Five of the best… places in Croydon to chill


By - Wednesday 2nd March, 2016

Continuing her ‘five of the best’ series, Bernadette Fallon turns her attention to chilling


Croydon Buddhist Centre

Despite its location close to the flyover (only in Croydon…), this is one of the most Zen spots in the borough. Traffic and busy streetlife doesn’t knock a feather out of its contemplative atmosphere, with pretty courtyard garden, calm meditation room and sociable meeting space. Join in one of the meditation sessions (lunchtimes or evenings) take part in a weekend event or sign up for one its offsite retreats.

And it’s not all sitting around chilling, you’ll meet a lively collection of people here from all walks of life, with meditation sessions broken up by tea, biscuits and chat. Stop off in the shop on your way out to pick up candles and Buddhas and carry on the ‘chill’ right in the comfort of your own home. All together now: ommmmmm…

Coombe Wood

If chilling in nature is your thing, Coombe Wood is definitely one of the nicest outdoor spaces in Croydon, part woodland, where you can wander about winding green trails and believe yourself lost in the forest, part gardens, with a beautiful series of inter-linked mature planted areas of flowers and shrubs. You’ll find sustenance in the Coach House Café, set in the former stable block of Coombe Wood House; there is evidence of an estate house in the area right back to the thirteenth century. Previous owners apparently had tunnels dug in the grounds so they could meditate in the dark. Now there’s a place to chill if you can find it.

Croydon Park Hotel

Croydon Park Hotel Jacuzzi

Photo by Croydon Park Hotel, used with permission.

Beautiful gardens and Buddhists not for you? Want an urban chill? Get thee to a jacuzzi, better still team it with a nice big heated swimming pool. The leisure centre at the Croydon Park Hotel is open to non-residents for a day-time chill or you can become a member and chill in its 4-star hotel surroundings whenever the fancy takes you. There’s a spacious gym area if you find a treadmill helps you hit a meditative trance and a sauna to bring inner calm afterwards.

Matthews Yard

Matthews Yard

Photo author’s own.

It has everything an urban chiller could desire; interesting people, cool vibes, an art gallery, radio station, meeting places, workspaces, contemplative burgers and meditative craft beers (@brgrandbeer) – and cake (@hoodoosvenue). Take your laptop, plug in and zone out. Or place your hands on a wooden table and lose yourself in the conversational hum all around you. It’s the heart of a chilled community.

Croydon Minster

Croydon Minster

Photo author’s own.

A place for contemplative calm in the heart of the buzzing borough since Saxon times, if you haven’t yet experienced the wonder that is its evensong TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YOUR SOUL AND ASK YOURSELF WHY EVER NOT? Anyone looking for some chilled-out time in the midst of contemporary mayhem should experience it. It’s free, it’s on your doorstep, it happens regularly every Sunday (and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in term time) and the evocative singing, softly spoken readings and time for quiet contemplation are like a healing balm to the spirit.

Bernadette Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Bernadette has been a journalist since the age of 7 when she devised, designed and launched ‘Fallon’s News’ – much to her family’s delight. Brought up in Ireland, she was born in Addiscombe where she now lives, though it took her several decades to find it again. She works as a journalist and broadcaster. Follow her at Twitter.com/bernibee

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