Things to do in London Borough of Croydon, Greater London
The London Borough of Croydon is the southernmost borough of London, lying to the south of The London Borough of Lambeth and west of The London Borough of Bromley. It is 10 miles (16 km) from the centre of the city.
Facts and Figures:
The Lomdon Borough of Croydon is the 5th largest borough in Greater London, covering an area of 8650 hectares (about 34 square miles). It has a population of over 330,000 and is one of the least densely populated boroughs in London.
As well as having the largest commercial centre in Britain, with 20 blue-chip companies and 13,000 businesses, it is balanced with more than 3,000 acres of parkland and green open space.
Croydon was home to London's first airport, built in 1915, but it was replaced by Heathrow in 1959. It also had the world's first horse-drawn railway. Known as the Surrey Iron Railway, it opened in 1803 and ran from Croydon to Wandsworth.
Croydon borough has a well-balanced mix of green parks, skyscrapers and shopping centres. Perhaps this is the reason it has become a popular venue for shooting Hollywood films, particularly in the districts of West Purley and Woodcote.
Its convenient location, just 20 minutes by train from London Victoria or Gatwick Airport and an hour from the seaside resort of Brighton, make it a popular place to live and commute. This upmarket area is home to several famous names including tennis star Greg Rusedski, pop legend Francis Rossi from Status Quo, presenter Sue Perkins and supermodel Kate Moss.
The historic town of Croydon is at the centre of the borough and boasts some of the best shopping outside the West End. The Whitgift Centre and the Drummond Centre are two of the most popular shopping venues. Croydon was the first London borough to be awarded the Fair-trade status, ensuring fair prices are paid to Third World suppliers.
Its historic Surrey Street Market dates back to 1276 and not surprisingly is the oldest market in the county of Surrey. Browse the stalls for fresh fruit and veg, clothing and flowers.
The town has an ornate Victorian Town Hall and its landmark NLA Tower is Britain's 88th tallest building. Many of Croydon's buildings are lit after dark with projected messages and images, making it a unique way to provide urban lighting.
Fairfields Hall has an art gallery, concert hall and a theatre for cultural entertainment along with the Clocktower arts venue which has one of the most modern libraries in the world. It also has a cinema, museum and three galleries.
Croydon's green space includes nine major golf courses which attract many keen golfers. Further afield the restored Shirley Windmill is an interesting attraction.
If you are visiting Croydon in June, enjoy the annual carnival which lasts for a week.
Croydon does not have any underground stations, but it is well served by bus and rail along the Brighton Main Line and the Sutton and Mole Valley lines.
The borough has also recently developed TramLink, a light rail system making West London just a 20-minute commute away.
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