Guildford town guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 16:40 25 August 2015 | UPDATED: 16:58 25 August 2015
Our historic county town, Guildford is a haven for shoppers, the arts and innovative thinkers. With the River Wey at its heart and numerous buildings dating back through the ages, it’s a beautiful destination too
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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Did you know?
1 Seated firmly in the North Downs gap, and with the River Wey running through its heart, Guildford has been an important place as a centre for commerce since the mid-17th century.
2 Despite many claims to the contrary in publications, marketing spiel and folklore, this town is definitively not a city, despite having a university and a cathedral.
3 Believed to have been built after the Norman conquest of 1066 and constructed of local Bargate stone, Guildford Castle was used for royal apartments, the sheriff’s HQ and the county gaol for Surrey and Sussex.
4 Author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, Lewis Carroll spent much time in Guildford and had a family home at Chestnuts, near the castle. He died there in 1898 and is buried in the Mount Cemetery.
5 Consecrated in 1961 in the presence of the Queen, Guildford Cathedral is a prime example of community spirit in action with a buy a brick campaign needed for its completion when it was built.
6 Today, many innovative businesses have made Guildford their home with medical services, satellite technology and gaming companies all at the forefront of their industries.
7 On top of that, there’s also the University of Surrey too – which recently ranked fourth in the Guardian University Guide 2016, the third consecutive year it has risen within the top ten.
8 The town is a centre for the arts, with the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, The Electric Theatre and G Live accompanied by the Guildford Fringe Festival.
9 While the cobbled High Street and shopping centres are the most obvious target for the discerning buyer, make sure to get lost down the alleys for hidden gems.
10 Take a short drive out of the town to discover the artists’ village of Compton and the jewel in its crown, Watts Gallery. The neighbouring Loseley Park is also worth a visit.
A pocket guide:
Drink at: The Weyside is in an idyllic riverside location, while Firefly @ The Keystone is an arts hub.
Eat at: Try something different at Guildford Institute’s vegetarian Beano or how about the master chef led Britten’s, which is top class. Make sure to check out the Tea Terrace at House of Fraser or the Thai Terrace for spectacular rooftop views acros the town.
Stay at: The independent Angel Posting House or the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel.