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Photograph: Catford Food Market
Photograph: Catford Food Market

Five reasons why it's high time you explored Catford

Episode 9 of our podcast, ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’, heads to this corner of south east London. Here’s why it’s well worth checking out…

Written by Time Out. Paid for by FREENOW.

Tired of the same old, same old? We've been unveiling the secrets of every corner of London in our fun-filled podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’, and the latest edition will clue you in on the hidden delights of south east London neighbourhood Catford. In episode nine, we have comedian Fern Brady taking Time Out editor Joe Mackertich on a jaunt through Catford's streets, and giving you loads of great reasons to discover this undersung spot.

‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’ is sponsored by FREENOW, the mobility super app that provides you with four ways to get around in one easy-to-use app: think private rides, black cabs, eScooter and eBikes.

Why not book your trip to Catford with FREENOW and check out this action-packed neighbourhood for yourself? Listen to the podcast to hear Fern and Joe discovering the sights, smells and tastes of this south east London spot. Here are some Catford picks of our own to whet your appetite.

Listen to ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’ now

The Catford Cat will give you a purr-fect welcome
Photograph: Tom Broadbent

1. The Catford Cat will give you a purr-fect welcome

This gigantic sculpture of a monochrome moggy is a much-loved local landmark. The 50-year-old feline was built by architects Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon (also the guys behind Elephant & Castle roundabout's mysterious silver cube) as a playful tribute to the neighbourhood's name. Legends swirl that Catford was originally named after the wild cats that lived in the area in the thirteenth century, but the more prosaic truth is that it's probably a shortening of 'cattle ford'. Still, don't tell this formidable feline she's not the star of the show: one swipe from that fibreglass paw and you'd be a goner.

Did you know? Thanks to FREENOW, the mobility super app, you can book a black cab using just a few taps of the app. No hailing required! 

You'd never believe that this buzzing pub and social centre used to be a branch of Argos. These days, instead of electrical goods you'll find a sparky line-up of live music nights and unusual bevvies including house beer Volden. If the weather's nice, be sure to venture upstairs to rooftop hangout spot Fairytop Garden Zoo for cocktails as the sun sets. It's now closed for winter, so one to put on the list for summer!

Behind a stunning facade decorated with heraldic beasts and wise owls you'll find Catford's beating cultural heart. Comedy, reggae music, Black theatre, community events... there's a hectic line-up of shows each week at this historic theatre venue. Plus, a massive refurbishment project in 2022 means this building's fine art deco interiors are looking as gorgeous as ever.

Need to get home, fast? Enjoy a stress-free journey by booking a private ride or black cab with FREENOW. On average, your car is just six minutes away.

Practice your cat-cow pose at this stylishly-decorated yoga centre, which offers a huge range of affordable classes in a relaxing, plant-filled setting. Try vinyasa, aromatherapy yoga, or pilates in a welcoming environment. Just don't forget to chill out with a herbal tea in their cosy lounge area before you rejoin the hectic streets outside.

On the last Sunday of every month, Catford Food Market brings an award-winning line-up of traders to a peaceful spot overlooking the River Ravensbourne. It's a perfect excuse to get your mitts on treats including vast Argentinian steak sarnies from Sandwiche or delicate Himalayan dumplings from Mandala. Can't wait that long? Check out Catford's tastebud-tickling line-up of restaurants, including Jerk Scene and Twerk 'n' Jerk, which serve up delicious Jamaican dishes, every day of the week.

Travelling in a larger group? No worries – with FREENOW, you can book an XL cab. Nice one!

Get there with FREENOW

We are proud to have FREENOW on board as the sponsor of ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’. Us Londoners are used to convenience – so why settle for anything else when you can choose between four different modes of transport in one handy app? FREENOW is the mobility super app that gets you where you need to be. And it’s not just in London: you can use FREENOW in cities across the UK and Europe. 

Listen to ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’ now

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