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Coordinates: 51°14′07″N 0°34′29″W / 51.2354°N 0.5746°W / 51.2354; -0.5746

Guildford high street 1.jpg
Guildford High Street
Guildford is located in Surrey

 Guildford shown within Surrey
Population 66,773 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SU9949
District Guildford
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district GU1-4
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Guildford
List of places: UK • England • Surrey

Guildford (pronounced /ˈɡɪlfə(r)d/ ( listen))[2] is the county town of Surrey,[3] England, as well as the seat for the borough of Guildford and the administrative headquarters of the South East England region. It is situated some 43 km (27 miles) southwest of London on the A3 trunk road linking the capital to Portsmouth.

The town has Saxon roots, [4] and likely owes its location to the existence of a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey is forded by the Harrow Way. The town grew enough in importance by 978 to be the Royal Mint. With the building of the Wey Navigation and Basingstoke Canal Guildford was in the centre of a network of waterways that aided its prosperity.

The Guildford pub bombing by the Provisional IRA in 1974 killed five people including four off-duty soldiers from the local barracks.[5] The subsequently arrested suspects became known as the Guildford Four.



It is believed that Guildford was founded by Saxon settlers shortly after Roman authority had been removed from Britain (which was c.410AD). The site was likely chosen because the Harrow Way (an ancient trackway that continues along Hog's Back) crosses the River Wey at this point, via a ford. This probably gives rise to the second half of Guildford's name. The root of the first part is gold rather than society or meeting place.[citation needed] The Saxon name would have been Gyldeford, meaning golden ford. It has been suggested that the gold may refer to golden flowers by the ford, or the golden sand, but this is not certain. There is an old coaching Inn on the Epsom Road previously called the 'Sanford Arms', which almost certainly derives from 'Sand Ford', so this adds weight to the suggestion that 'Guildford' is a corruption of 'Gold Ford', referring to the very distinctive golden sand showing on the banks of the River Wey where it cuts through the sandy outcrop just south of the town.[citation needed]

In Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Guildford is identified with Astolat of Arthurian renown.[6] Guildford's model railway club, the Astolat Model Railway Circle,[7] and a local pub, the Astolat,[8] are just a couple of the modern day reminders of the legend to be found in the town.

From 978 Guildford was the location of the Royal Mint.[6]

Guildford Castle

Guildford castle may date back to Saxon times, if not much earlier.[citation needed] Its situation overlooks the pass through the hills taken by the Pilgrims' Way, and also, presumably, once overlooked the ancient ford across the Wey, thus giving a key point of military control of this important East-West route way across the country; just as Windsor Castle and the Tower of London once guarded the Thames.[citation needed]

Guildford appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Geldeford and Gildeford, a holding of William the Conqueror. The king held 75 hagæ (houses enclosed in fences) and the town rendered £32. Stoke, a suburb within today's Guildford, appears in the Book as Stoch, and was also held by William. Its domesday assets were: 1 church, 2 mills worth 5s, 22 ploughs, 16 acres (65,000 m2) of meadow, and woodland worth 40 hogs. Stoke was listed as being in the King's park, with a rendering of £15.[9]

William the Conqueror used The Pilgrims' Way when he sacked the countryside, including Guildford, after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. He then had the castle built, or rebuilt, in the classic Norman style, the keep of which still stands. Another major purpose of Norman castle building was to overawe the conquered population and at Guildford this also was the case.[citation needed] As the threat of invasion and insurrection declined the castle's status was demoted to that of a Royal hunting lodge as Guildford was, at that time, at the edge of Windsor Great Park. It was visited on several occasions by King John and King Henry III.[6] The surviving parts of the castle were restored in Victorian times and then in 2004; the rest of the grounds are a pleasant public garden.[10][11]

In 1995, a chamber was discovered in the High Street, which is considered to be the remains of the 12th century Guildford Synagogue.[12][13] While this remains a matter of contention, it is likely to be the oldest remaining synagogue in Western Europe.[13]

Guildford elected two members to the Unreformed House of Commons.[citation needed] From the 14th century to the 18th century, it prospered with the wool trade.[citation needed]

In the 1300s the Guildhall was constructed and still stands today as a noticeable landmark of Guildford. The north end was extended in 1589 and the Council Chamber was added in 1683. It was in 1683 when a projecting clock was made for the front of the building and can be seen throughout the High Street.

