Thinking of moving to Caterham? As the most successful independent estate agents in the South East, we at Cubitt & West have collated our local knowledge to share with you in our Living in Caterham guide.
As well as uncovering all you need to know about local services, our guide will give you a feel for what life is like in the area, along with its history, culture and all the recreational activities on offer!
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What Is Life Like In Caterham?
Caterham is a town in the Tandridge area of Surrey, close to Croydon, Merstham and Coulsdon. The town is divided into two areas: Caterham-on-the-Hill and Caterham Valley (the latter includes the town centre).
Due to its close proximity to London (under an hour away by train), Caterham is home to many commuters, who want a relaxed, town lifestyle with easy access to the capital.
The town centre has a varied array of shops, restaurants and pubs, with something for all tastes.
History Of Caterham
Caterham dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, when it was then a village. The original settlement was on the ridge above the modern town (and is now known as Caterham on the Hill). Caterham Valley – a dry valley that rises to the same heights, in the south – started to develop in the Victorian era, when the Caterham railway line opened in 1856.
Soon after, a large asylum was built in Caterham-on-the-Hill, bringing employment to the town. With the Victorian expansion, a larger parish church was built (St Mary the Virgin) in 1866, however, St Lawrence’s (a Norman church) still remains directly across the road from St Mary’s. In 1882, Caterham Valley built its own church (St John the Evangelist).
Most recently, the area that once was Caterham Barracks was redeveloped for new homes.
Days Out In Caterham
Caterham has a many things to see and do. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or looking for activities to keep the kids entertained; the area has something for you.
The East Surrey Museum is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and is home to insightful exhibitions and collections spanning geology, archaeology , social history, natural history and archival material, all from East Surrey.
The Arc in Caterham-on-the-Hill is a community project, owned by the Caterham Barracks Community Trust and is a real hub for the local area. There are soft play, arts-based classes, film showings and other events running throughout the year – guaranteed to keep not only small but big kids busy!
Each year, the town comes together for the Caterham Festival; an event organised by the community for the community and includes carnivals and a whole host of fun family activities, usually held in May/ June.
Things To Do In Caterham
Although it is a relevantly small town, Caterham has a wealth of shopping options. In the town centre itself; there’s well-known shops such as Boots, Dorothy Perkins and WHSmith in the Church Walk Shopping Centre. Caterham-on-the-Hill has independent stores including Westway Butchers, one the few remaining butchers in the area.
For those interested in keeping fit, Caterham has two fitness centres (owned by the Tandridge Trust) – the De Stafford Sports Centre and The Village Health Club. The first has a four lane 24m fitness pool, gym and studio, sauna and steam rooms, an activity centre (with childcare available), along with a lagoon wave pool and slide. Just over a mile’s walk from the sports centre is The Village Health Club, this has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and is for premier members. The club’s facilities include a 16.5 metre three lane swimming pool, spa bubble pool, gym, two studios, a sauna and treatment rooms.
Keen foodies won’t be disappointed as Caterham has many pubs and restaurants to drink and dine in. Choose from one of the town’s eight pubs or indulge in international cuisine – from curry at The Cochin, Mediterranean delights at La Fiaba del Mediterraneo and Casa Losa or Thai from Bua Thai, you’re spoilt for choice.
Schools In Caterham
Caterham has a number of excellent schools and educational facilities within close proximity.
Primary and first schools include:
- Audley Primary School
- Hillcroft Primary School
- Marden Lodge Primary School
- Oakhyrst Grange School
- St Francis Catholic Primary School
- St John’s CofE Aided Primary School
- St Peter and St Paul CofE Infant School
- Woodlea Primary School
- Caterham Preparatory School
- Clifton Hill School
- Essendene Lodge School
Secondary schools include:
- Caterham Junior School
- Caterham School
- Loxwood Primary School
- Clifton Hill School
- Plaistow And Kirdford Primary School
- De Stafford School
- Wisborough Green Primary School
- Woldingham School
Transport In Caterham
Caterham has a wide range of transport links and is well connected.
There are regular services from Caterham to London Bridge, taking roughly 55 minutes, as well as less frequent direct routes to London Victoria, also taking just under an hour.
Caterham is served by the A22 which runs north to Purley and south, all the way down to Polegate, near Eastbourne in East Sussex. The town is also conveniently located for the M25. Caterham is just 1 hour and 25 minutes away from central London via the B269, A23 and A237.
Bus And Coaches
There are plenty of bus companies serving Caterham including; Southdown, Metrobus, Arriva, Epsom Buses, Abellio London and London General with regular routes into towns such as Redhill, Reigate, Croydon, Coulsdon, Sutton, Warlington and East Grinstead.
The closest airports to Caterham are Gatwick (just 25 minutes away) and Heathrow which is an hour’s drive away.