Camden is a borough often associated with alternative culture, its world famous central part called Camden Town and it’s adjacent Camden Markets bustling with tourists. The area attracts various characters of various ages, young professionals, art and creative types but also city workers, possibly down to the excellent transport links of the Northern line.
Places like Camden Town or Kentish Town are buzzing with music venues, bars and pubs that are popular destinations for visitors to the capital and Londoners from across the city alike. Primrose Hill, Hampstead Village or Belsize Park then offer quieter alternative boasting with restaurants and trendy cafes.
Looking to move to Camden? We have compiled a list of the best areas of the borough based on whether you are looking for the best open spaces, village feel or cultural hotspots. When planning for your move, do not forget to give us a shout as we have a fleet of self-drive vans ready to work hard on your behalf.
Camden Town – Street food, live music and simply the atmosphere
Camden Town is a central area situated within the borough of Camden adjacent to one of the best markets in London and perhaps in the world. Often considered as part of the markets, its Camden Town tube station serves as a true gateway to its very diverse world. Many Londoners claim that it is one of the best places to live in the capital.
This very colorful postcode is home to alternative culture, great street food, live music and you guessed it, shopping. If you like shopping, then you will find no better place in London to live than Camden Town and its surrounding markets. Goth and punk clothing, body piercings, tattoos, vintage accessories and music on vinyl can all be purchased here.
The atmosphere in this multicultural melting pot is just one continuous attack on your senses thanks to plenty of graffiti, buildings with statues painted in various colours and characters on the street dressed up in the most extravagant attire. There’s also a host of trendy niche restaurants such as cheese bar or liquid nitrogen ice-cream cafe and plenty of live music venues, where some of the biggest stars used to have their first gigs. If you decide to choose Camden Town as your home, then you will enjoy plenty of fun and never ending streams of tourists.
Camden Town is in fact one of the most expensive areas in London so beware of prices that are quite high for both renting and buying a property. The main tube station services both Bank and Charing Cross branches of the Northern line and is well connected with the central London. Residents of Camden can benefit from a quick underground service to major transport hubs such as King’s Cross St Pancras, London Bridge, Old Street, Leicester Square, Waterloo and Euston.
Camden Lock – Markets, markets, markets
Camden Lock and its surrounding Camden Markets can be roughly considered as a part of the central Camden Town area. However, it’s Camden Lock that is the main attraction all the tourists are flocking to visit. The names of these two areas are often used interchangeably due to their close proximity.
And if Camden Town is one colorful postcode, then the area around Camden Lock is the holy grail when it comes to diversity, atmosphere and multicultural composition. Its iconic punk and goth subcultures, great number of trendy pubs and music venues make the area specifically suitable for younger generations. Students, hipsters, artsy professionals, wanna be rockstars and young hospitality workers often seek to establish themselves around the markets and appreciate that life in Camden means never having to travel very far for a drink.
Despite huge crowds of tourists flocking to visit the main attractions almost non-stop, it remains an exciting place to live. Alive with streetlife and especially nightlife, families looking to find a quieter street to live will find plenty of regenerated terraced housing conveniently situated just behind the corner of Camden High Street or Chalk Farm Road.
Residents are well placed to call on the excellent amenities of nearby neighbourhoods, some of the best outdoor spaces such as Regent’s Park or Primrose Hill, and main tourist attractions such as London Zoo that are just a short stroll away.
It’s the combination of the qualities mentioned above that bring people of all sorts of life to Camden, where they can live happily together in a free, open and tolerant society.
Kentish Town – Independent shops, cool restaurants and great community
Situated just behind hectic Camden Markets and half way through to village style Highgate and bohemian Hampstead, Kentish Town is cherished by its residents for its community spirit and simply keeping it as independent and individual as possible. However, it is quickly becoming a tourist hotspot extension for those overwhelmed by the main markets due to its close proximity to the main tourist area.
The high street is a mixture of national retail chains, independent shops, organic stores, eateries, cool bars and restaurants, where both locals and visitors come to shop or have a great time out. Not to mention the great selection of craft beers available in the area’s award winning pubs and its very own Camden Town brewery.
Kentish Town was previously known for its lower rents, but the area has recently experienced an increasing amount of gentrification which translated into a significant rise in both private and commercial rates.
Residents tend to be young families or professionals who favour the area for its quiet streets, but there is also a great number of locals that have been living in the area for decades. Kentish Town’s proximity to the vast open spaces of Hampstead Heath makes it especially sought after by families for they can reach the green planes of the park in just a few minutes by foot.
The area is well connected and many residents commute to work in the West End or the City, with excellent transport links via Underground and its Northern line, Thameslink and National Rail trains. There is also an Overground station in the west corner of Kentish Town, and a variety of bus services.
Primrose Hill – Luxury urban village, stunning green space
Due to its location and the quality of socio-historical development, Primrose Hill has gained a reputation of a successful urban village in the past couple of decades. It has also become known as a luxury hotspot in which the properties command sky high prices, in fact some of the highest in London and where many celebrities chose to settle down. So be prepared to account for a slightly larger budget if you choose Primrose Hill and its hillside homes to become part of your day-to-day life in the future.
Situated between Camden Town, Swiss Cottage and Regent’s Park, its special village feel can be attributed in part to the lack of any major transport routes in the heart of the area. The closest Tube station is zone 2 based Chalk Farm, just a few minutes away by foot.
