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Croydon is one of South London’s worst kept secrets. It is home to some of the city’s most memorable street art, Selhurst Park and the legendary Stormzy. You can even follow in the steps of Peep Show’s Mark and Jeremy, all while you wander through the eclectic markets and get your fill of the place.
But more than all those incredible things, Croydon is a vibrant, buzzing town that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Whether you’re reconnecting with nature in Lloyd Park or enjoying a family day out, this tiny slice of London should be on your radar.
Ready to make the most of your Croydon retreat? Here are 10 worthwhile sights and attractions not to be missed:
If you haven’t experienced a fully immersive live Escape Room yet, well, look no further. Croydon’s Exciting Escapes offers five unique games that will challenge you and push you to the limits. With 60 minutes on the clock, you and your team must solve puzzles, crack codes and make your escape before it’s too late!
From the authentic props to the thrill of the story, this is an experience that will stay with you. Where will your adventure take you?
Step back in time and unmask a covert Cold War operation. Uncover the dark secrets of an abandoned government medical facility. Or step into an innocent-looking music shop and prevent an underground spy ring before your time is up!
Think foodie paradise meets a “modern-day Convent Garden Piazza for the 21st Century”, and you’ve got Croydon’s Boxpark in a nutshell. Home to an eclectic range of delicious global cuisine all under one roof, set in a multitude of shipping containers, that’s just one of the many reasons to visit.
Then there is the jam-packed entertainment calendar that will make you come back again and again throughout the year, including creative workshops, spoken word and comedy nights, indoor markets, and so much more.
If you’re lucky, you might catch live performances from some of the areas biggest names, such as Stormzy, Shift K3Y and Tim Westwood. So keep your eyes peeled!
Croydon’s Fairfield Halls is South London’s largest arts centre. There you can get lost in compelling plays and musicals at the Ashcroft Playhouse or take in one of the many seasonal spectacular pantomimes at the Phoenix Concert Hall.
With a huge program of shows on offer, including comedy, dance, to world-class concerts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. What’s more, you can enjoy a free lunchtime concert or talk in the Arnhem Foyer if you find yourself with a spare afternoon.
Croydon Airport Visitor Centre
This hidden gem is one of Croydon’s best surprise attractions.
The micro-museum is home to a series of interactive displays that tell the story of Britain’s first major international airport. Featuring accounts from the Battle of Britain, WWI, Imperial Airways and celebrating record-breaking flights by the likes of Amy Johnson, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail on display.
Open the first Sunday of each month, Croydon Airport Visitor Centre is the perfect retreat for a rainy afternoon.
Croydon’s Brutalist Architecture
While it has been described as “New York built in Poland” and like “Alphaville” from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 dystopian film of the same name, there is something strangely beautiful and mesmerising about some of the borough’s brutalist architecture.
Walking around Saffron Square on Wellesely Road will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the 1960s impression of the future!
If you like good coffee, artisan pizza and playing board games, then you’re in for a treat at The Ludoquist. While there you can play all the modern classics from Catan to King of Tokyo, or for the RPGers out there, there is a series of games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Call of Cthulhu to while away the hours.
So sit back, relax and enjoy good food, company and more as you battle it out on the gaming floor!
Museum of Croydon
Celebrating Croydon’s diverse and multicultural communities, this museum strives to represent every aspect of the town. With an aim to challenge perceptions and showcase a variety of collections of what Croydon represents as a place, a culture and identity in itself, you’ll leave the museum with a new sense of why this borough is so vital to the community and the country as a whole.
Centrale & Whitgift
Fancy a spot of retail therapy all under one roof? Well, it’s time you head down to Centrale & Whitgift – Croydon’s premier shopping centre.
Whether you want to refresh your wardrobe, get active at Croydon’s biggest and best Indoor Activity Centre or enjoy one of the many seasonal workshops and exhibitions, then you won’t be disappointed.
With over 60 big brand shops to explore, numerous culinary delights and an events diary that continues to pull out all the stops, make the most of your weekend away and nip down to Centrale & Whitgift.
Reconnect with nature
Surprisingly, Croydon has acres and acres of unspoiled green space. Whether you head down to Wandle Park to burn off some energy with the kids or have a wander through historical Croham Hurst Woods, there are plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature.
Take a picnic down to Miller’s Pond, have a stroll around Addington Hills for a panoramic view of the city or discover the rich wildlife hidden in Littlehearth Woods.
No matter where you go in Croydon, you’re never far from a beautiful park or woodland to lose yourself in for a few hours. That’s what winter mornings and springtime afternoons are made for!
Standing in its current condition since 1854, Shirley Windmill is one of only four windmills open to the general public in Greater London. There you can experience what it was like for 19th-century workers and see one of the last remaining industrial archaeological mills in action.
Are you ready to experience the fantastic sights and attractions Croydon has to offer? Where will you visit first?