If you’re looking for family entertainment in central London this Bank Holiday, Camden is normally a good bet. So with that in mind, here’s our quick guide to some of the things you might get up to.
It’s a bit of a mix of the stuff that the regular attractions that the borough is known of, plus a glance at some of the less-well known, but equally intriguing events you might enjoy. So if you’re coming down Camden this Bank Holiday, read on…
Going to the Zoo, the Zoo, The Zoo…
London Zoo is world renowned. It’s the world oldest scientific zoo (set up in 1828 and opened to public punters in 1847) and is home to something in the region of 19,000 animals.
As zoo’s go it is one of the most comprehensive in the world – so is a great destination for the whole family. From the Land of the Lions to Gorilla Kingdom and Tiger Territory – there are lots of charismatic megafauna to see. You’ll also find some less obvious, but equally impressive residents – such as the Warthogs in the ‘Into Africa’ area or the Moon Jellyfish in the B.U.G.S. area.
Tickets are from £16.65 for children and £22.50 for Adults, with a family saver (2 adults & 2 children) from £68.04. Find out all the details, how to get there and book online.
And if you fancy an unconventional preview, the band shots in the video for Talk Talk’s It’s my life was filmed at London Zoo – albeit in 1984 – and thanks to the wonders of YouTube – here it is:
Talk – Taking and Laughing
If you’re a budding Stand-up Comedian, The Camden Head – an 18th Century Pub in the heart of the borough that regularly hold Comedy and DJ nights – have one of their Bi-monthly Comedy Drop-ins. Hosted by Ivor Dembina, it’s a session create new material and hone existing content.
Over 18’s only, the cost is £11 – bookable in advance – and the theme for Monday is ‘Show reel’. Imagine you are preparing a two to three minute show reel of your comedy talent. Make sure the content has a beginning middle and an end. Bring it along and we’ll tell you what we think.
Human Form and Function – Greek Style
No, it’s not a new probiotic yogurt that’ll help make you a bit more buff, it’s actually a fascinating exhibition at the British Museum. The official title is ‘Defining Beauty – the body in ancient Greek Art.
If you thought that people looking after their physique, admiring the well honed and intellectualising was a modern phenomenon, think again. This exhibition looks at how the ancient greeks experimented with representing the human form – both as a an object and a bearer of meaning.
Housed in the Sainsbury exhibition gallery – it’s on until 5th July. With some truly stunning exhibits, it’s one not to be missed for those who like to indulge in a little philosophy on their Bank Holiday.
As Aristotle said (and everyone who uses Self Storage knows), ‘The chief forms of beauty are order, symmetry and clear delineation’
Tickets are £16.50, bookable in advance
Unlike many retail establishments, Camden’s Markets (Lock, Stables, Canal, Buck Street, Inverness Street and Electric Ballroom) don’t close over the Bank Holiday. Truth be told they probably get busier. But that makes visiting them all the more of an occasion.
There really is nowhere quite like Camden’s markets to partake in a little retail therapy. If vintage clothing is your thing – then Camden Stables is the direction to head. Over in Camden Lock Market you’ll find Jewellery, arts, crafts, fashion and accessories. Whilst on Inverness Street you’ll find plenty of souvenir and gift stalls along with plenty of places to wet your whistle and fill your gum.
Each location is different – but market stalls are typically open from 10am to 6pm (bars and restaurants later). The nearest tube stations are Chalk Farm and Camden town. For more information visit the markets website.
If browsing the market all day is a bit much, then why not take the weight off for a bit – and enjoy a cruise on the Regent’s Canal? You can join the narrowboat Jenny Wren at Walkers Quay, from where you’ll travel through the famous Camden Lock (that gives the Market its name), passing through London Zoo and Regent’s Park before circling the Island at Little Venice and returning.
It’s a 90 minute round-trip, complete with live commentary. There are sailings at 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm. A family ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children) is £31.00, Adults £12.50 & Children 5 to 15 £6.00. Be sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment – find out more on the Walkers Quay website.