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Guildford: where to eat, shop and visit

PUBLISHED: 17:03 18 May 2012 | UPDATED: 20:52 20 February 2013

Guildford: where to eat, shop and visit

Guildford: where to eat, shop and visit

Famous for its beautiful cobbled high street, many historic buildings and spectacular views out towards the Surrey Hills, the county town of Guildford has all the entertainment, sights and shopping to make any weekend an action-packed one

My Guildford weekend...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine December 2011


Famous for its beautiful cobbled high street, many historic buildings and spectacular views out towards the Surrey Hills, the county town of Guildford has all the entertainment, sights and shopping to make any weekend an action-packed one. Matthew Williams highlights just a few of the many reasons to pay a visit


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Shopping in Guildford
Withits picturesquecobbled High Street at its heart, Guildford is the perfect place to head for a spot of shopping at any time of the year. Expect all the usual high street brands, plus designer shops and quaint and quirky independent stores hidden down a hive of alleys there are also three undercover shopping malls (Westfield, Tunsgate and White Lion Walk), as well as House of Fraser and Debenhams, just in case its raining


Literary history
Having provided inspiration to writers across the generations, the signs are still there to spot if you know where to look. While Guildford Museum is host to displays on Lewis Carroll, a number of statues also celebrate his links to the town including Through the Looking Glass and Alice and the Rabbit, located near the castle and river, respectively. It is said that he also found the inspiration for The Hunting of the Snark while walking on the hills near Guildford. These days, authors such as Adele Parks and Sandi Toksvig, who both live near the town, and Guildford Book Festival continue to bring the page to life.


A night ofentertainment
While many of the towns pubs host regular live music, the new G Live entertainment centre at the top of town also has an excellent programme. When it comes to theatre, the Yvonne Arnaud enables you to see high quality drama in touring shows often heading to the West End for a fraction of the price youd pay in London.


Enjoy a seasonal walk
Guildford provides the perfect base for ventures out into the Surrey Hills and the town is surrounded by a number of our most idyllic villages. So, why not take a stroll along the River Wey to the village of Shalford via St Catherines Chapel or, if youd rather stay a little closer to home, simply visit the spectacular gardens in Guildford Castle grounds, which are free to enter.


Meet an angel
As Guildford Cathedrals 50th anniversary year comes to a close, why not follow in the Queens footsteps and visit for a tour (guided tours must be booked in advance). Their Refectory restaurant, located next door, is also something of a hidden treasure.


Have a ball
Over at Surrey Sports Park, thingsarewarming upwith one of the countrys leading basketball teams, Guildford Heat, based there, as well as Harlequins rugby union andSurrey Storm netball teams.


Eating out in Guildford
Thai Terrace (01483 503350) on Sydenham Road; Cambio at the Castle (01483 577702) on South Hill; Rumwong (01483 456768) on London Road; and Carlo's Trattoria (01483 224180) just outside the town at Newlands Corner have all received good Surrey Life restaurant reviews over the years.

Need to know


Where to eat: There are lots of quality restaurants in Guildford. Try CAU for quality Argentinian beef, La Casita tapas restaurant, the Thai restaurants Rumwong and Thai Terrace, and the Italians Cambio at the Castle, Jamies Italian, Olivo and Olivetto, among the many others. Where to drink: Head to the river and The Boatman or, just off the High Street, The Albany. The Keep and The Kings Head, both near the castle, are also extremely cosy in the winter. Something to take home: Visit Guildford House Gallery to pick up a token of your visit from local calendars to jewellery via arts and crafts. Somewhere to stay: The brand new Radisson Edwardian is a four-star hotel with a spa or The Angel Posting House is Guildfords oldest hotel with beautiful suites and old-world charm and apparently a ghost! Top tip: Dont miss the cobbled High Street, which is picturesque at any time of year but at Christmas is brought to life further by lights and decorations joining the famous clock. To make sure you dont miss anything, pay a visit to Guildford Tourist Information Centre, located at Guildford House Gallery.


Getting there:


Guildford is at the hub of Surrey life and is easily accessible by bus, train and car there are also park and ride schemes at Artington, Merrow and Spectrum.


Get in touch:


with what you most love about Guildford and how youd spend your perfect weekend there at www.facebook.com/SurreyLife


Next month: Thames Ditton. Pre-order Januarys Surrey Life magazine at buyamag.co.uk, using the code NV954 to claim 50p off your copy.

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