In 1598, a court case referred to a sport called kreckett being played at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford which was built in 1509 and became a Royal Grammar School in 1552 granted by Edward the Sixth. The Oxford English Dictionary gives this as the first recorded instance of cricket in the English language.[citation needed]

The Hospital of the Holy Trinity still has a charitable role

In 1619 George Abbot founded the Hospital of the Holy Trinity,[6] now commonly known as Abbot's Hospital,[14] one of the finest sets of almshouses in the country. It is sited at the top end of the High Street, opposite Holy Trinity church. The brick-built, three-storey entrance tower faces the church; a grand stone archway leads into the courtyard. On each corner of the tower there is an octagonal turret rising an extra floor, with lead ogee domes.[14]

The River Wey in Guildford is canalised into the Wey Navigation

One of the greatest boosts to Guildford’s prosperity came in 1653 with the completion, after many wrangles, of the Wey Navigation.[citation needed] This made it possible for Guildford businesses to access the Thames at Weybridge by boat and predated the major canal building program in Britain by more than a century. In 1764 the navigation was extended as far as Godalming and in 1816 to the sea at Arundel via the Wey and Arun Junction Canal and the Arun Navigation. The Basingstoke Canal also was built to connect with the Wey navigation, putting Guildford in the centre of a network of waterways. Although the Wey was never made navigable as far as Farnham, that town also benefited greatly from the existing navigation, being able to transport produce to and from Guildford via the Pilgrims' Way.[citation needed]

In the years from 1820 to 1865 Guildford was the scene of severe outbursts of semi-organised lawlessness commonly known as the “Guy Riots” The Guys would mass on the edge of the town from daybreak on November the fifth, wearing masks or bizarre disguises and armed with clubs and lighted torches. With the onset of nightfall, or maybe before, they would enter the town and avenge themselves on those who had crossed them in the preceding year by committing assaults and damaging property; often looting the belongings of victims from their houses and burning them on bonfires in the middle of the street. In later years attempts to suppress the Guys led to the deaths of two police officers. In 1866 and 68 the Guys were dispersed by cavalry and this seems to have brought an end to the riots. Similar disorder surrounding the St Catherine’s Hill Fair, held just outside the town on the Pilgrims' Way, was suppressed around the same time. [15] [16]

The Catholic order of Franciscan Friars built a friary for the training of young friars at Chilworth, on the outskirts of Guildford, with the building completed in 1892. The friars continue to minister at Chilworth to this day.[citation needed]

The diocese of Guildford was created in 1927, and Guildford Cathedral was consecrated in 1961. Previously, Guildford had been part of the diocese of Winchester.

During World War II, the Borough Council built 18 communal air raid shelters.[17] One of these shelters, known as the Foxenden Quarry deep shelter, was built into the side of a disused chalk quarry. Taking a year to build, it comprised two main tunnels with interconnecting tunnels for the sleeping bunks. It could accommodate 1000 people and provided sanitation and first aid facilities. Having been sealed since decommissioning in 1944, it has survived fairly intact.[17][18][19] The quarry itself is now the site of the York Road car park, but the shelter is preserved and open once a year to the public.

In May 1968 students at Guildford School of Art began a "sit-in" at the School in Stoke Park which lasted until mid-summer.

