10 things to see and do in Caterham

PUBLISHED: 10:52 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:53 24 July 2018

Illustration by Lucy Atkinson

Illustration by Lucy Atkinson

Archant

A place of two halves, the East Surrey town is bordered on one side by London’s urban expansion and on the other by the sanctuary of the Surrey Hills

1. Queen’s Park

Home to sports teams, dog walkers, families and community events, Queen’s Park is found just off Church Road, near St Mary’s Church and St Lawrence’s Ancient Church. There’s a large playground for the little ones, tennis courts for those swotting up for Wimbledon and the highly social Caterham Bowls Club, which was founded in 1911.

Queen’s Park Road, Caterham CR3 5RB

 

2. The Soper Hall

From comedy clubs to art exhibitions via wedding fairs, beer festivals and music nights, The Soper Hall, which is found just along from Caterham Valley train station, has become a hub for creativity and community. Built in 1911, the building is named after William Garland Soper, a leading politician and businessman of the time, who is referred to by some as ‘The Father of Modern Caterham’. These days, it’s run by a volunteer board of directors.

Harestone Valley Road, Caterham CR3 6HY

 

3. The Miller Centre

Originally a church and then a school, The Miller Centre opened in its current guise in 1977. Best known as the local theatre, it also acts as a day centre to help improve the quality of life for people in retirement. A couple of top tips for you if you’re looking to visit: make a night of it by enjoying tapas and a cocktail or two at the nearby Casa Lola restaurant and keep an eye out for their monthly film club.

30 Godstone Road, Caterham CR3 6RA

 

4. Caterham Galleries

Pride of place at Caterham Galleries is a regularly-changing feature window, which showcases local artists. Step inside, however, and you’ll find a real Aladdin’s Cave. While downstairs is the more practical end of the business and also hosts some alluring artworks and sculpture, it’s upstairs where the real magic happens if you can make it up their tight, winding staircase to the gallery. As part of the town’s recent Colour Caterham initiative, which saw guerrilla knitting hung from trees and a community piano left ready for anyone to play, local residents painted the side of the building with their handprints. That’s one way to brighten up the British weather!

1 Godstone Road, Caterham CR3 6RE

 

5. The Arc

Owned by the Caterham Barracks Community Trust (which was tasked with converting the old military barracks into an ‘urban village’ after the MOD sold it in 1998), The Arc is a Swiss army knife of a concept. From new mums’ coffee mornings and soft play to pilates for the over 50s, fashion shows and art classes, The Arc opened in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. If you’ve still got plenty of energy after your visit, then there’s always the wonderfully named Happy Valley nearby waiting patiently to offer splendid summer strolls.

39 Weston Drive, Caterham CR3 5XY

 

6. Skaterham

Billed as the UK’s only skatepark in a chapel (corrections on a postcard if you know differently!), Skaterham is open to BMX, skateboard, scooter and inline riders. It’s a pretty dramatic setting for flips and tricks too with original arches and columns intersecting the ramps. Formerly known as The CR3 Youth Project, they operate on an ‘affordable for all’ basis for young people aged from five to 25-plus and welcome around 400 to 500 visitors per week.

The Chapel, The Village, Guards Avenue, Caterham CR3 5XL

 

7. Caterham School

One of the top co-educational schools in England, it’s not unusual to spot international sports stars popping in to Caterham School to inspire pupils – and you might even see the occasional parachute display team drop in, as happened recently. Found only a 20-minute walk from Caterham-on-the-Hill and Caterham Valley town centres, in the beautiful Harestone Valley, it’s an environment where children thrive. The school’s 200 acres include sports fields, woodland, high ropes course and outdoor learning centre, among other highlights. 

Harestone Valley Road, Caterham CR3 6YA

 

8. East Surrey Museum

Found on the steep descent into Caterham Valley, near the station and Church Walking Shopping Centre, you’ll find the small but perfectly formed East Surrey Museum. Originally built as a private cottage around 1867, the museum is volunteer run and focuses on social history, archaeology or geology of the East Surrey area. Perhaps coincide a visit with a trawl around the Valley’s many jewellery shops (there are five in total!) to see if you can uncover your own historic treasures of the future.

1 Stafford Road, Caterham CR3 6JG

 

9. Surrey Hills Gliding Club

There aren’t many gliding clubs in Surrey and yet one of them just so happens to be on Caterham’s doorstep. Based at Kenley Aerodrome, which was one of a series of airfields that dispatched fighter aircraft to counter German bombing raids in the Firs World War, Surrey Hills Gliding Club offer a far more leisurely attraction these days. Operating Monday to Friday throughout the year (weather permitting), it’s just a 10-minute drive out of town.

Kenley Aerodrome, Victor Beamish Avenue, Caterham CR3 5FX

 

10. North Downs Way

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the North Downs Way runs right along the Surrey Hills alongside Caterham and offers opportunities for adventure on foot, bike or horse. If you’re leaving from Caterham, it can take you off towards Kent (passing Godstone Vineyard and the Titsey Estate) one way or towards Reigate (passing Gatton Park and Colley Hill) the other. If you’re heading into Caterham, you could do worse than stopping for lunch at East Side Deli or, if the weather is on the warmer side, make a pit stop at Sweet and Savoury Waffles for a cooling gelato.

Surrey Hills

More from Surrey Life

00:00

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:55

Enjoy this 2 hour, 3.5 mile (5.6 km) walk around Nutfield and Priory Farm

Read more
Yesterday, 11:35

After a glittering ceremony at G Live Guildford on 13 September, we announce the winners of the 2018 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2018

Read more
Yesterday, 11:31

With growing conditions to rival that of some of the best Champagne houses in France, the south east’s sparkling wine production is booming. We excusively introduce a newly-formed collective of five vineyards aiming to place Surrey firmly on the map

Read more
Mon, 15:29

Erin Boag, the first lady of Strictly, came to the UK 23 years ago. She bought an A to Z, stuck a pin in the map and found Surbiton which she had heard about through the TV series, The Good Life. She still lives there, along with husband Peter O’Dowd and son Ewan

Read more
Mon, 11:52

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Mon, 11:36

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Professional matchmaker Hayley Bystram discusses how to overcome the challenges of returning to dating in mid-life and later

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Surrey is a beautiful, green and affluent county and I’ve certainly enjoyed living here the last 11 years. Towards the end of April 2018, Surrey Police released its latest crime statistics and we are still one of the safest counties in the country.

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

To much fanfare, Guildford has welcomed restaurant royalty to town but can the food live up to the spectacular castle view?

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A choral singing boom is giving fresh meaning to the sound of music with new and traditional choirs pulling in more recruits than ever. Miriam Wakerly explores Surrey’s contingent

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

With beautiful countryside, stunning villages and plenty of bluebells during spring, Surrey is an amazing place for a stroll

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A leading property agent is going back to his roots after a 32-year career by joining one of the UK’s foremost property search companies covering Hampshire, Surrey, West Sussex East Sussex and Kent.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search