The Zone 2 hotspot that's for families as well as hipsters
Fri 19 Feb 2016
Only two-and-a-half miles north of central London, Camden Town - often called simply Camden - has Euston to
the south, Kentish Town to the north, Regents Park to the west and Islington to the east, and boasts lovely
streets of Georgian and early Victorian terrace houses.
The spirit of Amy Winehouse seems to haunt Camden Town, the spot loved by her fans and also by teenagers
visiting London from all over the world. Many make the local markets their first port of call - for everything from
fashion to books to street food.
Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning aged just 27 in her Camden Square flat in 2011. Images of the prodigiously
talented singer-songwriter with the trademark beehive hairdo are everywhere, in street art, a mural and a statue
in Stables Market.
She is much-loved locally, says estate agent Enna-Mae Assiter, of Marsh & Parsons .
People tell of impromptu concerts at The Dublin Castle [pub and live music venue], or remember seeing her in
the local shops.
Gloucester Crescent, for many years the home of Alan Bennett, was a location for The Lady in the Van, last
years movie starring Dame Maggie Smith, about elderly, eccentric Mary Shepherd who lived in her van in the
playwrights front garden there from 1974 to 1989.
A wide range of house hunters are drawn to Camdens distinctive feel and its property prices - lower than the likes
of Fitzrovia and Marylebone. Camden is much more than its markets, says Assiter. Parkway, the local
shopping street, is much more villagey.
Pastel delights: Camden is famous for the rows of pretty colourful houses
Property in Camden
Offering family houses and period conversions, Camden also has new flats, estates of council houses, and
warehouse flats - such as those in former gin warehouse Gilbey House, overlooking Regents Canal. Around
Camden Square are mews buildings containing individually designed homes and studios, including work by
architects Edward Cullinan and David Chipperfield.
Marsh & Parsons, says tenants are a mix of senior executives looking for family homes in Camden and Primrose
Hill, and young techie types working for local IT companies such as Google. In addition, the two French schools
in Kentish Town are attracting French families who like to be near St Pancras and the Eurostar terminal for trips
Hawley Wharf occupies the space where fire devastated Camden Market in 2008. The redevelopment includes
170 homes, the new Hawley Infants School, an art house cinema and new market buildings along the canal.
Camden Courtyards is a Barratt Homes development of 164 one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, including 82
affordable homes, in St Pancras Way. Prices from 610,000 to 1,275,000. Call 0844 225 0032 for details.
Euston Reach in Carlow Street off Camden High Street is a Galliard Homes warehouse conversion with 85
studios, one- and two-bedroom loft-style homes set around a fourstorey atrium. Prices from 730,000 to
1,165,000. Call 020 3770 6329.
XY Apartments, between York Road and Agar Grove, is the regeneration of the Maiden Lane Estate by Camdens
Community Investment Programme. There are 273 one-, two and three-bedroom flats, half of which are
affordable. Open market prices range from 535,000 to 797,500. Visit xyapartments.com or call Savills on 020
Newlon Housing Trust will have shared-ownership flats at Camden Courtyards. Call 020 7613 7480 for more
Desirable road: Gloucester Crescent is very popular with home buyers
Gloucester Crescent and Albert Street in the centre of Camden Town; in the Camden Square conservation area,
Camden Square itself, Murray Street and North and South Villas. Enna-Mae Assiter of the local Marsh & Parsons
branch also recommends the little-known enclave behind Camden Road Overground station where in Jeffreys
Street and Ivor Street there are pretty, smaller Georgian and early Victorian terraces and villas.
Camden Town is in the central London NW1 postcode which also includes Euston, Regents Park, Somers Town
and parts of Marylebone and Primrose Hill.
Up and coming
The area behind Euston station, which is also known as Somers Town, is benefiting from the massive
regeneration at Kings Cross. The Ossulston Estate is a pioneering modernist council estate where right-to-buy
flats are occasionally available.
Camden Town and Mornington Crescent are on the Northern Line, with branches to the West End and the City.
Camden Road is on the Stratford to Gospel Oak Overground line. All stations are in Zone 2 and an annual
travelcard to Zone 1 costs 1,296.
Camden council is Labour controlled and Band D council tax is currently 1,336.81.
The stables: this quirky market is the earest thing London has to a Middle-Eastern souk
Shops and restaurants
Camden is known the world over for its markets. The much-photographed shops between Camden Tube station
and Camden Lock are adorned with giant trainers, a boot, an aeroplane, an elephant and a dragon. Camden
Market is now full of tourist tat but there are still unusual offerings in Camden Lock, where the central area
overlooking the canal has street food stalls. The enormous Stables Market is the nearest thing London has to a
Koko and The Barfly are two famous music venues, and there are numerous pubs offering live music.
Gilgamesh is a large pan-Asian restaurant in Stables Market.
Inverness Street is filling up with restaurants including Wagamama, burger joints Byron and Hach and a new
branch of the Soho vegetarian restaurant, Mildreds.
Parkway has a more local, less touristy feel. There is a branch of Whole Foods; chain restaurants PizzaExpress
and Strada, tea shop Yumchaa and fashion stores Gap and Oliver Bonas.
Regents Park and London Zoo are close by, and there are walks along Regents Canal.
Leisure and the arts
The Roundhouse at Chalk Farm is a leading performance space well-suited for spectacular circus shows and
music concerts. The Odeon in Parkway is the nearest multiplex cinema. There are two local council-owned
swimming pools - at the Kentish Town Sports Centre in Grafton Road and the Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre in
Camden has a good choice of state primary schools that are judged outstanding by Ofsted. They are: Holy
Trinity & Saint Silas CofE in Hartland Road; Primrose Hill in Princess Road; Richard Cobden in Camden Street;
Abacus Belsize , a new Free School for Belsize Park but temporarily housed in Kings Cross, and St Mary & St
Pancras CofE in Werrington Street.
Camden School for Girls (ages 11 to 18) is a very sought-after state comprehensive school in Sandall Road that
is rated outstanding.
The other local state comprehensive schools do not perform well at GCSE but are nonetheless rated good by
Ofsted. They are: Haverstock (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in Haverstock Hill where the Miliband brothers went to
school; Regent High (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in Chalton Street and Maria Fidelis RC (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in North
Gower Street and Phoenix Road.
Two bilingual French schools are attracting French families to Camden and Kentish Town. They are: La Petite
Ecole Bilingue (co-ed, ages three to 11) in Vicars Road and Collge Franais Bilingue de Londres (co-ed, ages
five to 16) in Holmes Road.
There are also a number of private primary and preparatory schools: The Cavendish School (co-ed, ages two to
seven; girls ages two to 11) is a Catholic school in Inverness Street; North Bridge House Prep (co-ed, ages seven
to 13) in Gloucester Avenue - Bridge House has a nursery, pre-prep and senior school in Hampstead and a senior
school and sixth form in Islington); The Village School (girls, ages three to 11) in Parkhill Road in Belsize Park; St
Christinas (co-ed, ages three to 11) is a Catholic school in St Edmunds Terrace in St Johns Wood; and Sarum
Hall (girls, ages three to 11) in Eton Avenue. Fine Arts College (co-ed ages 13 to 18) is a non-selective private
GCSE and sixth-form college in Englands Lane, Belsize Park.
Working Mens College is a Specialist Designated Institution in Crowndale Road which runs a wide range of adult
education courses - everything from art and design to skills for work. It is rated