On October 5, 1974, bombs planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army went off in two Guildford pubs, killing four off-duty soldiers and a civilian. The pubs were targeted because soldiers from barracks near Guildford were known to frequent them.[5] The subsequently arrested suspects, who became known as the Guildford Four, were convicted and sentenced to long prison sentences in October 1975. They claimed to have been tortured by the police and denied involvement in the bombing. In 1989 after a long legal battle, and a police investigation which resulted in the suspension of DC Leila Fradley, their convictions were overturned and they were released.[20]

In the summer of 2007, a farm near the local village of Normandy, Surrey was the centre of a foot and mouth disease crisis amongst livestock. A major operation occurred to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease.[21]

Modern Guildford

The statue of Archbishop George Abbot stands at the top of Guildford High Street
The Friary Centre lies on the site of an old friary

In the 21st Century Guildford is a bustling English town, with a High Street paved with granite setts (frequently referred to as cobbled), numerous shops and department stores. It is a market town with the market being held on Fridays and Saturdays. A farmers' market is usually held on the first Tuesday of each month. There is a Tourist Information Office[22] and several hotels including the historic Angel Hotel which long served as a coaching stop on the main London to Portsmouth stagecoach route.[23] According to Channel Four Television's "The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK" TV show Guildford was the 9th best place to live in Britain in 2006[24] but slipped to 12th position in 2007, largely due to the pollution produced by the numerous cars found on the roads[25]. Guildford still remains one of the most expensive places to live in the UK outside of London. Guildford is the most attractive and safe shopping destination in the UK, according to the Eve Prime Retail Survey 2004[26] and ranked 27th in the country overall[27].


Guildford has the most visited Art Gallery in Surrey, Guildford House Gallery, with over 120,000 visitors per annum.[28] The Gallery is situated in the High Street, in a 17th century Grade I Listed Town House and is run by Guildford Borough Council. Its own art collection includes works of Guildford and the surrounding area, and work by Guildford Artists, most notably John Russell R.A. Also run by the borough Council is Guildford Museum.

The town's principal commercial theatre is the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre which often shows productions before (and after) they have spent time in London's West End. The Electric Theatre opened in 1997 to host performances by musicians and amateur drama groups.[29] It also hosts regular film, family and music festivals as well as comedy and has a Riverside Cafe Bar and Terrace. Guildford also has an Odeon cinema multiplex, which is as of June 2007 the only cinema in the world showing digital 4K films to the public [30]. Guildford Civic Hall was the town's main arts and entertainment venue. It has been shut since January 2004, but is due to be replaced.[31] In 2009 the Mill Studio in Guildford featured the English premiere of the one-woman musical, Estelle Bright, starring actress/singer Sarah Tullamore.[32]

Stoke Park is the venue for both the Guilfest music festival during the summer and the Surrey County Show (agricultural and general) on the last bank holiday Monday in May. Previous to 2007, the Ambient Picnic was held in Shalford Park, by the River Wey.[33][34]

Radio stations Radio Lion, 96.4 The Eagle, County Sound Radio 1566 AM, GU2 Radio, and BBC Surrey are all based in Guildford.


Guildford's Spectrum Leisure Centre, in Stoke Park, is a national prizewinning[35][36] sports centre that includes a variety of pools (for leisure and for serious swimming),[37] Ten-pin bowling,[38] a small inflatable Laser tag[39] (with a similar facility in the town centre[40]), an ice rink[41] and an athletics track, as well as general halls used for indoor sports including gymnastics and trampolining. The Spectrum is home to several local sports teams, including the Guildford Flames[42] of the English Premier Ice Hockey League, Guildford City of the Combined Counties Football League, Guildford International of the National Volleyball League and Guildford Heat of the British Basketball League.

The Surrey Sports Park, owned by the University of Surrey, is currently under construction on its Manor Park campus close to the Royal Surrey County Hospital and the Surrey Research Park. On completion it will house a 50 metre pool, as well as squash courts, floodlit tennis and pitches.[43]

Guildford Cricket Club play their home matches at the Woodbridge Road ground. Surrey County Cricket Club also play one or two matches a season there. The town is home to two-time BCAFL Southern Conference, Southern Division Champions, and the Surrey Stingers American Football team. Charlotteville Cycling Club is based in Guildford and named after one of the areas of the town. They promote the Guildford Town Centre Cycle Races that take place on the cobbled high street each July. There is a martial arts and fitness centre, AJIMA located on Cabell Road in Park Barn[citation needed]. Guildford also has two indoor rock climbing centres, Craggy Island on Moorfield Road in the Slyfield Industrial Estate, and The Vertex on the University of Surrey campus.


