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10 of the best Guildford Summer Festival 2015 events

PUBLISHED: 09:45 23 June 2015

Armed Forces Day takes centre stage in Guildford (Photo: Rob Toth)

Armed Forces Day takes centre stage in Guildford (Photo: Rob Toth)


From rowing down the river in a home-made raft to tasting local beers to watching some burlesque, there is something for all tastes 
at this year’s Guildford Summer Festival...

Messing about in the river raft race (Photo: Juan Martinez)Messing about in the river raft race (Photo: Juan Martinez)

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2015


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Need to know!
Guildford Summer Festival runs from Friday June 12 to Saturday August 8. For the full line-up of events, visit


Friday June 12 and Saturday June 13, various times

The Guildford Beer Festival

The sixth annual Guildford Beer Festival will once again be hosted at Guildford Cricket Club on the opening two days of the festival. Visitors can choose from a selection of over 70 cask ales, a wide range of ciders and a separate bar with wines and soft drinks. They can also enjoy live music provided by Andertons Music and The Boileroom. Discover some of Surrey's top breweries...


Friday June 12 to Saturday August 8

150 years in Wonderland

One of literature’s most imaginative children’s books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is 150 years old this year. This summer’s festival will be commemorating both the novel and author with ‘Alice’ themed events and stands throughout the summer.


Friday June 12 to Saturday June 20, 10am to 5pm daily 

Guildford Festival Craft Fair

Creativity and imagination is a theme that is running throughout this year’s festival and for those of you with an artistic flare, the festival craft fair is not to be missed. Enjoy performers and street artists while you browse through an exciting range of ceramics, artworks, jewellery, knitwear and clothing, which will fill Guildford’s High Street for nine days running.


Friday June 12 to Saturday July 18, 11am to 5pm (closed Sundays)

Treasures of Guildford

There are thousands of artefacts at the Guildford Museum that date back from 500,000 BC to the modern day. Located in a series of historic buildings just a short walk away from the High Street, the museum displays archaeology, local history, and Guildford’s links with luminaries such as Lewis Carroll and Gertrude Jekyll. Make your way down to the museum to see all of this plus archaeology not usually on display and learn how a museum collection is developed and cared for.  

Monday June 15 to Thursday June 18, 11am onwards

Guildford Cricket Festival

With the cricket season in full swing, fans of the sport can enjoy the height of the action with four days of the County Championship. Cheer on Surrey CCC as they take on Glamorgan CCC, with play commencing from 11am each day. Over 2,500 spectators can enjoy the festival atmosphere at the ground at Woodbridge Road. Plus, on Sunday August 2, there will also be a Surrey versus Derbyshire match at 10.30am.

Sunday June 21, 9.30am

Round the Hogs Back

Join a leisurely 24-mile cycle ride along scenic country roads and off-road cycle tracks. Organised by the Guildford Cycle Forum, the ride will depart from Guildford borough council car park and pass through Shalford, Binscombe, Puttenham, Runfold and Tongham, then via the ‘Christmas Pie Trail’ back to Guildford. Cyclists are welcome to stop off for a coffee in Puttenham and lunch at The Cricketers pub at Rydeshill. Whether you want to cheer on a cyclist, watch the ride from a café or take part, it is free for all.

Saturday June 27, various times

National Armed Forces Day  

With its long-established military links, Guildford has been chosen to host the prestigious Armed Forces Day national event. Highlights will include a special service at Guildford Cathedral at 9.30am followed by a grand military parade at 11.30am, starting from the bottom of Guildford High Street to Stoke Park. The memorable day will end with a spectacular show at Stoke Park and there will be stalls and static displays from about 10.30am, with music and entertainment until 7.30pm.

Wednesday July 1 to Sunday July 26

Guildford Fringe

Top tips from the organisers of this year’s alternative arts festival include: Nell Gwynn’s History Laid Bare on Friday July 3; The London Poetry Brothel on Thursday July 9; Topsie Redfern Drag Act on Wednesday July 15; Miss Glory Pearl: The Naked Comic on Friday July 17; and Hundred Watt Club – Burlesque and Cabaret on Saturday July 25. Read our full interview on the Guildford Fringe next month.

Saturday July 4, 3pm onwards

Charity Raft Race

The annual charity raft race is always a fantastic event for both rafters and spectators alike. This year’s spectacle will see the home-made rafting teams paddle their way from Millmead to the Waterside Centre, near Woking Road. Entry to the race costs £30 plus at least £100 has to be raised in sponsorship. Spectators can watch for free.

Saturday July 4 to Sunday July 5, 10am to 5pm

Model Steam Train Rally and Exhibition

For those of you who like something a little different, there will also be a miniature steam train rally and exhibition. Both modellers and guests can look forward to riding the miniature trains, seeing different layouts in operation, observing woodworkers’ demonstrations and much more. Tickets: £8 per adult, £7 concessions and under-16s get in for free.  

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