Situated behind Croydon High Street and a row of nightclubs, kebab shops and the lights of Grant’s Entertainment Centre is a small patch of Croydon that’s fascinatingly timeless. As the signs proudly declare, Surrey Street market’s history dates back to 1276, and it’s still full of time-warped charm.
Wedged between a high-end gym, tired looking shop fronts and a couple of pubs, this lively six-day market (closed on Sundays) draws in a huge local crowd in search of super-cheap fresh produce. Despite the abundance of fruit and veg sellers, there’s a great mix of stalls along the 200 metre stretch including Asian food specialists (selling all the chilli peppers you’ll ever need), tasty West Indian takeaways (Chicken, rice and peas for £3.50), a decent flower stall and the obligatory sugared donut van. Add in the onlooking Terry’s Meat Market, where Terry sells his carnivorous delights at rock-bottom prices, and you have a feast for the senses. Particularly the ears – try telling these traders Croydon hasn’t anything to shout about.
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There are also some rather good pubs: the Dog and Bull on Surrey Street itself and the Green Dragon at the top of the road.
A genuinely great place - if you are thinking of trying your hand at market trading you could do a lot worse than here! And for budding entrepreneurs looking for drop-in office space try the soon-to-open Matthews Yard just down the hill.