State schools

As for the rest of Surrey, Guildford's state schools operate in a three tier system. Primary schools in the town include St Thomas of Canterbury (Catholic), Boxgrove, Sandfield and Guildford Grove. Amongst the Junior schools are Bushy Hill, Holy Trinity, Northmead Junior and Queen Eleanor's C of E. Secondary schools include George Abbot, St Peter's, King's College, Christ's College and Guildford County School.

Private schools

The Royal Grammar School is towards the east end of the High Street

Probably the best-known school in the town is the Royal Grammar School, Guildford. The 'old school' building which was constructed over the turn of the Tudor and Elizabethan periods and houses a chained library, lies towards the top of the High Street. The school was established in 1509. The feeder school for the Royal Grammar School is Lanesborough School which is the choir school for Guildford Cathedral. Other private schools in the town include Rydes Hill Preparatory School, Guildford High School and Tormead School.

Tertiary education

The campus of the University of Surrey is in Guildford. Battersea College of Technology (previously the Battersea Polytechnic Institute) moved to the town in 1966, gaining a Royal Charter in order to award its own degrees and changing its name to its current title.

The town is home to the inaugural campus of The College of Law[44] and to the Guildford School of Acting. Other institutions in Guildford include Guildford College of Further and Higher Education (which also occupies the site of the former Guildford School of Art), Academy of Contemporary Music and the Italia Conti Arts Centre.


The town of Guildford forms part of the larger area administered by the borough of Guildford, which in turn forms part of the county of Surrey. Whilst the rest of the borough's area is split into civil parishes, the urban area of Guildford in unparished. Thus, within the town of Guildford, the Borough Council takes the role of both first and second tier local authority, whilst the County Council forms the third tier of local authority.

Though often referred to as a city Guildford is a town, but has applied for city status several times. Guildford's 2002 application to be granted the status of a city was unsuccessful, losing out to Preston, the only English town being formally recognised as a city as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations. Traditionally, the establishment of a diocesan cathedral in a town conferred city status, and the presence of a University is often used as a rule of thumb in determining a settlement's status. Guildford has both of these institutions, has a rich social history and is a significant economic hub in Surrey, a county with no city.

The Cathedral of Surrey, in Guildford

Even though Guildford is the county town for Surrey, the council itself has its administrative base in Kingston upon Thames[45] which, although formerly in Surrey, is now in Greater London.

Other organisations of note that have headquarters in Guildford include Surrey Police and SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency. The South East England Regional Assembly also meets in Guildford.

Politically, the constituency of Guildford is thought of as a traditional conservative seat. However, for the first time in over ninety years, the 2001 general election returned a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, Sue Doughty. The 2003 Borough Elections returned a majority council for the Conservative party, replacing the Liberal Democrat-controlled council. In the 2005 general election Guildford returned a Conservative Party MP, Anne Milton – by a narrow margin (0.7% of the voting electorate, or 347 votes) and despite a 0.5% rise in the Liberal Democrat vote. The Conservatives also held the council majority in the local elections of 2007[46].

The town is twinned with Freiburg in southern Germany,[47] and linked with Mukono in central Uganda.[48]


The Surrey Advertiser offices are next to the A3 and River Wey

Guildford is a thriving commercial town with the 2006 Financial Times annual list of Top 500 Global Companies listing four major businesses with a significant presence in the town[49] - the list includes Vodafone, Mitsubishi, Electronic Arts, and Colgate-Palmolive. Electronic Arts (formerly Bullfrog Productions), Media Molecule and Lionhead Studios have helped the town become a centre for video game production[50] . The fire engine manufacturer Dennis Specialist Vehicles and bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis are also located in the town as well as military vehicle builders Automotive Technik. The Surrey Research Park, contains a number of world leading[citation needed] companies including satellite manufacturers Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. A global gas and engineering company, The Linde Group, is also present in Guildford.



