Camden is a mixed, colourful and vibrant part of North London in the NW1 and NW5 postcodes.
Often associated with alternative culture, Camden Town is most known for its bustling markets, however the music venues, bars and pubs are all popular destinations for visitors to the capital and Londoners from across the city.
Although typecast as attracting bohemians, young professionals, including city workers and, not surprisingly, art and creative types, are a common resident of Camden, possibly down to the excellent transport links of the Northern line and the area’s lively energy.
Despite its reputation as an alternative, grungy area, the borough it is part of, London Borough of Camden, is one of the most expensive London boroughs, with the average property price in 2014 of around £1.5 million.
Property in Camden
Adding to the individual nature of Camden Town, there is a vast mix of property types in the area, including Victorian and Georgian terraces, low rise council blocks and larger Victorian houses. There are also stylish, contemporary new build apartments available in Camden, such as the Belvard Point and XY residential developments, so there are plenty of options for buying your new London property in Camden.
If you are attracted to the character of Victorian and Georgian homes, be aware of signs of subsidence when viewing potential new properties, as Camden is an area of London that can suffer from subsidence.
The average house price for Camden properties is around £930,000, notably lower than the borough average. Additionally, the housing stock in Camden is predominately made up of flats, which have an average price of £680,000, so there are more affordable options if you are hoping to find a home in Camden.
Residential streets accessed from Parkway, such as Arlington Road and Albert Street, are particularly desirable locations for home buyers in Camden, due to the attractive four storey townhouses and distance to the tube. For roads that offer more value for money, Georgiana Street and Greenland Road are good options.
Camden has an impressive staying power, with a large proportion of residents choosing stay living in the district, upsizing to bigger homes after renting or flat sharing – an unusual trend for inner city, vibrant areas of London.
For information about council tax banding in the London Borough of Camden, take a look at our article, ‘How much is council tax in London?’ and find out how much council tax you will be paying when you have moved to Camden.
TfL Public Transport
The main tube station, Camden Town, is on both branches of the Northern line, one of the busiest underground lines, in travelcard zone 2. The Northern line travels from Edgware and High Barnet in the north of London, down to Morden, the southernmost station.
Residents of Camden can benefit from a quick underground service to major central locations such as King’s Cross St Pancras, London Bridge, Old Street, Leicester Square, Waterloo, Charing Cross and Euston, although, as the walk to Euston and King’s Cross is only around 20 minutes, this may be a preferred method to avoid the peak commuter times.
Camden Road station offers London Overground services on the North London line from Stratford to Richmond. There is also a number of bus links operating from Camden to destinations across the capital.
With the continued growth of cycling in London, and many on-going proposals to improve the cycling experience for Londoners, cycling is a popular way to get around the city, and Camden has many cycle routes in the area.
The Camden canal provides excellent opportunities and paths for cycling.
If you intend to have a car when living in Camden, parking permit tariffs are based on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions. The parking permit will allow you to park at any time within the zone you live in.
To apply for a parking permit, visit Camden London Borough Council’s website. You can also find out how to apply for a parking suspension or permit for your removal company on your moving day on the council’s website.
Attractions and Entertainment
When in Camden Town, it is essential to visit Camden Market. The Camden Markets, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe, offer an eclectic variety of shopping, from antiques to futuristic designs, books and music, crafts, and a vast selection of world street food. You can also find gothic and punk clothing, jewellery and furniture.
Similar to mainstream Oxford Street, Camden Market gets incredibly busy at the weekend, so if you don’t enjoy crowds, this may be best left to weekday visits. The atmosphere and variety that comes with the weekend groups, however, can often be worth the crowding. Loved by tourists and locals, there’s a reason why they Camden Market is the fourth most popular London destination.
Despite its central location and urban appearance, Camden is close to green spaces and park land. With Regent’s Park, Hampstead Heath and St Martin’s Gardens nearby, there are many opportunities to enjoy more peaceful pursuits in this bustling town.
Camden’s placing on Regent’s Canal provides activities such as kayaking tours and London Waterbus cruises, so you can feel at one with nature and explore London’s historic waterways without having to venture too far from your new Camden home.
The population of Camden is predominately made up of 18-35 year olds, so it is no surprise that Camden’s nightlife is second to none. From rock and roll pubs to trendy bars, there are evening events to please all Camden residents and visitors.
It’s not just about the drink and street food in Camden, as there are plenty of restaurants to sample. Haché Burger is a Camden favourite, considered to offer one of the best burgers in London. For a more elegant evening, Michael Nadra in Primrose Hill offers a stylish dining experience.
With a host of alternative and electronic music venues, including The Underworld, Electric Ballroom and Koko, Camden is a popular place for music lovers, attracting many successful musicians. Camden isn’t limited to rock bands and DJs; it offers jazz and blues fans places to enjoy their favourite sounds, such as the Jazz Café and Blues Kitchen.
The Camden Roundhouse is another popular entertainment venue, holding theatrical performances, circus events, spoken word and comedy in addition to live music, including the iTunes Festival.
Living in Camden
Camden is a hip, trendy area of London. Described as being less pretentious than ‘hipster’ Shoreditch, Camden Town has a strong sense of community and diversity to be involved with when living in this location.
There are some excellent options for education in Camden, with the well-performing state secondary schools, Camden School for Girls and Regents High School.
Camden does, however, have a reputation for drug crime, with drugs, theft and anti-social behaviour making up the highest percentage of crime.
If you are attracted to the buzz and eccentricity of Camden but would prefer a quieter life away from the centre of the action, nearby Primrose Hill maybe be more suitable. It is a scenic area with great views over London, but its prime location and pleasant surroundings means it comes with a big price tag, with the average cost of a home at £1,330,000.
Buying in Camden
Once you have found your perfect London home in Camden, it is important to enlist the knowledge of expert professionals to help your house move to run smoothly.
Due to its location in North London, Camden is an area which will be affected by the construction and operation of the High Speed 2 railway. The High Speed 2 is a railway network connecting cities in the UK to London Euston station; it will be running through the north west of the capital.
To find out how your Camden home may be impacted by the railway line, your conveyancing solicitor will undertake the necessary searches to discover the distance your property will be from the route and the impact it may have.
Subsidence can also be an issue for properties in Camden, with the NW postcode being a prominent area for subsidence. Finding a Chartered Surveyor with local experience of the buildings in Camden will help you to discover whether there is any evidence of subsidence in your new home. Your surveyor will report on the nature, progressiveness and severity of the subsidence.
In addition to information about subsidence, your property surveyor will be able to provide you with extra guidance about how the High Speed 2 may affect your property.