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CHF Walking Tour map

Walk the famous streets of Croydon with brand new Heritage Festival walking tour.

A brand new Famous Croydon Walking Tour has been published as part of this year's Croydon Heritage Festival featuring Croydon’s famous people and places.

The Famous Croydon Walking Tour is sponsored by Handelsbanken and has been put together by volunteers at The Wandle Park Heritage Walks Booklet Project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Croydon Council. The free map is now being distributed online and in local libraries in time for Croydon Heritage Festival. It will also be included in The Wandle Park Heritage Walks Booklet, due for publication in July.

On the leisurely self-guided trail, walkers  will visit Croydon landmarks that have been frequented by a host of famous people through the ages, from Queen Elizabeth I, composer Samuel Taylor Coleridge and ‘Flower Fairies’ author Cicely Mary Barker, to footballer Eric Cantona, the Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren and comedian Ronnie Corbett. The walk is family friendly, suitable for people of all levels of fitness and can be undertaken in an afternoon. 

The trail begins at Croydon Law Court, where Eric Cantona was taken following his infamous kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan and ends at Southern House, a building which Malcom Maclaren sketched while at Croydon College (then Croydon College of Art). Other highlights include:

  • Charles Street, where you will pass statues of famous Croydon residents including Ronnie Corbett
  • Surrey Street Market, which was an inspiration for Ralph McTell’s famous song about the London dispossessed, ‘The Streets of London’
  • Croydon Parish Church, where Six Archbishops of Canterbury are buried. Visitors have also included Henry VIII

Martin Corney, CEO of The Whitgift Foundation comments:

“The Famous Croydon Walking Tour is a great way to discover Croydon’s heritage from Henry VIII to the present day. We are very thankful to the volunteers at The Wandle Park Heritage Project for all their suggestions and historical anecdotes. I would encourage people who enjoy this walk to try another guided tour during the Croydon Heritage Festival, and to visit our website for details of the Open Buildings programme which allows you to go behind the scenes at some of these iconic locations.”

Keith Yeoman, Branch Manager at Handelsbanken Handelsbanken comments:

“Handelsbanken are delighted to support the Croydon Heritage Festival during 2015.  This year’s focus on Famous Croydon has unearthed some real local gems in Croydon, which people can visit for themselves on this fantastic new walking trail. As local people ourselves we believe the heritage of Croydon should be celebrated and are proud to support this local initiative.  We are particularly looking forward to helping distribute the walking trail during Heritage Day on 20th June in North End.”

George Wright, Secretary of the Friends of Wandle Park and a Volunteer on the Heritage Booklet Project comments: “I really enjoyed the Heritage Walk Booklet Project which was part of the Heritage Lottery Fund redevelopment of Wandle Park.  All of us learnt so much about the fascinating history of Croydon, and it is wonderful to know that others can now get the same pleasure and knowledge as we did, when walking around the town. We were also delighted when the Whitgift Foundation invited us to share the Famous People walk with a wider audience, as part of the Croydon Heritage Festival!  The full booklet will be available from late July 2015.”

A host of guided walking tours will also take place during Croydon Heritage Festival including:

20 June, 14:00, 15:15: Croydon Tours

On this walk you’ll explore Croydon’s ancient history, visit Old Palace School and the Whitgift Almshouses, learn more about the famous historical characters that have walked Croydon’s streets and see the many listed architectural jewels.

£3, ticketed. For the 14.00 tour meet outside Barclays, North End. For the 15.15 tour meet at Church Street Tram stop.

20 June: Flower Fairies Walk 

The planned walk will run from the Flower Fairy Garden at Park Hill, down to St Andrews, up to Cicely Mary Barker’s home in the Waldrons conservation area, over Duppas Park to St Georges, where another one of her large canvases is located.

                Free - Booking required. For the 09:00 meet at Park Hill Park

25 June: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and his homes in Selhurst 

A walk led by local historian Sean Creighton of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network.

Free - Booking required. For the 18:00 tour meet at Selhurst Station

28 June: Local history walk of Norbury 

A walk led by local historian David Clark from Norbury Station across Norbury Park to Norwood Grove finishing at the Rookery.

Free - Booking required. For the 14:30 tour meet at Ticket Hall, Norbury Station, Norbury Avenue, SW16 3RW


To find out more about what's happening throughout the week of the Croydon Heritage Festival take a look at the website:

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