Croydon Area Guide

With aspirations of becoming ‘London’s third city’, regeneration is the talk of the town in Croydon. Located in South East London a mere 20 minutes away from central London via the regular fast train from East Croydon station, Croydon is the ongoing beneficiary of £5.25bn in local investment. It’s a borough with a big future and it is more than ready to shake off its reputation as a drab concrete suburb famed for little other than its brutalist architecture.

Thousands of new homes, shops, restaurants, transport links, and leisure facilities have totally transformed the area into an exciting, modern neighbourhood popular with city workers and young families. The purple and red Saffron Square Tower (a now-iconic feature of the Croydon skyline) is typical of the type of property developers have introduced into the area; modern, high specification, and located within developments offering an abundance of additional lifestyle amenities.

Prominent new arrivals also include the trendy Croydon Boxpark venue and the forthcoming £1.4bn Westfield shopping centre. Boxpark, which also has locations in Shoreditch and Wembley, is a pop-up street food venue built out of used shipping containers and boasting an impressive range of international cuisine. Westfield Croydon, as with its counterparts and their impact in Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford, is set to establish the area as the go-to shopping destination in South London.

Boxpark Croydon

Transport

Croydon is without parallel among London’s suburbs when it comes to quality of transport links. Though it is located in Zone 5, residents can reach Central London in a little over 15 minutes from East Croydon station and 30 minutes from West Croydon station.

  • East Croydon station

The train service from East Croydon travels to London Bridge and Victoria in 17 minutes and Blackfriars station in roughly 30 minutes.

For international travellers, Gatwick airport can be reached by train from East Croydon in only 15 minutes.

  • West Croydon station

The Victoria and London Bridge trains also run from West Croydon station and arrive at their destination in between 25 - 35 minutes.

TfL Overground services operate from West Croydon and commuters can reach Shoreditch High Street station in an average journey time of 38 minutes.

  • Tramlink

A fast, reliable tram service operates routes throughout central Croydon and connects the borough to neighbouring Wimbledon, Beckenham, Elmers End, and New Addington.

Food & Drink

A firm favourite among locals, this award-winning curry house specialises in regional Pakistani cuisine. Motivated by their despair at the lack of authentic mughlai cuisine on offer at London’s many South Asian restaurants, in 2007 the proprietors set up shop in Croydon to bring the flavours of Pakistan to South London. Diners can dig in to both regional specialities and familiar curry house favourites (with a Pakistani twist). We recommend trying their signature Lamb Nihari, a slow-cooked curry with lamb shank that falls off the bone!

Karachi Cuisine - Lamb Nihari 

Aiming to bring ‘a touch a class and something different to the heart of Croydon’, Basil & Grape is an Italian restaurant and wine bar offering great food and a selection of Italy’s finest labels. Its stunning, rustic wooden interior is the perfect setting to enjoy a platter of imported Italian meats and cheeses with a bottle of wine expertly paired to your meal by dedicated staff. We recommend gathering a few friends and visiting on a Wednesday evening, where the restaurant will give you a free bottle of wine for every £30 you spend!

Basil & Grape 

This cosy Vietnamese restaurant is popular with locals for its hearty, fragrant noodle soups and curries. All of their food is made with locally sourced produce wherever possible (including vegetables grown in-house during the summer months) and their BYOB policy is particularly popular with weekend revellers looking for a great night out on a budget. We recommend the Banh Canh noodle soup (washed down with a pint of off-licence pilsner)!

Thanh's Bistro

Leisure

Having recently reopened following a multi-million pound refurbishment, Fairfield Halls is the largest arts centre in South London. The venue offers a huge programme of events in any given season with music, theatre, comedy, dance, and art exhibitions all regularly on offer for locals to enjoy. Get involved and check out one Fairfield’s many popular free lunchtime concerts for your weekly culture fix.

Fairfield Halls

The Museum of Croydon tells the stories of the lives of town residents dating from the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons through to the present day. With its collections, archives, and innovative exhibitions (often led by local artists), the museum helps visitors to conserve, celebrate and interpret Croydon’s rich cultural heritage. Its permanent exhibition provides a truly exceptional interactive learning experience with its display of diverse materials and stories, including a classic Trojan Bubble Car and the Bones of Croydon.

Museum of Croydon

One of the biggest perks of living in Croydon is the abundance of open green space. While honorable mentions go to Croham Woods and Addington Hills, we recommend Wandle Park if you’re looking for the perfect place to walk the dog, enjoy a picnic, or simply find some respite after a busy week. It includes plenty of amenities for families, an old fashioned bandstand, ornamental gardens, and beautiful vistas along the banks of the river Wandle (which runs through the centre of the park).

Is It For You?

If you are looking for a modern flat in a neighbourhood in a trendy up-and-coming neighbourhood then Croydon is the place for you. The town has an incredibly bright future ahead, with further investment set to attract even more exciting businesses and opportunities to the area. Now is the perfect time to relocate and become part of this rapidly growing community. We’ll see you in Boxpark soon!

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Jess Brookes

Content & Research Executive at Home Made