Enjoy a summer staycation in Croydon

South Norwood Lakes

South Norwood Lakes Pic: Christine McIntosh

If you live in Croydon you will find plenty to do on a staycation this summer.  The borough has a wide selection of activities, whether you fancy orienteering in Lloyd park, painting your own pottery in Purley or taking on the challenge of eating the ‘Beast’ burger.   You can visit these places in one fun filled day, or spread them out over a weekend or longer – the choice is yours.

We’ve chosen activities to suit families, couples and groups of friends, just make your choice from the tabs below.  Use the map to find how to get to each place, red stars show the activities we would recommend for families, green for couples and blue for friends.

You can get involved by joining the conversation on Twitter.  Tweet us your ideas for a staycation by using the hashtag #ellstayation.

Breakfast in Café Lloyd, Lloyd park Croydon will get your staycation off to a great start.  Owned by the same people who run the popular Coach House Café, it serves all day breakfasts so no need to rush if the kids want a lie in.  It has free wifi access and three hours of free parking nearby.


Once you have finished your breakfast the recently modernised Lloyd park has many activities for all the family within its 114 acres.  Why not bring a compass and have a go at the Orienteering course set up by the Dartford Orienteering Klub.  Orienteers try to find the quickest route between control points, using a special map and a compass.  The permanent course in Lloyd park is marked by posts in the ground and is a fun way of exploring the park.  You will need to print the map before you go.

If the weather isn’t good enough for a picnic, Kidplay café on Lower Addiscombe Road is a good choice for those with under fives.  The menu includes jacket potatoes, soup and Panini with a separate menu available for children.  The toys and soft play equipment will keep your children amused while you enjoy your meal.

Dragon Quest Adventure Golf at World of Golf gives competitive families a chance to test their putting abilities over 18 holes.  Can you get the golf ball past the fire breathing dragons for a hole in one?

Lazzaris Café and Ristorante is a family friendly Italian restaurant serving homemade food.  Enjoy a variety of pizza and pasta dishes and make sure you save enough space for a chocolate sundae – they come highly recommended!

For a taste of romantic Paris, look no further than Brasserie Vacherin in South End.  The Brasserie serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as drinks and cocktails.  The breakfast menu varies, but usually offers options such as eggs benedict, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, or a traditional English breakfast for those in a less continental mood.

After breakfast why not indulge your creative side by decorating a piece of pottery at Get Fired in Purley.  Choose from mugs, plates, vases and more, then get artistic with the paints provided.  Your masterpiece will then be fired and ready for you to collect in a week.

The Borough of Croydon has a large choice of open spaces for you to enjoy.  Originally a reservoir for the Croydon Canal, South Norwood Lake and Grounds has 28 and a half acres of parkland and is a good choice for a picnic.  While eating see if you can spot any of the aquatic birds that live in the park, such as great crested grebes, herons and ring-necked parakeets.

After getting back to nature, treat yourself to a quintessentially English afternoon tea at the Croydon Park hotel.  Choose from three packages all costing less than £18 per person and including sandwiches, cakes and tea.

To finish off your staycation in style take your partner to the Cote D’Azur restaurant in South Croydon.  It is ranked fourth of restaurants in Croydon on review website TripAdvisor and serves a fusion of French and Mauritian food.  Starters include king prawns in batter, or crab samousa and choose from mains such as oven roast Muscovy duck breast a l’orange or slow cooked shoulder of lamb.

The Coach House café in the heart of Coombe Wood welcomes large groups, making it a good choice for breakfast with your friends.  If the weather is good you can enjoy your meal outside in the converted stable yard.  All eggs used are free range, and the meats come from the local butcher.  All sizes of appetite are catered for, with a Full English, Small English, and Even Smaller English among the choices on the menu.

After lunch, grab your tennis racquets and head to South Norwood Lake and Grounds.  There are over 28 acres of parkland to explore, as well as a basketball court, cricket wickets and tennis courts.  In the late 19th century Norwood Sports Club was based on the site of the current park, and became the worlds largest tennis club, with 54 grass courts.  The current tennis courts are open to the public for a small fee that will be collected from you after you start playing.


The Glamorgan on Cherry Orchard Road is described on its website as: “One of Croydon’s best kept secrets.”   The food menu offers something for everyone, from sharing tapas, to lighter meals and mains such as fish and chips.  You can sit in the beer garden if it is a sunny day and get into the holiday spirit by choosing from the varied wine list.

Are you or your friends up to the challenge of the Beast burger at Blacks Burgers Purley?  Win a place on the wall of fame and your meal for free if you can finish a seven-pound burger, with cheese, seven rashers of bacon, a whole lettuce, seven tomatoes, skinny fries and a milkshake in an hour!  If you don’t feel up to the challenge alone, you and up to three of your friends can attempt it together.  Although groups do not get their money back if they complete the challenge, you will still win a place on the wall of fame.  For those with smaller appetites, Blacks Burgers also serves normal sized beef, chicken, lamb or veggie burgers.

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