Your Guide to London Croydon
Where is Croydon?
Stay in Croydon and you’ll be just 20 minutes from Gatwick Airport and 15 minutes from central London via train. This large town is a major South London shopping centre and important commercial centre for you to stay in before or after your flight. Its situated, unsurprisingly, within the London borough of Croydon and surrounded by districts like Addiscombe, Selhurst, Broad Green and Waddon. There is no London Underground here, but this compensated by Tramlink (a tram service in Tube Zone 5), which does link Croydon with the District Line of the underground via Wimbledon Station. You will also find no less than three train stations in the area, the most central of which is East Croydon Train Station that provides you with fast access to everything in central London that you want to see! You’ll be way outside the congestion charging zone too, so feel free to bring your car!
History of Croydon
Because of its location between London and the South Coast, Croydon’s history goes back hundreds of years. There is a plate recording a Bronze Age settlement on Croham Hurst, evidence of a Roman settlement in the area, together with a 5th to 6th Century pagan Saxon cemetery. Originally in the County of Surrey, from 1276, Croydon evolved into one of the main market towns of the county. In addition, it was selected as a favourite summer home for the Archbishops of Canterbury, where they stayed at the purpose built Croydon Palace. With the development of Brighton as a fashionable resort, Croydon’s role as a significant halt for stage coaches to and from London began.
The arrival of railways in the 19th Century, coincided with Croydon becoming the terminus of two pioneering commercial transport links with London. With travel to London taking only 15 minutes, the population increased dramatically, and this was reflected by a substantial increase in retail facilities. In more modern times Croydon has developed into an important centre for shopping. The Whitgift Centre and the more recent Centrale, have caused Croydon to become the second largest place to shop in the south east after Central London, offering a wide range of shops and department stores. It’s the ideal place to while away a few hours before or after your flight from Gatwick Airport!
The Positives of Croydon
As Croydon is only 20 minutes away from Gatwick Airport via train, this is the ideal stop off point before or after your flight. Rather than stay in the flight path and have nothing to do, you can come to Croydon and shop till you drop in the shopping centres like Whitgift and Centrale, or explore the town centres restaurants and bars. You can even make the most of the fantastic train links into central London, which provides you with fast access to attractions like Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. Also, as Croydon is largely residential you will find that the hotels here are really affordable!
Need to Know Croydon
Croydon is primarily a residential area, so you won’t find much in the way of wowing tourist attractions for you here. However, there is some fabulous shopping, arguably the best in South London, and easy access via train to all that central London has to offer. Croydon also has its fair share of office blocks, which is hardly surprising as seen as the transport links are so good, so the skyline can look a little bleak, but the fact that Gatwick airport is so close by more than outweighs this negative!