Six reasons why Camden is the most overrated area for student living

Don’t choose it just because you like Amy Winehouse


Camden never fails to be a popular choice for out of halls living. It’s close to several unis, lots of the flats are relatively cheap, and there’s so much to do around – it should have the makings of a vibrant student area, right?

Sure. If your ideal uni life includes a bunch of shops selling knock-off Fjällräven Kånkens, groups of school children flooding the streets every day of the week, and a vaguely dodgy McDonalds.

And that is not all. The London Tab compiled a list of six reasons why Camden is the most overrated place to live as a student and why you might want to consider living elsewhere.

The Ice Wharf isn’t one of the better London Spoons

While maybe not the most important reason in the world, Wetherspoons is a nationwide student essential, and a pint at the Ice Wharf simply isn’t worth it.

The place is constantly teeming with people – students, tourists, and other residents alike seem to flock there. So unless you enjoy waiting in line, making awkward small talk with a friend of a friend you don’t really know, or dodging clueless tourists marvelling at an “authentic British pub,” you’re better off somewhere else.

Be prepared to drown in a sea of tourists

London students generally know how to deal with their fair share of tourists. The tourists in Camden, however, always seem to be worse. 

There’s barely any pavement space as it is, and the 28 million visitors a year do make it seem that much smaller. You might not think it’s that big of a deal now, but just wait until you’re running late to a lecture and trying to squeeze your way past hordes of tourists congesting the streets on a weekday morning – not pretty.

It stops being a cool place after a few hours

It’s undeniable that Camden’s cemented place in London’s music scene creates a trendy image that attracts tonnes of tourists and students alike. It’s the home of Amy Winehouse, where Blur was signed, and a player in the punk movement – but it seems far from that now. 

Most of the businesses around try their best to suck in social media creators with tourist traps that are amusing for about 15 minutes (mutant croissants are just the start). Pretty soon after that, your disillusionment with Camden will kick in, and you might find yourself wondering why you thought it was so incredible in the first place.

The nightlife is seriously lacking

Camden does have one or two good clubs nearby, but other than that there’s not really much choice for a good night out. Whilst there’s also a decent selection of pubs, these tend to be rather extortionate and offensive to your student budget. You’ll find yourself avoiding Camden nightlife in favour of better clubs, preferring to wait an hour for the next night bus back from Ministry rather than going somewhere local.

Camden Market is the embodiment of chaotic evil

Don’t you just love overpriced food and clothes stalls selling tacky, poorly printed Breaking Bad shirts?

Seriously though, Camden Market is the epitome of overhyped. It combines a lot of the terrible aspects we’ve listed above into one tightly wrapped package. Busy lanes, aggressive selling techniques, and the sheer amount of rubbish mean the urge to avoid it is generally stronger than the desire to go.

It’s not that safe

Living in Camden comes hand in hand with a high crime rate. Most student residents here have experienced, known a friend who has, or heard through the grapevine of stories about getting mugged outside the Tube station or watching a drug dealer get arrested outside their kitchen window. It seems like a rite of passage for students in Camden to have an anecdote like this, making it just that bit more unattractive.

Some people love the hustle and bustle of Camden, and, at times, it has its advantages. It’s easy to get to major train stations and many places north of the Thames with the area’s good transport links and location in Zone 2, and its popularity with students means there’ll always be someone around.

But do your research. If the cons outweigh the pros of Camden for you, there are many areas nearby with good reputations amongst students.

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