There’s a lot more to the borough of Croydon than first meets the eye. Located in South London, nine miles south of Charing Cross, this Metropolitan hub with its ‘Manhattan skyline’ has 120 parks and open spaces and a wealth of heritage sites to discover.
Amongst the shops in the town centre, nestles the Whitgift Almhouses built in 1596 for the medieval sick and opened by John Whitgift. The town hall in Katherine street, built in 1895 now houses a state-of-the-art library and learning centre. Addington, located just outside the centre, has its own palace – a stunning mansion that predates the Domesday book and now hosts weddings and conferences.
A modern tram system will take you to one of the many green spaces in the borough. Lloyd Park is on route 3 and is a vast area of parkland, mature trees and woodland with activities such as horse riding and lacrosse to enjoy. Fairfield gardens lies between the Fairfield entertainment centre and technical college and provides relief from the busy streets. The entertainment centre attracts a lot of big names: Tom Jones, Derren Brown and Diane Warrick have all performed.
Second only to Docklands and the city, Croydon has the largest amount of office buildings in London and giants such as Nestle are based in the town centre. Shopping has gone from strength to strength and Croydon is now one of the largest retail spaces outside of central London. Two shopping centres, the Whitgift shopping centre and Centrale, combine with a range of superstores on Purley Way to provide an exciting range of fashion and lifestyle brands - a calmer alternative to Oxford Street. Laden with shopping bags, you can flop into one of the numerous cafes of enjoy cuisine ranging from American to Turkish.
Above all, Croydon is an ideal base for exploring London and South East England with excellent public transport and road links. East Croydon station is a major hub in the urban transport system and you can reach central London in just 20 minutes and Brighton in under an hour.