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What you need to know about Croydon

Croydon has a reputation as a sprawling, urban London suburb , but actually it’s a town with a wealth of history and culture, and you won’t be short of things to see and do.

FACT FILE:Croydon

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Whilst it’s technically Greater London’s second –largest Borough, Croydon feels like a small city in its own right, with a vibrant arts and events calendar, a cosmopolitan and diverse community, a thriving commercial sector, beautiful parks and some of the best shopping outside central London.

Food and drink

Croydon is a big town, so it’s no surprise that it has plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. The locals swear by fish and chip restaurant McDermott’s, and the town has a wide range of restaurants offering Vietnamese, Turkish, Indian and contemporary British cuisine. The green belt to the south of Croydon is the North Downs, and it’s well worth taking a drive into the countryside and villages in search of a perfect English country pub. 

Shopping

Croydon’s shopping is centred around the 1960s Whitgift Shopping Centre, and the more recent Centrale shopping centre. These two offer a huge number of High Street labels and department stores, as well as a good selection of independent shops, delis and boutiques. There are smaller shopping areas in the south of the town, and a massive out-of-town shopping centre on Purley Way. If you prefer browsing local markets, Surrey Street Market is open six days a week, and has been offering local produce and traditional market goods to the locals for hundreds of years. 

Local businesses

Croydon is one of the largest financial centres in the south east outside London and is also home to many legal and insurance firms. The head offices of retailer Costco Wholesale, insurance firm Mondial and engineering company Mott Macdonald are all based in Croydon, as well as financial and banking firms Zurich, Barclays Business and Aon.

Getting around

Croydon is in a great location for exploring the south east – it’s just a short drive from the M25, and only 15 minutes by train to London Victoria. There’s also a Tramlink service that makes it easy to get around the town and the nearby residential areas, as well as the Purley Way shopping centre. The North Downs are south of Croydon, offering beautiful drives and cycles in the Surrey and Sussex countryside.