There are two railway stations in Guildford:

  • London Road station is on the other side of the town centre to the main station. It serves stopping services running between the main station and Waterloo and London Bridge stations.


The stretch of the A3 extending from beneath the A31 (Hog's Back) to Potter's Lane is known as the Guildford Bypass and is busy at peak times since the A3 trunk road links Guildford to Portsmouth, London and the M25. The M3 and M4 motorways are within short distance. The A31 (known locally as the 'Hog's Back' as it looks like the ridge of a hog's back from aerial view) extends from Guildford to Farnham and is built on the old site of a Roman Road and made up part of the Pilgrim's Way which extended from Winchester to Canterbury. Today, there is no direct route from Winchester to Canterbury and the A31 links Guildford to mid-Dorset (east of Dorchester). Guildford has a notorious one-way system in the town centre. There are other numerous minor A-Roads linking Guildford to various other places including Horsham, Woking, Godalming, Reading, Aldershot, Bracknell and Dorking.


Bus services in Guildford are primarily operated by Arriva with some additional services provided by Countryliner, Safeguard and Stagecoach. Most routes are centred on the bus station which is attached to the Friary shopping centre. Many internal bus services within Guildford are loop shaped circulars (starting and ending at the bus station) with different numbers for the clockwise and anticlockwise services. There are also services to many surrounding towns and villages including Woking and Aldershot.

Due to the location of the main railway station on the other side of the river from the bus station, only a small proportion of bus services stop at the railway station leading to poor integration between bus and rail services.[51] To address this issue, the Guildford Shuttle was introduced in 2000. It is a town centre circular linking up various aspects of the town. It was free until the borough council withdrew funding for it in August 2008, at which point the route was withdrawn.[51] The operator of the service reintroduced it in January 2009 on a commercial basis.

There is also a park and ride service, with three main sites at Artington, Merrow and the Spectrum.[52]


National Express operate coach service 030 between London Victoria Coach Station and Portsmouth and Southsea via Park Barn in Guildford, but not stopping in the town centre.[53]

Notable residents (past and present)

Guildford has been the home of several notable writers. Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, had a house in Guildford and is buried in the Mount Cemetery.[54] Edward Carpenter, the gay socialist poet and activist, moved to the town after the First World War and lived there until his death in 1929. He too is buried in Mount Cemetery. Other authors from the town include Gerald Seymour, writer of Harry's Game[55] and New York Times film critic Mordaunt Hall.[citation needed] P. G. Wodehouse was born, prematurely, in Guildford in 1881 whilst his mother was visiting the town.[56] Christian writer and biographer Joyce Reason was a resident of the town.[citation needed]

In music, Guildford lays claim to rock group The Stranglers, who were based in the town in the early 1970s and were briefly known as "The Guildford Stranglers". Drummer Jet Black ran an off-licence in the town and bass player Jean Jacques Burnel attended the Royal Grammar School.[57] Progressive rock musicians Mike Rutherford, of Genesis and Andrew Latimer of the band Camel, were both born in Guildford, as was jazz saxophonist Iain Ballamy. In more contemporary music, drum and bass producers Cause 4 Concern are from the town,[58] and Sam Sparro lived in Guildford at the turn of the 21st century before moving to the United States.

Several actors and actresses live in the area, including: Edward Kelsey, who plays Joe Grundy in The Archers;[citation needed] Stuart Wilson,[59] and Bonnie Langford.[60] Yvonne Arnaud, singer and actress, lived in the town for many years before she died.[61] Terry Jones, the Monty Python writer, went to the Royal Grammar School from 1953-61.[62] Other entertainers born in Guildford include WWE wrestler Paul Burchill[63] and Holly Samos – radio researcher and presenter, and former member of Chris Evans' Zoo Squad.[citation needed]

In sport, Guildford has been home to ChampCar driver Katherine Legge[64] and Allan Wells, gold medallist in the 100 metres at the 1980 Olympics.

