With a great alternative & arts scene, moving to Croydon is an increasingly attractive choice for those hoping to avoid higher central London prices.
Croydon has the largest population of all the Boroughs in London, and with Croydon Town acting as the heart of the borough; it could almost be a city in itself. The area has always been a leader in financial, business and cultural sectors and is considered to be very well balanced with great living and working opportunities mixed with a bustling town centre and many green open areas.
On a Map
Croydon is within the London Borough of Croydon.
History of Croydon
The Borough of Croydon formed in 1965 and the name derives from Saxon times, meaning “valley of the crocuses!” - Crocuses are a plant in the iris family, for those wondering!
As mentioned above, Croydon has always been a leader in financial and business sectors; this dates back to when the area boasted the city’s first and only airport of its time. The now defunct airport is a Grade II listed building and a tourist attraction.
Looking forward, Croydon has a large regeneration plan running. The plans aim to make the area London’s “third city” by 2020 and are pumping £3.5 billion into major “master plans” in East, West and Mid Croydon as well as Fairfield and Oldtown. Youth Clubs, a disability college and four-star restaurants are three major aims.
Moving to Croydon
There are loads of areas to choose from when you’re looking to move to Croydon, some good areas include; Addington Village, Caterham, Crystal Palace (also in the borough of Southwark, Bromley, Lewisham and Lambeth), Forestdale, Purley, Sanderstead and Seldon.
Croydon acts as a gateway from South London to Central London and has many major roads running through it, including Purely Way – great for commuters. The Borough has so many great opportunities of its own that you don’t have to see it only as a commuter choice for London (despite the fact it is), but also a great place to live and work.
Most of the property and buildings in Croydon dates between post-war and present day, although in the North and South corridors you’ll find plenty of Victorian buildings. Considering all the things mentioned above, Croydon is very affordable.
In 2015, the average rental price for a home in Croydon was £1,200 per month.
The Brighton Mainline rail links Croydon with Sussex, Kent and Surrey to the South, and Central London to the north. The M25, M23 and A23 roads link Croydon with many key areas, including; Central London, Gatwick, Crawley and East Sussex.
There is also a massive public transport infrastructure running throughout Croydon with regular routes on train, tram and busses.
Restaurants and Bars
Having earned a place in the Michelin and Harden’s Food Guides, Albert’s table can arguably take the mantel of being Croydon’s top restaurant. Based in South Croydon’s restaurant quarter, it has plenty of competition but has stuck to its guns of serving high-end British cuisine. They attempt to sculpt their menu around the vast array of ingredients from Surrey, Kent and Sussex and enjoy serving innovative versions of Britain’s most familiar dishes.
Address: 49C Southend, Croydon, CR0 1BF
Telephone: 020 8680 2010
Chennai Dosa has been described as an authentic place to eat South Indian cuisine, especially if you’re feeling far away from home. The prices are very reasonable and you can expect a fast service here. If you like food with a kick, you'll be a fan.
Address: 239-241 London Road, Croydon, CR0 2R
Telephone: 020 8665 9192
You can find some fantastic, authentic Vietnamese restaurants all over London, and Croydon is by no means an exception. The self-proclaimed best Vietnamese restaurant in Croydon scores highly on Trip Advisor, where most agree with its own review. Everything is cooked to order with no microwaves in sight. Thanh's offers great value for money and is also BYOB, charging £1 corkage.
Address: 56 Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon CR0 6AA
Telephone: 020 8405 4308
I’m an absolute sucker for a good burger, American rockabilly music and a well-executed Yankee diner, step forward Cadillac Diner. Sitting on Wickham Road, this place captures the American spirit from the moment you step inside the swing door. The food is all things American, with dishes taken from New York, Chicago and Texas. The prices are good too... this place rock's and you’ll be rolling out of here with a swing in your step (unless you've eaten too many chicken wings)!
Address: 147 Wickham Road, Croydon CR0 8TE
Telephone: 020 8656 9898
Nineteen at Farleigh ticks a number of English eating standards; light lunches – check, afternoon tea – check, Sunday Roasts – check. One of the many things that sets it apart from others of its kind is the setting amidst a 350 acre golf course! Don’t be put off by connotations to golf clubs of old, they welcome everyone here, and even have a ‘little ones’ afternoon tea option for kids. Cute!
Address: Farleigh Golf Club, Farleigh Common, Farleigh, UK CR6 9PE
Telephone: 01883 627733
Little Bay in Croydon is a tucked away tiny little gem of a restaurant offering modern European cuisine at good prices. The décor here transports diners to another place (excentric cabin in the woods or the inside of a galley ship) with its vibrant colours and quirky pieces. It may be tucked away but it certainly isn’t a secret, we recommend booking in advance!
Address: 32 Selsdon Road, South Croydon CR2 6PB
Telephone: 020 8649 9544
A quick visit to trip advisor tells you all you need to know about Smoothbean! in an instant – review after review stating that it’s the best coffee in Croydon. Visit the website and you only have to look at photos of the coffee to tell how great it is.
It doesn’t just trade in coffee beans though; they also offer juice, smoothies and the English staple – tea. They provide WiFi, so why not use this place to get out the house or the office to do some work and enjoy some proper coffee in East Croydon!
Address: 2-3 Dingwall Road, Croydon CR0 2NA
Telephone: 020 3754 2412
Things to do in Croydon
The Museum of Croydon can be found in one of our other main attractions in the area (the Clocktower) but deserves its own listing. This is an arts facility and hosts music, theatre and art and also acts as a great tool for discovering the history of Croydon, dating back to 1800.
2,000 prints and paintings of Croydon life by locally, nationally and internationally recognised artists portray the history of the area. If you’re a Crystal Palace FC fan, there’s Eagles memorabilia that any football fan, let alone Palace fans, will enjoy perusing.
Address: Level 1, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET
Telephone: 020 8253 1022
What better way to forget that you’re in the big smoke than heading to Crystal Palace Park Farm and enjoying the truly bizarre but very cute alpacas? The most amusing animals aren’t the only thing you’ll find at this community-led project. There’s also goats, Shetland ponies, kune pigs and a reptile room.
Animal handling is a possibility if there's a handler available, sadly there is no café here yet, but the park that surrounds the area is perfect for a picnic.
Address: Ledrington Road, London SE19 2BS
Telephone: 020 8659 2557
As mentioned before, Croydon could be its own city and what kind of city wouldn’t have a massive shopping centre? Whitgift Shopping Centre has over 140 shops and restaurants to choose from, including many of everybody’s favourite high street stores and some great independent retailors too. Sometimes locals like to hang out in here but why not? You could easily say the same for London's Westfield's.
Address: Unit 2150, Whitgift Centre, Croydon, Surrey CR0 1LP
Telephone: 020 8688 8522
The Croydon Clocktower is an arts and museum complex often described as the jewel in the crown of Croydon. It is often the backdrop to the city’s skyline. The building houses the Museum of Croydon, the David Lean Cinema, a café and a bar and is also attached to the library. It's owned by the council but parts of it can be hired for entertainment purposes.
Address: Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET
Telephone: 020 8523 1030
The 125 acres of South Norwood Country Park are home to many things to entertain the family such as lakes, a playground, pitch and putt, a visitor’s centre, a cycle path and beautiful wild flower meadows.
The centre is great for schools or parents who like to keep the learning going out of school hours!
Address: Albert Road, London SE25 4NF
Telephone: 020 8726 6900
If we've missed anything out about Croydon then let us know in the comments.