things to do in Croydon

10 Things to do in Croydon

Written by Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
17th September 2016 (Last updated on Tuesday 16th October 2018)

Croydon may not be the prettiest borough in South London, but it is the most populous and has a rich history in art and culture. This week, we have been looking at the 10 best things to do in Croydon to help battle boredom and explore your local area.

The area is one of the most affordable places in London to buy or rent and is now undergoing major regeneration across the whole borough. Alongside great transport links and a rapidly growing business sector, Croydon is fast becoming an appealing place to move to. This year alone, hundreds of people have used to help them find a removal company in Croydon and save up to 70% on their moving day costs.

Here are our top 10 things to do in Croydon

10. Theatre and Musical Performances at Fairfield Halls

Fairfield Halls has been around since the 1960s and housed many theatrical and musical performances in its time. The hall is a key venue for touring performances, which is great for those who want to see some of the best shows in the UK.

Unfortunately, Fairfield Halls are currently closed for refurbishment as of July 2016, but are set to reopen within the next two years.

9. Explore Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve

Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve is just one of more than 100 green and open spaces available to the public in Croydon. The wooded area has several nature trails that lead to ponds, open meadows and further woodland.

The trails are great for days out with the kids and have coffee shops and cafes nearby.

Other green spaces that are popular include the South Norwood Country Park and Crystal Palace Park just north of the borough.

8. Watch a Film at the Croydon Clocktower

While other cinemas are available throughout Croydon, there's nothing quite like watching a film at the David Lean Cinema, located in the Croydon Clocktower.

Opened in the 1990s, the cinema showcases a number of old and new films in its intimate 65-seat cinema. Free films are often available via the box office or online, while other prices may vary.

The Clocktower Café is open from 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday, with a live jazz band performing every Thursday between 12.15-2.15pm.

7. Visit the Museum of Croydon

Also situated in Croydon Clocktower, the Museum of Croydon is described as a lifetime museum showcasing the historical and cultural artefacts derived from the borough.

Such artefacts are categorised around the themes of home, community, love and life, work and play, trends and how Croydon has affected the world on an international scale.

Operated by Croydon Council, the museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30am-5pm.

6. Go Shopping at the Whitgift Centre

The Whitgift Centre is the main shopping centre in Croydon and home to some of the biggest shopping brands in the UK.

With more than 140 retailers under one roof, from fashion, home and beauty, to food, tech sport and more, the shopping centre is open 7 days a week and is close to all major transport links.

5. Meet Animals at Crystal Palace Park Farm

See how the animals live at Crystal Palace Park Farm just north of Croydon. Open Thursday to Tuesday from 12-4pm, you can freely explore the farm grounds, take courses, and take courses at the city farm.

With alpacas, goats, sheep, hens, Shetland ponies, kune pigs and a variety of reptiles under their care, alongside many other animals, Crystal Palace Park Farm offers a lot to see for a great -free- day out.

4. Night Out at the Spread Eagle Pub & Theatre

Croydon has a variety of pubs and bars throughout the borough, but none have been rated more highly than the Spread Eagle Pub & Theatre.

The Fuller's pub has a number of ales on tap, as well as ciders, spirits, lagers and a variety of wines to complement their posh pub grub on offer from the kitchen throughout the day.

Housed in a grade-II listed building, the in-house theatre showcases a variety of performances throughout the year, from stage shows, musical performances, and cinema screenings.

For more information, visit the Spread Eagle Pub & Theatre website.

3. Get Active at Monks Hill Sports Centre

Open from 6-11pm on weekdays and 8am-5pm on weekends, Monks Hill Sports Centre is a multipurpose facility with indoor sports halls used for football, basketball, netball, volleyball, cricket, gymnastics and more.

The centre also includes a floodlit AstroTurf, two floodlit 5-a-side AstroTurf, exercise studio, basketball court and community room.

2. Explore the Shirley Windmill

The Shirley Windmill is one of only four windmills remaining in Greater London today. Built in 1854, the brick structure stopped working in 1890, but the majority of machinery is still in place to be seen today.

Located 2 miles from East Croydon Station, the windmill is only open on specific days of the year to protect its structure and machinery, but is free to explore with donations welcomed.

1. Discover Croydon Airport's Museum

London Croydon Airport was the first major international airport constructed in the UK, acting as a crucial RAF base during both world wars. The airport was also the starting location for Amy Johnson, who became the first female pilot to fly solo to Australia in 1930.

It's rich history as the birth-place of major international flight in the UK makes Croydon Airport a must see attraction for anyone living in the area.

The museum is open for free on the first Sunday of each month from 11am-4pm.

Living in Croydon

If our list of top 10 things to do in Croydon has convinced you to move to the area you'll want to know a few things.

Living in Croydon is affordable and the property is mostly post-war and present day. You will also find Victorian properties in the North and South Corridors.

There are several residential areas to choose from, including:

  • Addington Village
  • Caterham
  • Forestdale
  • Purley
  • Sanderstead
  • Seldon

In 2015, the average rental price for a home in Croydon was £1,200 per month.


Travel in Croydon is very efficient, with the Brighton Mainline rail linking the area with Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Central London.

It's also near key areas, with the M25, M23 and A23 roads linking Croydon to Central London, Gatwick, Crawley and East Sussex.

The public transport is reliable, with regular bus, train and tram routes operating throughout the area.

Croydon's Development

There is also a huge regeneration project planned, aiming to transform it into London's ‘third city' by 2020. The plans involve pouring £3.5 billion into developing youth clubs, a disability college and 4 star restaurants.

Croydon is an up and coming area which has a lot to offer and isn't just a commuter town or gateway between south and central London. With several affordable residential areas to choose from, activities and parks perfect for families and young people, it's a great place to move to.

Croydon features in our ultimate guide to moving to London as one of the cheapest borough to purchase a house for first time buyers in 2018.

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