'Camden is Glastonbury all year round'

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The Independent Online

If you want to savour the delights of Scandinavian youth culture without boarding a plane, then Camden's the Town for you. A glorious hotbed of drink-fuelled indie-rock partying, ranging from the hilarious to the deeply depraved, greets even the most bashful of visitors. However, bring a pair of sturdy walking boots as your journey across the sea of crushed beer cans and old noodle packets can get pretty dirty.

If you want to savour the delights of Scandinavian youth culture without boarding a plane, then Camden's the Town for you. A glorious hotbed of drink-fuelled indie-rock partying, ranging from the hilarious to the deeply depraved, greets even the most bashful of visitors. However, bring a pair of sturdy walking boots as your journey across the sea of crushed beer cans and old noodle packets can get pretty dirty.

As we enter the 21st Century, Camden remains North London's pleasure capital, fighting off Old Street's pretentious pseudo-cool, or Hampstead's plummy grace. From Camden tube a 10-minute weave through the crowds up Chalk Farm Road brings you to the canal, pumping into the heart of Camden life – its markets. Whether it's tattoos, piercings, records, arts or the very latest threads (at surprisingly affordable prices) it's all there. The only problem is deciding where to start.

Daylight provides the perfect opportunity to soak up the vibe, whether rummaging through the stalls, people-watching or strolling up beautiful Primrose Hill for a breath of fresh air. But moonlight brings Camden alive, as sophisticated Swedes swap tales of debauchery with enthusiastic Italians, plucky Brit-poppers and funky Brazilians. Every night of the week you can shake your thang to one of a multitude of up-and-coming bands, chill to the sweet sound of jazz, groove in one of the many clubs, or simply kick back and enjoy a nice cool vodka and orange in one of Camden's countless pubs. Camden also provides endless food styles, from falafels in the street to an array of delicious West Indian, French, Greek, or Spanish treats in even the most refined of environments.

The key to Camden is not just the sights, restaurants, bars or even markets but the people you'll encounter, and their striking lack of pomposity. Social intercourse is easy, and the one guarantee is diversity and a sprinkling of laughter wherever you go. Be amazed by the sheer existence of, let alone the vast number of goths, punks and hippies that squeeze into the microcosm that is Camden. And, let's be honest, whatever is this year's black, a four-foot green mohican always looks cool.

Camden is Glastonbury all year round, where even the toilets have that genuine festival feel! But if you don't want to ruin your Patrick Cox then start off at more salubrious Chalk Farm, where you can enjoy its suave, less in-your-face ambience.

Now, if you're looking to buy a property and you're worried that the economy might engulf the housing market, at least your rental value will remain high as there will always be a healthy flow of affluent young Scandinavians looking to experience the treats of Camden town. Simplistically, Camden is the love child that Animal from the Muppet Show and Mr T never had.

Next week: Wimbledon. If you want to tell us in 500 words why you love the area, please e-mail brandhorst@talk21.com, attaching a photograph of yourself if possible

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