C is for ….. Camden Lock

Visit London’s Camden Lock for the day and experience the atmosphere and history as you stroll through the mix of stalls and shops enjoying the wide variety of goods that are on offer.


The Camden Lock you see today was once a timber yard where timber was unloaded from large river barges onto smaller narrow boats that plied the inland canals of Britain. With the growth of more efficient forms of transport, the canals began to decline, and the site closed in 1971 signalling the end of an era.


However, Camden Lock was soon re-opened by Northside Developments in 1973, as the original arts and crafts market. The early development revolved around the old wooden sheds and cobbled yards. As the first Market in Camden, it immediately stood out from London’s other markets for its eclectic mix, and soon attracted the entrepreneurs and artists that first generated the Camden Town ‘buzz’.


For young artists, the Lock studios offered a new opportunity to rent a space where they could sell their work, and for customers the chance to see their goods being made – a rare thing in modern London. Goods are still designed and made on-site today and studios are open to the customers.
During the 1980s Camden Lock’s vitality began to spread with shops as far as Camden Town Tube Station becoming increasingly popular.


1991 saw the opening of the Market Hall, a glass-roofed arcade designed to merge with the surrounding Victorian architecture. In 1999 the Market Hall was extended, and in 2003 the East Yard was covered with a Victorian-styled steel and glass canopy. Also in 2003 the West Yard wharf, one of the original areas first redeveloped in the 1970s was further opened up and refurbished, and the first floor walkway extended to form a terrace overlooking the wharf.


Today Camden Lock stays true to its original principles and attracts both Londoners and visitors from all parts of the globe, eager to come face-to-face with some of the capital’s most creative people.


We run a couple of day trips each year to Camden Lock, where as well as free time to explore the market, there will be a 1 1/2 hour river cruise along the picturesque Regent’s Canal to see a different side of London.


To find out about more Camden Lock, including information on the stalls and shops, visit http://www.camdenlockmarket.com/ or to book our day trip go to http://crosskeys.uk.com/cgi-bin/public.pl?action=details&dateid=419&tourid=67