A Different Side to Camden

By Chloe Bayliss

Camden. The London district of vibrancy and culture. The people here as uniquely themselves, independent and original. It is a place full of colour. A bustling centre of diversity.

The buildings are not just buildings, they are works of art. They are painted in various shades of multiple colours, with 3D objects protruding from their walls to advertise the products sold inside. From giant trainers to an elephants head, there is so much to see it is almost overwhelming. Upon crossing the rainbow patterned street, different merchant stalls call out to you, waving souvenir items and gesturing towards their stalls of citrus fruits and fresh bread.

Camden Lock. A metal bridge that has become a landmark for the area, the subject of many photos advertising Camden. From here you will find walls of graffiti, each building coated in a layer of spray paint to depict some beautifully mesmerising image. These graffiti walls continue along the canal, covering the surfaces of the bridges and walls. The canal itself is full of canal boats of various sizes and colour. Walking along the canal I saw different types of birds floating in the water, saw fish swimming and two old men sitting on the top of a boat drinking tea and laughing. It was an atmosphere of wonder and friendship. Each person you passed by the canal would smile as you passed, everyone positive as they enjoyed the weather.

The best part of the canal was the Book Barge. Word on the Water is a canal boat turned into a bookshop. A row of books were set up in front of the boat, various genres in near perfect condition just waiting to be picked up. After browsing through the stall, I went inside the canal boat, smiling as it dipped in the water. The inside was a cosy chaos, a cluttered space stacked with books old and new. Ornamental typewriters we’re spaced across the surfaces, telephones and feather pens on the shelves. Thick armchairs with hand decorated cushions, candles and the distinct smell of old books.

It felt homely and I never wanted to leave.

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