Guildford Area Guide
Located on the A3 between London and Portsmouth, Guildford gained early importance as a staging post for travellers, civilian and military, as well as fulfilling its local role as the regional market place, occasional seat of the County Assizes, and location of a Royal hunting lodge. A bustling market town, Guildford has retained its granite paved streets which are now home to numerous boutique shops, department stores, cafes, pubs and fine restaurants.
For many visitors approaching Guildford, the county town of Surrey, their first view is of the 20th century red-brick cathedral and its golden angel weather-vane, perched high on Stag Hill where it overlooks the town and the university campus, dominating the surrounding landscape.
There are many reasons to visit Guildford, it maybe for its historic heritage, its vibrant shops, or its wonderful location on the banks of the River Wey. In modern times the town has retained its importance as a communication hub and market town, and gained a contemporary cathedral, modern university, world-class sports facilities and extensive shopping and commercial developments. It also benefits from an excellent, high speed rail link to London.
What To Do?:
There is plenty to do and see in Guildford, particularly if History is of interest to you. This includes trips to Guildford Castle which is believed to date back to almost 1066, Guildford Cathedral or an educational visit to Guildford Museum.
Although now used mainly for pleasure, the Wey Navigation and links to the Basingstoke Canal once afforded Guildford easy access to England’s extensive canal network. Although the wharfs and warehouses no longer operate, parts of the waterfront have been preserved, offering a glimpse into the town’s not-so-distant past.
Getting outdoors, why not follow the 1.5 mile historic trail as it takes you from the bustling high street up to the Norman Castle, down to the river and then back up to the town centre, taking in 1,000 years of history. If feeling more energetic, the North Downs are just a few minutes hike and offer some of the most beautiful countryside and scenic views in the country.
Stoke Park is home to the Spectrum Leisure Centre, a national prize‐winning sports centre that includes a variety of swimming pools, Olympic size ice rink, tenpin bowling, squash courts and an athletics stadium.
Guildford has somewhere to eat or drink for every occasion, a break from shopping in a cosy coffee shop, a catch up with friends in a real ale pub or a family meal in a restaurant.
One of the biggest attractions that living in Guildford affords is quite simply its proximity to London. Just 35 minutes on the train to central London and 50 minutes to the south coast makes it a perfect spot for exploring the south of England. Rail services are frequent from not just Guildford but other stations locally in Woking and Haslemere.
Situated in the heart of Surrey you have easy access to Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airports so getting anywhere in the world couldn’t be easier.
Guildford is home to two of the best secondary schools in the country. That is according to the "Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2018", which has ranked 2,000 UK schools in the country after analysing their exam results.
Guildford High School has been named as the second best independent secondary school in the south east after 97.5% of A-Level students achieved A* to B grades and 96.8% of GCSE pupils earned A* to A grades.
Meanwhile, Royal Grammar School, also in Guildford, was ranked as the eight best in the region after 95.6% of A-Level pupils got A* to B grades and 91.8% of GCSE pupils got A* to A grades.