Croydon UK is a great base for London

We recently stayed in an AirBnB at Croydon between sits as we wanted to do touristy things in London for a few days. We wanted something with cooking facilities, walking distance to shops and public transport but didn’t want to pay the high London prices. Croydon ticked all the boxes for us. When we mentioned to one of our home owners that we were staying at Croydon, they were aghast indicating that it was a rough neighbourhood, calling it “vibrant”. We want to dispell this negative reputation as we had a great stay in Croydon.

East Croydon station is a major hub so plenty of trains in to London. It was only 20 minutes in to London Victoria for us and cost us GBP9.50 each on Trainline for a travel day pass providing access to all London public transport except watercraft. You can also use an Oystercard or contactless to pay as you go. There was a bus outside the station that took us to our accommodation in under 5 minutes or it was a 15 minute walk. There are also trams outside the station that we used to go to the main shopping area.

We were able to walk to a Co-Op supermarket near our accommodation and a couple of pubs and restaurants. Boxpark restaurant presinct is right next door to the station. We didn’t eat out though so can’t comment on that.

Yes, Croydon is vibrant but in a good way as it’s very multicultural. Are there social problems? Probably, like in most communities, but we didn’t see anything negative. We never felt unsafe. We did have to smile though when we went in to a pub before England’s world cup match on Sunday night to see signs saying drinks would only be served in plastic cups and no food was being served that required knives and forks! So we didn’t hang around!

Would we stay there again? Absolutely!


@Crookie thank you for describing such a lovely place to visit! Your pic is great and you gave some excellent details about the area. I know I would certainly love to visit there during my next trip to the UK.

Love the story about the pub. I know the British take their soccer very seriously (if you watch Ted Lasso you know all too well)!

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Croydon gets a lot of bad press, but I lived there for 10 years and loved it. As with any big town, some areas are horrible and better avoided, but many parts of the local area are peaceful and lovely. It’s a surprisingly green borough. Lots of woodland and an unexpectedly high number of golf courses!


I wish I could agree with you about Croydon being vibrant as, having lived near there for nearly 35 years, I found it to be a concrete jungle & hard to negotiate the one way system in places. However, it is a brilliant place to access London & Heathrow airport, transport has improved greatly over the years


I visited Croydon - museum and for transport connections a few times while sitting twice in Hayes. Its a city - good and bad parts.

@Crookie your experience and summary of the time you spent in Croydon really should help those pet parents/owners who say “Why would any sitter want to come here?” We all see and experience places differently especially if we’ve never been there before …


Very true! You can get to Croydon from Gatwick in 15min by train, for about 3-5 pounds (cheaper when you use your contactless card), and then take a bus to London for 1.65 pounds. Sure it’s a little longer, but it’s so much cheaper. Also, for sitters that like to train in good gyms (one of the most difficult things of being a pet sitter is finding a gym with decent equipment and short term memberships at a good price), croydon has one of the top notch gyms in London, King’s Gym which costs 15pounds a week. I’m glad you mentioned it, as we never stayed there but realized how practical it was for different pet sitting situations in London!

@NadiaTHS I would like to wish you a very warm welcome to the community forum and thank you for your contribution to this topic. It is very helpful to have someone with local knowledge and sharing the cost breakdowns.
Best wishes Carla

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