Croydon may not be London’s most obvious visitor destination but there are plenty of exciting attractions to make a trip to the borough well worth your while.
And, with a £5billion regeneration plan on the way, things can only get better for one of the biggest boroughs in the capital.
1. The BRIT school
You may not have thought a school would have made this list at all, let alone be first, but this is no ordinary institute. The BRIT is a famed performing arts and technology school and it is selective in its intake. It boasts numerous famous alumni including Adele, Katy B, Amy Winehouse, Rizzle Kicks, Leona Lewis, Jessie J and spider-man himself Tom Holland.
2. Valley Park retail and leisure complex
This out-of-town destination is split into two sections; the retail park, which boasts a huge collection of superstores, and the leisure complex, which includes a Vue cinema, a 25-lane bowling alley complete with games arcade, a gym as well as a plethora of restaurants.
3. Whitgift and Centrale shopping centre
Croydon has the 13th largest shopping population in the UK. The Whitgift Centre is the third largest shopping mall in London behind the two Westfields. The Whitgift and Centrale are soon to be combined and turned into a Westfields themselves, which would make them the second biggest shopping centre in the UK.
Still unsure about Croydon? Keep reading!
4. Selhurst Park
Home of Premier League club Crystal Palace for nearly 100 years, Selhurst Park is the local team venue for many Croydon residents. Funnily enough the stadium isn’t in Crystal Palace or Selhurst but South Norwood. I guess the name South Norwood Park doesn’t sound quite as good.
5. New apartment buildings
Since ‘Vision 2020’ started, apartment skyscrapers began popping up all over the Croydon skyline, mainly in the East area of the borough. These developments not only allow for more homes but create an exciting new city quarter, dubbed Croydon’s ‘front door.’ Perhaps the most impressive is Saffron Square, the tallest building development in the borough.
6. South Norwood lake and grounds
This beautiful sight in the north of the borough used to be a reservoir for the Croydon canal way back in the 1800s. Today the lake is home to local anglers who fish for carp and perch. They share the water with the Croydon Sailing Club.
The lake has a variety of aquatic birds including herons. If you don’t like fish or boats, the grounds next to the lake holds tennis and basketball courts as well as football and cricket pitches.
Boxpark has basically turned Croydon into a new vibrant version of Shoreditch. Since its opening last October, Boxpark Croydon has quickly become the main attraction in the borough for its street food and events, with the likes of grime rapper, Stormzy making headline performances.
You are positioned perfectly in Croydon for daily commutes into London or for unwinding at the weekend by heading to the coast. You could be wading through crowded platforms at London Victoria within 20 minutes or relaxing on Brighton beach in under 45 minutes. If England’s beaches don’t suit you, you can get to Gatwick Airport in 16 minutes and fly away to your favourite destinations.
More locally, West Croydon bus station has been refurbished while East Croydon bus station is currently being done up.
Croydon is the only place in London to have trams. Unique.
10. Addington Palace
Parties, golf, weddings, beauty and fitness all in one magnificent mansion fit for royalty. The venue, perched on Gravel Hill, is used extensively for weddings. Not surprising really, considering the setting.
The Palace offers the epitome of relaxation and indulgence with beauty treatments, pamper days and a floatation tank. There is a gym with a ‘cardio theatre’ to make burning calories more enjoyable and, if that’s not to your taste, Addington Palace golf club makes use of the courses on the palace’s exterior. Though that may not be to your taste either, in which case, just enjoy the view.
Everywhere to visit in Croydon!