Camden Town is truly one of the most weird and wonderful neighbourhoods in London, and one of the most original shopping destinations the city has to offer. Six local markets make the area an incredible treasure trove, whether you’re after London souvenirs or original leather products from Morocco. Camden Lock market started up in a former timber-yard in 1973, and is now surrounded by five others: Buck Street market, Stables market, Camden Lock village, and an indoor market in the Electric Ballroom.

Camden Lock market is the jewel at the heart of this area – sitting along the canal it has evolved into a covered maze of small shops – clothes boutiques (both new and vintage), food joints, jewelery, antiques, and other items ranging from the every day to the bizarre. If there’s something you need – you’ll find it here. Nothing about this market smacks of the high street – it’s largely made up of independent sales people hand picking items, and some importing more unusual products from abroad, whether it’s Korean fashion or handmade silks from India.

The market also caters to so many different styles – gothic designed clothes and boots complete with frills and chains, the hippy-style colourful harem pants and unusually designed tops you see at festivals, industrial black and grey layered clothing favoured by architectural design students (OK, I know I’m stereotyping here :)), and many more. It’s a visual feast just to wander around browsing the different booths and boutiques.

The food is also cheap with a great range of options. Set up like an Asian street food market, the market has several eating hubs where loads of small booths offer up Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, American and other foodie options for you to take away and eat while strolling the market, or take to their benched seating area for a pit stop. You’ll also find several shisha bars around the market where you can grab a moment on their low cushioned seating, have a puff on a strawberry flavoured water pipe (or whatever your flavour of choice is) with sweet baklava and a mint tea to wash it down.

Aside from the shisha bars (I do like the feeling of relaxing into a cushion and doing some people-watching) there are several highlights that I always love coming back to here. Being a bit of a vintage lover, the Stables Market vintage boutiques are a personal favourite. Stuffed full of random, beautifully-preserved bric-a-brac each stall offers up an assortment of bygone goods, from vintage coats and bags, to tea trays, crockery, old tins of well-loved brands, books, mirrors, music boxes, typewriters and so on. In amongst the vintage you’ll also come across a few surprises like a stall selling spices in large open baskets. There’s also an incredible variety of period clothing, from perfectly-preserved 40s dresses to a multitude of awesome beat-up leathers. I always buy my leather jackets here – my latest was a Harrods 1960s original for a bargain £40.

Another highlight at the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Cyberdog. This shop is outrageous, and amazing fun, to the point where sometimes they have an usher at the door to control how many people enter at any one time. While Camden prides itself on being the home of alternative fashion, this place is by far the most adventurous. You’ll know you’re at the right place by the massive metal robot statue just outside the door. The bright neon lights will also give it away. Walking inside you’ll feel like you’re entering a club – with two dancers on podiums at the back of the shop giving their all to the electronic music pumping out. We’re talking futuristic fashion here – intricate communications headsets with wires and nodes that fix to one side of your face and other sci-fi fashion pieces, and that’s all before you descend the escalators to the main shop floor. Down there the warehouse-size space is moodily lit with UV light, and most of the clothes are glowing in response. Think of all the costumes you’ve seen in sci-fi space movies – they’re likely to be here. There are Star Trek style spaceship uniforms, and T-shirts with screens showing moving computerised designs. The final descent is into their sex shop boudoir in the basement, where the fashion morphs into S&M black leather and cuffs. All in all, Cyberdog is worth a visit even if you’re not into your psychedelic futuristic fashion, just for the fun factor of soaking up the bizarre designs.

Open every day until 6pm Camden markets are always an entertaining and fruitful shopping experience – I never come away empty handed, and always end up with something I could never find anywhere else! While London’s high streets and famous boutiques are welcome for some, I prefer the unpredictable and surprising passages of this unique part of town.

Sholeh - I live in North London and love this city for the incredible range of things happening all at once, and the different cultures all mixed in together. I'm especially fond of going to the theatre, finding interesting cocktail bars (the lesser known the better) and eating LOTS of good food, preferably food I haven't tried before. I also have a fetish for independent book shops, turkish baths and writing.