The heart of Primrose Hill lies along renowned Regent’s Park Road, where most of the action takes place. It is a highway littered with humming cafes, independent shops, beauty salons and French restaurants with plenty of tables spilling out onto the pavement, creating a Paris like atmosphere. And while many small shops have fallen victim to rising rents in recent years, the area still boasts more of such outlets on average than any other neighbourhood in London.
Families with children will love the fact that London Zoo is on the doorstep of Primrose Hill and also that the park is one of the best picnic spots in the capital. Those engaging in sports activities will find the hill an obvious draw for a quick run, that of course if they can battle their way to the summit. Music lovers will appreciate the close proximity of the famous Roundhouse venue, where superstar bands perform on a daily basis.
The nearest tube station is Chalk Farm on the Edgware branch of the Northern line and fairly close Swiss Cottage on the Jubilee line. There are plenty of bus routes that can be picked up from Chalk Farm or Camden Town. The nearest Overground stations are Kentish Town West or Camden Road.
Hampstead Village – Charming streets, Hampstead Heath park
If you ask Londoners what is the prettiest neighbourhood in London, they will probably say it’s Hampstead. And they will probably be quite right. North London’s Hampstead is a little urban village full of charming streets with literary history, situated right on the doorstep of Hampstead Heath park, one of London’s largest and wildest green spaces.
Hampstead is home to many residents who have lived there for generations. Families with children will appreciate this somewhat quieter neighbourhood as it makes you feel like you are not in the capital anymore when it is actually based in zone 2. On top of that, the village is situated at the western corner of Hampstead Heath, one of London’s most popular green spaces, famous for its spectacular views of the capital’s skyline and its wildlife habitat.
It’s central part, Hampstead High Street, is at the heart of village life. Bustling with trendy shops, upmarket restaurants, cafes and boutiques, it is the busiest part of the town. There are many pedestrians-only little streets just behind the corner off the high street, where both locals and visitors flock to enjoy the atmosphere, local vintage shops and last but not least the abundance of great pubs.
If you are considering calling this beautiful place your home in the near future, be prepared that the area features some of the most expensive postcodes in Britain. It has become a province of wealthy professionals, bankers and successful business people all drawn to the charming village feel, the vast green spaces of Hampstead Heath and some of the best schools in London.
Hampstead is a 20-minute ride from central London via tube on the Northern line. There are many bus routes available connecting the village with the centre towards Camden Town as well as with the north via Golders Green.
Belsize Park – Exclusive, bohemian, village-like atmosphere
Nestled conveniently in the borough of Camden right between exclusive Primrose Hill and alternative Camden Town to the south and Hampstead Village to the north, you will be able to enjoy the best of all those worlds in Belsize Park. And on top of that, you will be just 3 tube stations away from London’s central transport hub King’s Cross via Northern Line.
This beautiful area situated in north west London and just a stone’s throw from the world famous Hampstead Heath park, has somehow managed to slip under the radar. However, it is considered to be a very popular neighbourhood where exclusive multi-million pound properties can be spotted with their celebrity residents often visiting the local cafes and delis.
The vast majority of available properties are flats in converted Victorian and Georgian buildings and while it might be possible to find good value for money, the average rent in this area is quite high and property doesn’t come cheap. If you are on a strict budget, you might consider to widen your search radius and include places like Chalk Farm, Swiss Cottage or Kentish Town where the properties are more affordable.
Similarly to other popular hotspots in the borough of Camden, there is a strong cafe culture in Belsize Park. The areas around Belsize Park tube station and England’s Lane are where most of the action takes place. Fiendly, village-like atmosphere makes those local gems ideal for relaxed coffee or brunch right before an afternoon visit to a local gastro pub that plays host to live music and barbeques.
Many of London’s top destinations can be accessed on foot from Belsize Park due to its fairly central position. The area is conveniently situated just a short walk from Hampstead heath Park, Primrose Hill, Camden Town or Hampstead Village. For those who need to travel further, there’s a local tube station available in Belsize Park which is also well served by the bus services.
West Hampstead – Community-focused, residential
If you are looking for a charming, community-focused area in Camden, then residential West Hampstead might be just what you were looking for. Small but conveniently situated, the area of West Hampstead in north London has managed to remain relatively under the radar for years unlike the neighbouring Hampstead Village, where all the tourists keep flocking in due to the mainstream attention. West Hampstead offers a calmer and pleasant alternative.
Dominating West End Lane, which is the local high street buzzing with shops, restaurants and cafes is at the epicentre of all the activities taking place in the neighbourhood. There is also a number of patisseries and gastropubs along with a fine selection of bars offering a lively nightlife popular with a wide range of locals as well as visitors.
Unlike younger generations which are usually headed for Camden Town and its wild nightlife, West Hampstead is largely populated with mature professionals and families with children who come to enjoy a quieter lifestyle, respectful neighbours and a great sense of community spirit.
Despite all its charms, properties in West Hampstead are slightly cheaper to rent than in the exclusive neighbouring areas of Belsize Park and Hampstead Village. However, West Hampstead is a highly sought-after residential area, which is reflected in above average property prices.
Located in zone 2, the area features brilliant transport links into central London as it is home to three train stations. West Hampstead Underground station is served by the Jubilee Line, and presence of Overground station, Thameslink station and plenty of buses makes connecting with other parts of London extremely easy.