens.
The screens aren’t huge (screen 1 is the biggest) but the cinema does have some cheap deals for families and students.
This Victorian circular building was initially used to turn railway engines around, hence the name, but it started being used as a theatre in 1966.
I remember it for being closed in the ’80s and ’90s but it became the concert venue it is now in 2006. They get some really big names to play here so it’s worth checking what’s on.
It’s more intimate as ‘only’ 3,100 capacity with standing on the ground level and seating on the balcony. The bar/café is also a good spot to get away from the daytime crowds at the markets too.
Green Note is a much more relaxed way to see new music as this is a ‘tables and chairs’ kind of venue. It’s intimate/cosy (small) but the veggie bar snacks are good and it’s a great place to hangout for an evening.
The music is folk, roots, blues, world and acoustic as well as jazz and country. Arrive early to ensure you get a table and then stay all night.
Close to Camden Town tube station, I’ve had many good nights here.
It’s been a music venue for 80 years and has hosted acts such as Sid Vicious, Madness, The Clash, Snow Patrol, The Killers, U2, Joy Division, Public Enemy, Blur, The Smiths, The Vaccines, Ocean Color Scene, Prince and the Kaiser Chiefs.
The fact that the Electric is a long, low room means there isn’t the boom of the high-ceilinged theatres. The club nights are fun, and staff are usually friendly, even if the venue is looking a bit tired.
Cutting right through Camden, walking along the Regent’s Canal path always feels more peaceful than following the roads.
The canal paths can be busy with cycling commuters but time your stroll well and you can wander and not see anyone.
Head west and you’ll pass London Zoo and reach Little Venice, or go east all the way to Limehouse in the Docklands.
This castle – and it is a castle! – is just above Camden Lock.
Primarily it’s a boating and outdoor activities charity for local kids and disability groups of all ages, but if you can get a group together they offer private kayaking sessions for kids and adults or you can book a cruise on the Regent’s Canal in one of their canal boats.
You can feel good about having fun here as all of the money paid helps fund their charitable community projects.
This modern museum tells the story of the history and heritage of Jews in Britain through the themes of migration, family, faith and culture.
There are four permanent galleries including a recreation of London’s East End and a gallery of ceremonial items.
There are also two temporary exhibitions included in the admission price. The best I saw here were the Amy Winehouse exhibitions in 2013 and 2017.
This pub theatre has been above The Oxford Arms on Camden High Street for over thirty years. It’s a great place to see fringe theatre, comedy and cabaret acts.
Many of the shows go on to larger London venues so this can be a way to see things before everyone else. When the pub is really busy you have to tell the bouncers you have tickets for the theatre or they won’t let you in.
This is definitely an ‘intimate’ venue as it holds less than 500 but it’s a great place to see have a meal and see some live music.
Definitely book a restaurant table as the mezzanine overlooks the stage and booking a table reserves it for the whole night so don’t quibble about the food prices.
If you want to dance there’s always standing room downstairs and the Saturday club night has cheap tickets if you want to get a drink and have a boogie.