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Top things to do in Croydon

Get the inside track on this burgeoning south London suburb with our fun-filled guide to things to do in the area, including dining out at a pop-up food mall and even the chance to bounce on 100 trampolines.

Enjoy a country walk through Coombe Wood

Stroll through this beautiful woodland with its picturesque gardens and manicured lawn. Then enjoy coffee and cake in the Coach House Café with its charming courtyard.

Feast on street food galore at Boxpark Croydon

Find a foodie paradise at Boxpark Croydon, the south London sibling of Shoreditch’s pop-up mall. Enjoy fantastic food from more than 40 different eateries including authentic Tawainese street food at Bao Bao and Sri Lankan delicacies at Kothu Kothu. Finish your trip to Boxpark with dessert from Dum Dums Donuterrie, which serves flavoured doughnuts ranging from pistachio to toffee apple. .  

Bounce on hundreds of trampolines at Oxygen Freejumping

A must for active types and for families looking for things to do with kids in Croydon, this trampoline park has hundreds of trampolines to bounce around on, as well as a giant airbag to practice your skills, a play area for children aged five years and under, Olympic-standard performance trampolines, speed reaction games, and more. Visitors can book one-hour sessions at the trampoline park. 

Play a board game at The Ludoquist

Find a huge selection of both your favourite and lesser-known board games at The Ludoquist, the perfect cafe for whiling away a rainy afternoon. Keep one hand free as you play and tuck into a freshly baked pizza or enjoy a delicious coffee made with beans from Volcano Coffee, a small-batch roaster based in south London. 

Explore Croydon Airport Visitor Centre

If you love quirky museums, you’ll adore this free-to-enter micro-museum, which is open on the first Sunday of every month. Croydon Airport housed the world’s first international terminal, from the earliest days of air transport until it closed in 1959. The visitor centre is housed in the world’s oldest air traffic control tower and has interactive features, images showing the history of the airport, a restaurant and a gift shop.

Take a stroll in Wandle Park

Wander through this pretty 21-acre (8.5 hectare) park, which has the river Wandle running through its middle. The park is also home to a bandstand, a playground, an ornamental garden and a skate park – not to mention the perfect peaceful picnic spot by the pond.

See a movie at the David Lean Cinema

Based within the Croydon Clocktower arts complex, this intimate, volunteer-run art-house-style film theatre showcases the best of British film and world cinema. It was built in the 1990s to honour Croydon-born director David Lean, who made epics including The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).

Shop at London’s oldest street market

Dating back to 1236, Surrey Street Market has a mix of Caribbean and Asian stalls selling fresh, international fruit and vegetables, usually for one pound a bowl. Herbs and spices are also available. Visit on a Sunday for artisan food, crafts and entertainment.

Enjoy art and coffee at Art Rebellion

Combine your love for art and coffee at this modern art gallery in Coulsdon, which showcases emerging artists. View or buy works, and lounge about at this New York-style art cafe, which serves coffee, tea, smoothies, milkshakes, cakes, waffles, gelato and a selection of hot food, including stews and soups. 

Watch a football match at Selhurst Park football stadium

This football stadium has been home to Crystal Palace Football Club since 1924. Watch a match here or shop for Crystal Palace FC merchandise at the ground’s store.

Go for a stroll in Croham Hurst woods

Hike through this 35-hectare (86 acres) heathland and ancient woodland, dotted with beech, birch and oak trees. Climb up to the top of the hill to be rewarded with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Glide over Croydon

Calling all adrenaline junkies! Get your heart pumping by soaring high above Croydon on a glider flight with Surrey Hills Gliding Club. Choose from a five-minute-long single flight trial lesson or a four-flight trial lesson, giving you the opportunity to take the controls and fly the glider yourself.

Visit Shirley Windmill

Explore one of only four large windmills open to the public in Greater London. Built in 1854, Shirley Windmill is open to the public during the summer months. Be treated to a 60-minute guided tour, where you’ll hear the story of how flour was milled in Victorian times.

See a show at Matthews Yard

From craft classes to film nights, discover a brilliant programme of events at creative hub Matthews Yard, encompassing an art gallery, live music venue, a crowdfunded theatre and Vegan Grill, which serves up guilt-free comfort food. There are also cakes and local drinks to indulge in.

Enjoy a spot of retail therapy

Roll up, roll up! Freshen up your wardrobe by browsing the rails of Croydon’s fabulous shops: find independent boutiques in the Old Town and high street stores in the town’s two major shopping centres: Centrale & Whitgift. Top brands include House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer and New Look.

See a play at a pub theatre

Swing by the Spread Eagle pub, a Grade II-listed building that showcases the best in theatre, comedy and film in its cosy playhouse. Built in 1893, the boozer was originally the Croydon branch of the Union Bank of London, operating as a financial institution for more than a century. If you’re feeling hungry, order one of the pub’s famous homemade pies, made fresh by hand every day.

Hear live music at The Oval Tavern

While away an evening at this characterful pub, where the live music programme runs the gamut from folk to jazz to ska to rock. It’s also a great spot to head for Sunday roast, which you enjoy with a soundtrack of live jazz. There are board games, books and newspapers to ensure you have plenty to do after lunch.  

Visit the Museum of Croydon

Follow the history of Croydon through the stories of the town’s past residents at the award-winning Museum of Croydon. Step inside the museum’s distinctive clock tower and explore free exhibits, including a collection of Chinese ceramics dating from 2,500 BC and an interactive family trail. The museum also houses an art gallery with changing displays of work from the borough’s art collection.

Appreciate art at Turf gallery

From family art fun days to artist-led workshops, Turf is an artist-run contemporary art space that offers an exciting programme of free exhibitions and events at Croydon Arts Store within the Whitgift shopping centre.

Chill out at Byte Cafe

A relaxed and modern space where you can work or hang out with friends, Byte Cafe sits within Croydon's tech hub, TMRW, and is popular with vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Tuck into tasty, locally sourced produce while you use the free wifi, listen to vinyl or even play with the giant Jenga blocks.

Sponsored content in partnership with Croydon Council.