Camden on a Budget

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Having had many formative experiences in Camden as broke teenagers, we thought it would be a breeze to come through on a budget and have a fun day out - but it turns out this place has changed considerably since we were fringe-sporting indie kids trying to buy our first grinder. It's been polished up pretty good, with fancy street-food replacing the e-coli ridden stuff of yore, and far more tourists than we remember.

But as much as we'd love to hate on this ultra-sanitised home of punk, there is still a certain charm to its cobbled bridges, green canals and dreadlocked bongo players asking anyone and everyone for a lighter.

BROWSE - 1pm
This is the shop of George Constinantou who has been selling his hand-roasted beans on this spot ever since May 1978 when he took it over from his uncle. It's the kind of place that you'd have thought would have been turned into a Caffè Nero ten years ago, but George has held on in there.

Come and watch as he roasts, sifts, weighs and bags everything by hand; tell him what you like and he'll bag it up for you. He only sells coffee in bean form (a surprise to us) but we'll cop some anyway and grab the liquid version down the road.

Spend so far: £4.70
CHILL - 1.15pm
It's a short walk to this pokey coffee spot, but being around all those beans has sent our cravings into overdrive. Grab a window seat - perfect for local character watching - and the usual (that's a flat white for us) and enjoy the quieter pace of life away from the high street.

Spend so far: £7.50
DO - 2.30pm
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Canal Walk to Primrose Hill
Dip down the side road that joins the canal at the lock and make your way upstream. You'll pass picturesque river boats, bridges that you wouldn't want to go under at night, and cyclists in two forms: entitled and overly timid. Also, just so you know, someone will undoubtedly try to sell you drugs. Don't panic. A firm but fair, 'No thank you, sir, I do not need any drugs' will suffice in sending them away.

Keep going past the sign for Primrose Hill and take the last exit before you hit a second canal. From there, head up to the top of the park and take in the stunning panorama - some say it's the best in London (they're wrong, but it is fantastic).

Spend so far: £7.50
SEE - 4.30pm
Once you've soaked up enough of the view/burnt to a crisp in the midday sun, head down through Primose Hill, over into Chalk Farm and up to the Zabludowicz Collection. Housed in an old Methodist chapel, you can't miss its towering, grand entrance, but inside it's a much more contemporary affair with regular forward-thinking shows, multimedia projects and even a VR room in the upper pews.

Spend so far: £7.50
EAT - 5pm
As much as we'd love to say we've pegged some hidden gem, away from the market and run by a local character, unfortunately there are not many of those around anymore. So, instead, we're sending you to the street food hub in the heart of the market.

We're going for a katsu burger from Katsu House. The chicken is succulent and crispy, the curry sauce rich and flavoursome, and the pickled cabbage brings a welcome hit of sharpness. All in all, very tasty - and only £6.50.


Spend so far: £14
DRINK - 6pm
There's no shortness of places to get a drink in Camden - from perfectly trashy bars to pubs with more history than us and your mum. However our favourite for this time of day is The Lock Tav' - mainly because of its big, sunny-and-shady walled garden.

We've got enough left to treat ourselves to a Five Points Pale, which is exactly what we're gonna do. We'd recommend kicking back till the sun goes down then heading inside for whatever gig is on in the intimate upstairs space.*

*any additional pints are not included in the budget.
Overall Spend: £19
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