Croydon is set to become a new tourist hot spot as the National Trust offer walking tours.
The east London borough has previously been nicknamed a ‘crap town’, but now the conservation organisation wants to celebrate Croydon’s “contemporary heritage”.
Walking tours are traditionally restricted to areas of natural beauty but the new tours of Croydon, called Edge City: Croydon, aim to highlight the boroughs brutalist architecture.
The tours will begin next Saturday and include the famous “50p” building No 1 Croydon that has a hexagonal shape, as well as Lunar house which boasts “space-age design” that Croydon is well known for.
Visitors will also be given access to Fairfield Halls, which has hosted numerous big names such as The Who and the Beatles.
Joseph Watson, London creative director for the National Trust said that Croydon had an extraordinary selection of buildings which were a “vision of the future” when they were first built.
“We wanted to explore why Croydon has that reputation and understand its history”, he added.
“There was a huge post-war construction boom and a grand ambition to create London’s third city, but it didn’t really come off. It shows how quickly tastes and architectural fashions change and the occasionally dystopian outcomes of utopian visions.”
Many famous people such as Kate Moss and Tracey Emin have lived in Croydon but the area often features in lists of the worst places to live.
The walking tours are part of a borough wide £5.2 billion regeneration plan to transform Croydon’s tech City into a new south London Silicon Valley.
More information on the tours and where to book tickets can be found here.