Serving the famous market and a whole host of pubs, clubs and bars, Camden Town is one of those tube stations that always feels busy. It first opened on 22nd June 1907 on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway as the point in which the line split into two branches, Hampstead and Highgate. In 1924, a link was built to connect it to the City and South London Railway(now Bank branch of Northern Line). The station becomes exit only during the afternoon at weekends as a result of the swarms of people heading for the market. Architecture wise, it’s another Leslie Green ox-blood red design.
In recent years, there has been talk of splitting the Northern Line into two branches, with all Edgware trains going via Charing Cross, all High Barnet via Bank). Doing this would cause interchanges at Camden to increase significantly and therefore necessitate rebuilding the station. Previous plans to redevelop the station involved demolition of the historic ‘Electric Ballroom’. Camden Council strongly opposed the proposals and combined with a high profile community campaign with plenty of famous faces, the plans were defeated. The split is still on the agenda(albeit several years down the line) so stay vigilant, folks!
The Pub: The Old Eagle, 251 Royal College Street, NW1 9LU
Camden Town is blessed with a wide variety of pubs in every direction from the tube station. However having so many pubs to choose from is a challenge in itself so I did my research before picking! I went for The Old Eagle on Royal College Street. It’s set away slightly from the bustle around the high street. To reach it, head down Camden Road(passing the big Sainsburies) until you reach Camden Road overground, then turn north onto Royal College Street where the pub is a couple of minutes up the road.
The Old Eagle is a real treasure trove of a pub – there are so many trinkets dotted around the place! There are musical instruments hanging from the ceiling by the front windows and ballet shoes near the conservatory/garden area. Continuing on the musical theme, there is a bust of Beethoven behind a bar that is illuminated by rather impressive lamps. There is even a (presumably old) Eagle painted on the conservatory roof looking down at you!
Drinks wise, there was the solitary ale on tap on our visit – Wainwright – but as I’m a big fan that posed no problems. On the food front, the pub is renowned for its Thai dishes which plenty of people were enjoying on our visit. As you might expect from a Camden pub, The Old Eagle regularly hosts live music. There is also a fair sized garden/patio area at the back of the pub. We managed to find ourselves seats on one of the comfy sofas.
I was really taken with The Old Eagle. It’s one of those gems you find slightly off the beaten track and wish you’d discovered years ago. Next time you visit Camden, check this place out. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
(the pub has no website)