Other notable residents include the model Jodie Kidd who was born in the town; mathematician, logician and cryptographer, Alan Turing, whose family home was in Guildford;[65] Michael Buerk, BBC newsreader;[66] Roger Fry, the English artist, critic and member of the Bloomsbury Group who lived in the house (Durbins) he designed and built in the town from 1909 to 1919;[67].

The fictional Ford Prefect, from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, claimed to be from Guildford, though in fact he was from a planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.[68]

Guildford and the media

Guildford has been captured on film in Carry on Sergeant[69], which was filmed at the former Queens Barracks, and The Omen, a scene from which was filmed at Guildford Cathedral. Singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock has sung about the town in "No, I Don't Remember Guildford", a song from his 1999 album "Jewels for Sophia". The University Hall on the campus of the University of Surrey was the site of the first ever Led Zeppelin gig on 25 October 1968.


  1. ^ "2001 Census: Town/villages in Surrey with population more than 1000". Surrey County Council.$FILE/Town%20populations.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  2. ^ Olausson, Lena; Sangster, Catherine (2006). Oxford BBC guide to pronunciation. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 160. 
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  5. ^ a b "CAIN: Chronology of the conflict October 1974". Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  6. ^ a b c d Guildford- A Residential Centre. The official Guide of the Corporation of Guildford. 11th Ed. 1946
  7. ^ "Astolat Model Railway Club Website". Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
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  12. ^ Sharman Kadish, Jewish Architectural Heritage in England, English Heritage, 2006, p. 69.
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  14. ^ a b A Guide to the Hospital of the Blessed Trinity Guildford. J.W.Penycate 1976
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  18. ^ Video tour of Foxenden Quarry Air Raid Shelter at YouTube
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  21. ^ "BBC News: 4 August 2007". 2007-08-04. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
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  26. ^ "PRNewswire: Top of the Shops - Gerald Eve Publishes Prime Retail". 2004-11-05. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  27. ^ "Gerald Eve Prime Retail Flyer". Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  28. ^ Guildford House Gallery
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  31. ^ "New £19.5m civic centre approved". BBC News Online. 2006-07-14. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  32. ^ "Never a dull moment with Estelle, article in Get Surrey". 
  33. ^ "COG Press Release 6 Feb 2007 "Ambient Picnic moves to Epsom"". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  34. ^ "Ambient Picnic Official Website". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  35. ^ "Derby City Council Bulletin 4 July 2005 "highest score of 87% which was given to Guildford Spectrum"". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  36. ^ "National Pool Safety Awards". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  37. ^ "Guildford Spectrum Website- Swimming". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  38. ^ "Guildford Spectrum Website- Tenpin Bowling". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  39. ^ "Guildford Spectrum Website- Childrens Parties". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  40. ^ "Guildford Borough Council Website- Tourism- Laser Quest". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  41. ^ "Guildford Spectrum Website- Ice Skating". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  42. ^ "Guildford Flames Official Website". Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
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  44. ^ "A Brief History 1960's". The College of Law. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
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  47. ^ "Guildford Borough Council Meeting Minutes 7 Oct 2004 "As part of the 25th anniversary of the twinning with Freiburg, the Mayor had recently hosted a very successful visit by a delegation from Freiburg."" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  48. ^ "Guildford-Mukono Link Website". Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  49. ^ "Financial Times top 500 Global Companies". 1996. Retrieved 2007-05-30. "List includes Vodafone, Mitsubishi, Electronic Arts, and Colgate-Palmolive" 
  50. ^ "Develop top 100 developers". 2009. Retrieved 2007-05-30. "3 of the top 40 are based in Guildford. Tokyo is the only city that contains more top 40 developers in a single town \ city" 
  51. ^ a b Surrey Advertiser: Wheels fall off alternatives to shuttle bus
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  55. ^ "Gerald Seymour at Transworld". Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
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  60. ^ "Daily Record". 2006-02-11. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
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  62. ^ "Royal Grammar School website- Terry Jones". Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  63. ^ Paul Burchill at the Internet Movie Database
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  66. ^ "BBC Correspondents". 2003-01-03. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  67. ^ Frances Spalding, Roger Fry, art and life (1980) ISBN 0-520-04126-7
  68. ^ Adams, Douglas (1979). The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. ISBN 0-330-25864-8. 
  69. ^ "The Whippit Inn". 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Guildford's cobbled High Street
Guildford's cobbled High Street

