Guildford: a few of your favourite things
PUBLISHED: 19:32 17 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:41 20 February 2013
Surrey Life visited Surrey's county town to discover just what it is that people most love about Guildford. Here, ten popular local figures share a few of their favourite things
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine December 2010
Surrey Life visited Surreys county town to discover just what it is that people most love about Guildford. Here, ten popular local figures share a few of their favourite things
The custodian of Guildford Castle and leader of the towns ghost tours,
Though quite small, Bens Collectors Records in Tunsgate is one of the best and cheapest second-hand record shops around and well worth a browse.
Meanwhile, for those with a sweet tooth, Sweets in Chapel Street is a gem of nostalgia and, for years, after my weekly Ghost Tours, Sir & Madam in Jeffries Passage has provided my take-away.
A lesser known attraction in the area is Guildfords awe-inspiring workhouse museum, The Spike, which is deserving of masses of tourists. Slightly more obvious, I suppose, is Guildford Castle, which Ive run since 1994, and my ghost tours.
Organiser of the Toast of Surrey Awards 2011, Natalie Maxim
My perfect day in Guildford would start with a bit of shopping. If you like unusual gifts and jewellery then there are plenty of independent boutiques to browse in and find something a bit different.
Also, if you take a detour off the main High Street, youll find side streets and alleys with plenty of extra character, too. Theres even a guide to Secret Guildford, which can be picked up in the tourist information centre.
The town is also great for food and if you are a pizza fiend then head to The Ship on the Old Portsmouth Road its a cosy pub serving gorgeous stone baked pizza!
Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Cllr Tony Rooth
I love walking up the cobbled setts in the High Street,especiallyduring the daywith no traffic. I pass (and sometimes drop into) lovely buildings like the Guildhall (for its clock and council chamber!), Guildford Houses art gallery and shop, Abbots Hospital and Holy Trinity Church a tranquil haven in a busy world. I also like to stroll through Tunsgate or the arch to the Castle and down the alleyways, precincts or through shops into North Street for the market and shopping centre. Our High Streets character and variety acts as a spine for the town centre little wonder Guildford remains a lovely place to live, work and visit.
Manager of the Guildford branch of Westwood Rocks, Sophia Magneron
My secret passion is food or more precisely, eating! And, what a choice I have in town from the usual Chinese and Indian, to Thai, French, and even Mexican! Trust me when I say it was very hard to narrow it down to a top three but, in no particular order: The White House pub, which serves hearty portions at great prices and their pies in particular are amazing it is also well-located right by the River Wey at the bottom of town; Loch Fyne, whose famous shellfish platter with lobster is just exquisite; and the Coal Grill and Bar youve got to try their fire-sticks (Ill say no more!)
Owner of The Mandolay Hotel, Stephen Hay
Hotel guests frequently ask about the attractions that Guildford has to offer. Of course, the town is rich in history and the quality of the shopping speaks for itself but my answer is often to direct people no further than the wonderful Stoke Park. One hidden gem that is often overlooked is its sensory garden; a real oasis of calm packed with flowers and plants chosen for their smell and touch as well as their beauty.
Director of Guildfords Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, James Barber
I have lived in Guildford for a very long time and I love this town the huge choice of cultural activities across so many venues, the fabulous restaurants, the choice for shoppers and the beautiful older parts of the town it would be invidious to say anything other than go and see them all!However, I wouldnt be human if I didnt urge you to come to our wonderful theatre, too.
Surrey Chamber of Commerce business development manager, Amanda Masters
Think Guildford, think shopping! I love all the big names here, but the little lanes and side streets off the High Street are packed full of smaller retail gems, with loads of independent stores to investigate. Also the regular markets, particularly the farmers and craft markets, are a major pull for me and many others.
When in need of refreshment, I sometimes enjoy a swift drink in The Albany, The Three Pigeons or at The Boatman on the riverside, which are all fabulous venues. For dining in the evening, the food and view from the Thai Terrace (which is at the top of a multi-storey car park!) are great.
Partner at Flowers by Rosemary, Steve Eales
Just five minutes walk from the High Street, youll find the National Trust property at Dapdune Wharf, which feels like its in the heart of the countryside. I love the fact that the boats still run up and down to Godalming just as they have done for centuries. A walk down by the water is always a great way to relax, too.Having a shop in the town, as well as branches in Godalming and Woking, means that I am lucky enough to travel around on a regular basis and one aspect of the area that I particularly enjoy telling people about is the beauty of the countryside on the doorstep.
Panto regular and 96.4 Eagle Radio breakfast presenter, Peter Gordon
I love history and I love things that are free! Among the many things that fit into both categories in Guildford are the castle grounds, a marvellous oasis of heritage and colour, just yards from the town centre. I remember my grandmother taking me there as a boy (even then, I only lived a ten-minute walk away). Nowadays, if time allows, I like to slip away from the radio station, ramble through Tunsgate Arch and make my way through the wooden gate near the keep. Just a few steps to travel back centuries. What a privilege. Sometimes, the best things in your home town really are for free!