Experience Guildford’s Amanda Masters on her perfect Surrey weekend

PUBLISHED: 05:08 06 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:36 06 November 2015

Come the weekend, Amanda loves to get out and explore our local area (Photo Vicki Paterson)

Come the weekend, Amanda loves to get out and explore our local area (Photo Vicki Paterson)

Vicki Paterson

What does Guildford’s ‘girl-about-town’ like to do on her days off? Amanda Masters, general manager of Experience Guildford, the town centre’s Business Improvement District, tells us more...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2015


I love a bit of retail therapy and am lucky enough to work in the heart of Guildford surrounded by great places to eat, shop and visit. I’m even luckier to consider visiting many of my favourite town centre hot spots part of my job. As general manager of Experience Guildford, my role is to ensure that Guildford remains one of the most vibrant shopping and leisure destinations in the south-east, and during the week I would say I do my fair share to keep that economy going!

With my retail fix already met, my weekends are more about enjoying life and local attractions closer to my home in Cranleigh, and spending time with my husband, rather than being seduced by the stores.

After a busy week in the office, Friday evenings are always a welcome indulgence – a time to relax, eat well and catch up with my husband or entertain friends. We’re both big foodies and are spoilt for choice with an array of great produce on our doorstep; Cranleigh is one of the few towns in the UK that still has a good butcher’s and fishmonger’s on the high street and a couple of fabulous bakeries. There’s also an excellent choice for great places to eat out, with The Richard Onslow and Restaurant 107 both firm Friday-night favourites of ours.

Our other joint passion is the theatre and we love to nip back into Guildford for dinner and a show whenever we have the chance. I’m a big supporter of both the Guildford Fringe and Guildford Shakespeare Company, so always try to pop along to their productions, plus regularly check out the listings at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, G Live and Electric Theatre.

Lazy Saturday mornings

Saturday mornings are definitely the time to drop the pace a little, with the alarm switched off, a leisurely brunch and a trawl through the weekend papers. I love to be a home bird during the weekend, or more precisely a garden bird, so feeling refreshed (and full), it’s time to don those gardening gloves and head for the flower beds. More often than not, it’s another excuse for a bit more retail therapy, with some great garden centres and farm shops on our doorstep, such as Notcutts in Cranleigh or Secretts of Milford. Gardening has become quite a new passion of mine, and my successful trial-and-error approach to cultivation has got me hooked on creating a little green haven of my own – perhaps inspired by the work I’ve done for the town centre over the years in relation to the ‘In Bloom’ campaign.

I’ve lived in Surrey now for around 10 years and still love to explore the area. We’re blessed with some of the country’s most stunning countryside, oldest woodlands and crystal clear rivers and lakes. A walker’s paradise, Sundays are the perfect time to head for the Surrey Hills to enjoy our favourite landmarks or discover a few of the area’s more hidden gems. I love the circular route around Newlands Corner and the mysterious Silent Pool, or a hike up Leith Hill if I’m feeling a little more energetic – the views are breathtaking.

If the weather’s not on our side, I enjoy mooching around antiques and knick-knack stores with friends. Bourne Mill in Farnham is always a winner; it’s so quirky and you can get lost in there for hours. There’s always a bargain to be had and some great up-cycling projects to get my teeth into.

• Experience Guildford works to ensure that the town centre remains the most successful it can be, helping businesses thrive whilst boosting the local economy with popular events such as the Guildford Christmas lights switch-on, Independents’ Day and the recent urban beach. See experienceguildford.com

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 12:41

Bella Vou run us through CO2RE Intima, a non-surgical treatment helping with women’s intimate health

Read more
Tue, 16:16

At Sir William Perkins’s School (SWPS) the aim is to build confidence, integrity and excellence in a caring, innovative and happy community so that each student leaves with the best possible chance of achieving her full potential and ready to take on the world.

Read more
Tue, 11:43

If the colder weather is making you feel like escaping to somewhere snug and cosy, you might be surprised to find some perfect rural retreats right on your doorstep. Here’s our pick of the best to discover in Surrey…

Read more
Tue, 11:33

Get ready to laugh, boo and hiss, and cheer on your favourite childhood heroes in the array of pantomimes coming to Surrey theatres this Christmas

Read more
Tue, 11:01

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Mon, 16:01

Actress, singer and entertainer, Anita Harris has travelled the world in an illustrious career that spans over five decades. From her home in Chertsey, she talks to Tinx Newton about the people she has worked with, her tour and life in Surrey

Read more
Mon, 14:13

If there's ever a time of year when a brisk, bracing walk is needed, then winter and the lead-up to the festive season is surely it. Here we round up a few of our Surrey favourites

Read more
Mon, 13:01

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (14, 15 and 16 December): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Surrey is a county full of festive delights. Think cosy pubs, frosty views and long winter walks. We pick 22 wonderful reasons to spend Christmas in Surrey.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Surrey this month

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With beautiful countryside, stunning villages and plenty of bluebells during spring, Surrey is an amazing place for a stroll

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Pupils at The Hawthorns School in Bletchingley collected over 5,800 items of food for the Loveworks foodbanks in Reigate and Merstham

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

We’ve teamed up with Grand Illusions to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win a £250 gift card with the stylish homeware brand

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Celebrating its 25 anniversary, Kinghams restaurant is found at the heart of one of Surrey’s most iconic villages. Matthew Williams visits to discover the secrets of its longevity

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search