7 Ways to See Camden Through Someone Else’s Eyes

Guest blog post from VoiceMap

7 Ways to See Camden Through Someone Else’s Eyes

London is filled with stories. If you stop and listen, they start to rise like smoke from within its many-layered landmarks; they peer at you from behind pillars, and beg to be heard in hallways and on high streets. But how do you find the city’s stories? You open VoiceMap’s storytelling app and there they are, just waiting for a listener.

VoiceMap’s app for iPhone and Android devices has exactly 32 London audio stories to listen to while you walk. Each audio walk is created by a local storyteller, who shares perspectives and lets you in on little secrets about a neighbourhood they love. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, of all London’s 32 boroughs, most of these 32 audio story-walks took life in Camden. Each is a slice of the diversity and creativity of this borough, with its own distinct voice, route, and personality.

Whether you’re a foodie, a music-lover, a literary nut, or an amateur photographer, one of these storytellers will pique your curiosity about Camden, as if for the very first time.

 

1. A Cultural and Poetic Tour of Camden

If Camden makes you think of crowded markets and souvenir t-shirts, you need an afternoon with Keith Jarrett, a born-and-raised Londoner who is ever-fascinated by this changing city. He’ll take you on a wander through Camden’s lesser-known past and present, from old graveyards to modern street art, and even treat you to a bit of original poetry!

Price: £4.49

Distance: 4 km

Walking Time: Allow 90 minutes, to include a stop or two. 

Starts at: Camden Road Station, outside the Grand Union pub.

Get it here.

 

2. London’s Alternative History Tour

Joey Leskin is charming, funny, and has a knack for telling a good story. His audio walk weaves in and out of Camden, taking you to some of London’s best-known areas – but it’s the wacky “alternative” histories that he chooses to share. How did the Americans steal coffee from the British, and where was London’s most notorious 18th century brothel? Joey knows.

Price: £1.49 

Distance: 2 km

Walking Time: Around 30 minutes, with more time to make a few stops.

Starts at: Outside the Apple Store (Covent Garden Tube)

Get it here.

 

3. Charles Dickens from Furnival’s Inn to Doughty Street

Charles Dickens walk
Charles Dickens' great great great granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley takes you on an audio walk to the author's former home, now the Charles Dickens Musuem 

Exploring Dickens’ old London neighbourhood with his great great great granddaughter’s voice in your ear is the next best thing to taking a walk with the author himself. Lucinda Hawksley guides you through the same streets that inspired many of Dickens’ novels, and past the homes where he lived – in poverty and later, affluence. You’ll also find out what made him such a passionate writer and how strongly his work was shaped by his childhood.

Price: £3.99

Distance: 3 km

Walking Time: Allow at least an hour

Starts at: Outside Chancery Lane station, at the junction of Gray’s Inn Road and High Holborn (North side)

Get it here.

 

4. Camden Town: People Watching and Pigging Out

Camden Town walk
Maame Blue leads you through the heart of Camden Town on an audio walk peppered with people-watching and "pigging out"

Nowhere else brings good food and great people together better than Camden Town, says Maame Blue, who also believes there’s nowhere more inspiring than London. She gives you a glimpse of the borough’s weird and wonderful residents on this inner-city meander, with plenty of street food stops en route.

Price: £2.99

Distance: 2 km

Walking Time: It’s a fairly short walk, but an hour will give you some time for people-watching and a snack or two.

Starts at:

Outside Camden Town tube station, across the road from Barclays Bank

Get it here.

 

5. ‘Such Friends’: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

Writer Virginia Woolf and her ‘Such Friends’ called Bloomsbury their home in the early 20th century when the ‘Bloomsbury group’ was just taking shape, and their careers were beginning. Passionate Virginia Woolf fan, Kathleen Dixon Donnelly, shows you the houses where they “lived in squares and loved in triangles”, and the streets where they strolled from one Thursday evening salon to another for whisky, buns and cocoa – “Talking, talking, talking… as if everything could be talked…”

Price: £1.49 

Distance: 1 km

Walking Time: Around 30 minutes

Starts at: The entrance to Gordon Square with the snack shop. 

Get it here.

 

6. Britpop Camden

Go on a nostalgia-fuelled jaunt around Britpop lalaland, circa 1995, with then-resident, Miranda Diboll. She’ll show you the old hangouts where, way-back-when, rock stars and wannabe rock stars used to line up at the bar, while a Britpop playlist sets the mood for this stroll back in time.

Price: £2.29

Distance: 4 km

Walking Time: 90 minutes 

Starts at: Caffe 43 in Pratt Street, five minutes’ walk from Camden Town tube station

Get it here.

 

7. Bustling Bloomsbury Street Photography Tour

For a complete change of pace, you can explore some of the most photogenic parts of the borough and its surrounds with an expert on hand (or on ear, rather) to help you take better photographs. You’ll follow the unexplored back streets of the West End while stopping to put tips into practice on this at-your-own-pace photography tour alternative. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it’s a new way of engaging with the world around you.

Price: £3.99

Distance: 2 km

Walking Time: Allow two hours 

Starts at: Tottenham Court Road tube station - Oxford Street exit

Get it here.

 

How VoiceMap works

After downloading VoiceMap’s app for iPhone or Android devices and choosing an audio walk, you can put your phone in your pocket and soak up your surroundings. A storyteller’s voice will guide you through a particular neighbourhood, while anecdotes, commentary and opinions play automatically at specific GPS locations. Walks can be taken at any time of day, at your own pace. VoiceMap works offline and doesn’t require any data.

Explore the full (and fast-growing) range of London audio walks here.

You can also use VoiceMap’s open platform to create audio tours, with free editorial support. Tours are then sold via the app at a price you set, with royalties paid on each download.

If you’re a business or destination marketer who’d like to offer free audio walks to enhance your visitors’ experience, please contact VoiceMap’s CEO, Iain Manley, for sponsored tour options: iain@voicemap.me