In the past, Croydon has been known as the concrete jungle of zone 5 due to its large imposing high-rise office blocks. Though there have been many attempts to revive the suburb over the past few decades, property developers and estate agents are convinced that Croydon’s time has finally come. It is one of the most affordable places to live in London and with billions going into the regeneration there is no surprise why Croydon is becoming increasingly popular. It is knocking down its grey concrete past and turning itself into a desirable creative hub
Croydon remains the only tram service in the South-East and has great train links, London Bridge and Victoria are only a 14 minute and 17-minute train ride away respectively. And although it is so close to London, there are no fewer than 120 parks and open spaces giving this urban town a country feel.
It is sometimes overlooked but Croydon’s actually a great shopping hub with not one, but two shopping centres, Whitgift and Centrale and is only set to grow with plans to develop a Westfield in the near future, which will undoubtedly attract an influx of people.
There are several large housing developments either planned or already under construction, which includes Ruskin Square, a £500m scheme near to East Croydon station which will see over 600 new homes attracting interest from young people priced out of central locations and families looking for value for money within commuting distance.
What’s on there?
Housed in 80 refashioned shipping containers and modelled on its sibling Boxpark Shoreditch, Boxpark Croydon is home to ever-changing pop-up restaurants, stylish bars and music gigs. The addition of Boxpark Croydon, located next to East Croydon train station, has transformed the town’s nightlife.
Croydon is also currently home to the only Ikea south of the river. The Swedish furniture store was built on the site of a Power station. And the old power station chimneys with addition of illuminated bands in the store’s blue and yellow colours are a prominent landmark in Croydon’s skyline.
What is the community like?
Croydon is fast becoming a cultural and art hub. Fairfield Halls arts, entertainment and conference centre, is currently closed for a £30 million refurbishment. But once completed the masterplan aims to turn Croydon College, Fairfield Halls and the surrounding College green area into one of London’s leading cultural and educational destinations.
Croydon Clocktower is an arts and museum complex that contains the Museum of Croydon. And also located in Croydon Clocktower arts complex, is The David Lean Cinema, named in tribute to the creator of Lawrence of Arabia, who was born in the town, shows the latest arthouse films and a youth ambassadors group aimed at bringing more young people to the Clocktower.
Croydon in 5
Croydon is one of my most affordable areas in London with rents for a one-bedroom flat starting at £996 and a four-bedroom house costing from £581k.
There is a variety of homes in Croydon, from large detached Victorian houses to two-bedroom Victorian cottages to large detached Twenties, Thirties and later houses. Croydon is also home to more modern properties including some of the country’s tallest residential tower blocks.
3. Best Streets
Pine Coombe and Bishops Walk in Shirley Hills; any of the Whitgift Estate roads such as Fitzjames Avenue, Grimwade Avenue, Mapledale Avenue and Sandilands.
CR0, the main Croydon postcode, covers the centre of Croydon and a large area extending as far as Selhurst, New Addington and Beddington. CR2 covers South Croydon, Selsdon and Sanderstead.
The tram runs through the centre of Croydon connecting it to New Addington, Beckenham Junction and Elmers End to the east and Wimbledon via Mitcham Junction to the west.
From East Croydon, it takes about 17 minutes to Victoria and London Bridge and trains to central London also run from South Croydon taking a little longer.
Croydon Council has announced a £20 million five-year cycling plan. This will help the area catch up with other parts of London in providing better facilities and safer streets for cyclists.
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