Last Updated on September 10, 2021
Exploring Camden and the Holiday Inn
Camden Town brings back fond memories of my teenage years; lazy days wandering around the labyrinth of eclectic market stalls and late boozy nights in music venues including Dingwalls, the Electric Ballroom, the Roundhouse, the Jazz Café and what once called the Music Machine. So I was thrilled to be invited to staycation, right in the heart of Camden at the Holiday Inn
It was a real pleasure to stay at The Holiday Inn Camden Lock, an IHG 4-star Hotel that is ideally situated in the heart of Camden Town. It overlooks the pretty Regents Canal and is perfectly placed for exploring Camden and the surrounding areas.
We received a warm welcome on entering the modern lobby, before taking the lift to the 5th floor to our stylish Penthouse Room. The decor was clean and contemporary, simply furnished with a large comfortable bed, chest of drawers, desk, cupboard, small table and a pair of leather chairs.
There was everything we needed including a wall hung TV, mini-fridge, iron, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer and tea and fresh coffee making facilities. The spotlessly clean bathroom provided bath, shower and a large wash area with Geneva Guild bath products.
However, the best was yet to come, when I stepped outside onto the huge corner terrace, I was seriously wowed by the spectacular vista of London and a bird’s eye view of the canal and the market below. The perfect place to chill and get ready for a big night out.
The mini-fridge was stocked with Camden Hells beers and snacks, so while the sun was still shining, we enjoyed a beer on the terrace and admired the amazing view. And if it got a bit too chilly to stay outside, you could lie on the bed and still enjoy the view through the full-length windows which spanned the width of the room.
Breakfast was served on the mezzanine floor and offered a wide range of cooked breakfasts, cereals, pastries and continental cheese and meats. The friendly and helpful staff temptingly offered cooked pancakes and omelettes to order.
On the ground floor beside the lobby is a bar and restaurant area where you can relax and enjoy all-day dining – including bar snacks, dips, toasted sandwiches, burgers and salads. So when you tire of exploring, you can come back to the Holiday Inn and not worry about where to eat.
The hotel is just a 4-minute walk from Camden tube station which makes it within easy reach of West End entertainment and attractions. Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras International train stations are all a short tube or bus ride away. And it’s just a 15-minute walk to London’s beautiful Regent’s Park and London Zoo. But, there’s plenty to see right on your doorstep too!
Camden has been a residential area since the 1790s, but only became a bustling part of London when the Grand Union Canal had been developed and rails links improved. One of London’s most iconic areas, Camden is colourful and vibrant. and perhaps is most famous for its alternative vibe, buzzing street markets, street art and a thriving music scene.
It’s a haven of counter culture – the teenagers, punks and goths all dressed to the nines give it a real indie feel and the shops and the street markets are full of alternative fashion, jewellery and curiosities.
Camden Market is actually made up of a series of different markets each with a slightly different feel – Camden Lock Village, Camden Lock Market, The Stables Market and Buck Street Village. At the weekends the streets are alive with locals and tourists browsing the market stalls hunting for alternative finds, whilst wonderful tempting aromas from street food stalls waft through the streets. Just soak up the atmosphere, or alternatively, escape the hustle and bustle and take your food canalside for a picnic, watch the boats go by or take a leisurely walk along the peaceful canal.
If you head down High Street, there’s lots more shops, restaurants and venues to explore including a new retail and leisure destination Hawley Wharf Camden which has just opened this August. Hawley Wharf is London’s first new development since lockdown and offers a number of independent retail brands as well as 10 London based eateries.
Camden has always been known for its thriving nightlife scene, there are lots of charming and quirky pubs, bars and great alternative music venues. Here are a few of my own favourite music venues – all within easy reach of the Holiday Inn.
The award-winning Jazz Cafe – a live music rota that leans towards the very best in Jazz, funk, hip-hop and electronic music.
The Roundhouse – an iconic venue that hosts anything from large music gigs and dance to circus, comedy and exhibitions.
The Dublin Castle – famed in the late ’70s after Madness played here and then later Amy Winehouse. It’s recognised for supporting up and coming bands and artists.
Dingwalls was a regular haunt of mine in my teens and twenties, so it’s great to see it still in action. When it was first built, it was known to have the longest bar in London and used to be a hangout for members of The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd and it later hosted performers such as Blondie, The Clash and The Sex Pistols.
Electric Ballroom was established in the late 1930s, which survived bombing during WW2. This iconic music venue has hosted plenty of famous names in the past including Sid Vicious and Joy Division. It’s still going strong hosting club nights and live rock bands.
The Camden Assembly (formerly the Barfly) is an established indie haunt that has regular club nights and hosts up and coming talent.
Lock Tavern in Chalk Farm Road focuses on indie and dance, but you can expect some boogie, funk, folk, soul and hip hop, too.
O2 Forum Kentish Town This large Art Deco venue holds around 2,500 visitors. Amongst the stars to have graced its stage are include Prince and Oasis.
Koko – now a state-of-the-art modern venue which was formerly known as the Palace Theatre, and The Music Machine in the ’70s. It still retains its status as a legendary music venue with stars such as Madonna, The Clash, the Sex Pistols and Iron Maiden gracing their stage.
Camden is a charming quirky neighbourhood where many notable people from history through to the present day have made their home – John Keats, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw and JB Priestley, Kate Moss, Sadie Frost, Jude Law, Jamie Oliver, Daniel Craig, Daisy Lowe, Chris Evans, Gwen Stefani and Nick Grimshaw to name but a few!
Camden is the jewel in the capital’s tourist crown. A buzzing area of London 24/7 it offers so much to do and explore. Staying at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock provides the perfect central base, a stone’s throw from everything you might want in the area, And if you can, I recommend a Penthouse Room – for a real treat with an amazing view of London!
Holiday Inn London – Camden Lock
30 Jamestown Road
Tel: 020 7485 4343
Check In: 2pm
Check Out: 11am
Lucy was a guest of The Holiday Inn Camden Lock