30 November 2016 Insider’s Guide
Croydon is working hard to change its image. And what a success it is making of it. The pride found in the area is noticeable when walking around. It’s often struggled to stand up next to its more renowned neighbours such as Brixton, Peckham and Shoreditch in terms of gentrification.
But that is very much changing.
Could it be that this often forgotten part of London is going to become the new Shoreditch, the new Hoxton or the new Peckham? It seems extremely likely. We wanted to check this out for ourselves and had a look around. Watch the video below:
We reckon it’s pretty good, but don’t take our word for it. London publications have been lining up to shout about how the area is the up and coming place to be. The Croydon Advertiser think so (but of course they would), but so too does the Standard and the Metro.
Each of those papers points to a few big changes taking place in the area. They are, the opening of Boxpark Croydon, the newer, bigger and better version of Shoreditch’s original Boxpark – you can see the opening night in our video,
They also point towards the opening-in-2020 Westfield Shopping Centre. This £1.4 billion development is likely the death bells for the old image of Croydon. With its opening, Croydon will be graced with an IMAX cinema, a vast Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and many, many more retail spots. But it’s more than just the shops it will bring; these retail outlets will need staff, roughly 5,000 making the area a more prosperous one. Which will likely lead to new, fashionable stores opening in the area.
And it’s not just Westfield that is working on bringing jobs to the area. Croydon Tech City has taken aim at Old Street, and its wealth of tech start-ups. Croydon Tech City has been tirelessly working, over the last five years, to change the shape of Croydon. The group of volunteers started with a meeting of 20 and now command an organisation of over 2,000 working in, living in and loving Croydon
Croydon not only has a lot going for it, but if you are wont to leave, then that is super easy as well. Being in Zone 5 you can use your Oyster Card on the busses, trams, trains and Overground that leave the area in all directions at all hours of the day.
East Croydon (the central hub of the area) serves London Victoria and London Bridge in less than 20 mins. There are also direct trains to Gatwick Airport that take roughly half an hour. From West Croydon you have the Overground which easily will connect you with East London, such as Shoreditch, Dalston and Hoxton. And that’s before even talking about the incredible bus links that can easily transport you around South and Central London.
But you won’t want to leave after hearing this next bit, Croydon has a restaurant quarter. This area of South Croydon has been quietly going about its business of incredible food in humble settings and with an affordable price tag. Tt hasn’t gone unnoticed either, Albert’s Table was awarded a Michelin Star in the 2016 role of honours. Every taste and price range is catered towards; it’s not going to stay secret for much longer so get yourself acquainted while you still can.
We hope that proves to you in some way that Croydon really is working to change its image. easyHotel Croydon is situated just around the corner from East Croydon Station, and is ideal for those that want to have a look around the area, do business nearby, or are just stopping over for a night from Gatwick Airport (easyHotel has convenient accommodation located right by several key London airports).
With so many incredible festivals having taken place in Manchester over the summer (see here for examples), you might think things would start slowing down with the cooling of the temperature and the arrival of Autumn…Well, think again as September and October are packed with loads of fun events and festivals to welcome in the new season and reassure people that winter ain’t that bad.
We recently took a look at some of the best music and dance festivals on offer this August in London, and now it’s Manchester’s turn. This Northern town is famous for its eclectic and fresh music scene, as well as for its crazy, all-night long parties – and what better recipe could you have for the perfect festival? The month will see all a hugely diverse and exciting range of genres, artists and venues in its different festivals, from the smooth croons of the Manchester Soul festival through to the electric beats of Creamfields.
We knew Birmingham was on the cusp of big change when we finally arrived at its new train station. Yes, when Grand Central opened in 2015 and transformed an embarrassing old New Street station into somewhere visitors wouldn't mind spending more than ten minutes in, we knew things were getting better for the UK’s second city. I also wanted to take the family to the Balti capital of the UK… but more of that later.