Guildford is a large town in Surrey in the South East of England. It has still retained much of its historical charm. A short walk up the cobbled high street shows many buildings which are hundreds of years old. The medieval castle was used by the King of England in the 1400s and because of this Guildford is the only royal town in Surrey.


Guildford grew up into a large town because of its location at roughly the half way point between England's main naval port at Portsmouth and the admiralty in Greenwich, London. People travelling by horse drawn carriage between the two would stop at inns in Guildford (such as The Angel and The Lion) to swap horses over and to refresh themselves. With the advent of the steam train in the 19th century, Guildford was no longer needed for this purpose, and it fell into decline. But as more and more people started to commute into work in London in the early 20th century, Guildford became more and more rich and popular.

Guildford is the county town of Surrey, but not the administrative centre (that is Kingston-upon-Thames, which is actually in a London borough). It is the economic and cultural centre of the whole of West Surrey.

Although under 30 miles away from Central London Guildford has its own individuality and is not similar to boroughs in London or other commuter towns in Surrey. Guildford is a large town with all the amenities of a City.

Get in

By bus

Guildford is served by many bus routes from Woking, Aldershot, Godalming and other local places. Prices can be fairly expensive and buses can be unreliable particularly after 6.30PM.

The main bus station, which is the terminus for all routes heading into Guildford, is on Commercial Road (off the bottom of North Street). From here, one can pick up details about bus services and buy cheaper long term tickets.

Park and Ride

Guildford has several park and ride carparks, and at the weekend they are the easiest way to get into the town centre. They are situated at Artington (on the Portsmouth Rd heading out towards Godalming, approx 3 miles south of Guildford), Ladymead Retail Park (round the back of the Cornhill Insurance building) and at the Spectrum Leisure Complex. At all three sites, the car parking is free and you just pay for the bus fare to get into the town centre, which is £1.20 for a return.

Ladymead - buses run every 10 mins on Saturday only from 8:30AM-6PM

Spectrum Leisure Complex - buses run every 12 mins M-F from 7:27AM-11:10PM, (although every 20mins after 7:30PM.)

Artington - buses run every 12 mins from Monday to Saturday from 7:30AM-7:30PM.
For more information National Park and Ride Directory [1]

Merrow - buses run every 15 mins

the park and ride system is good for the enviroment and also it allows the city to stay congestion free!

By plane

Guildford is well served by London's collection of airports. For travellers coming directly to Guildford, the most convenient (in reducing order of convenience) are:

  • Heathrow Airport [2] is about 40 minutes drive along the M25 motorway and the A3 trunk road. Alternatively it is linked directly to Woking rail station by the RailAir [3] express bus service.
  • Gatwick Airport [4] is about a hour's drive away via the M23 (northbound), M25 (clockwise) and A3 (southtbound) roads. There is a through train service to Guildford from a rail station in the airport terminal complex, running twice an hour and taking less than an hour.

By train

Guildford main line station is served by commuter and regional train services from many different directions, including two routes to London (one fast via Woking, the other slow via Cobham). The fast services continue southwards to Portsmouth. Guildford also lies on the the line from Reading to Gatwick Airport; beyond Reading, services to Oxford and Birmingham may be accessed, and via Gatwick, connections to Brighton and Kent.

From London, you should travel from London Waterloo station and catch a train whose first stop after Woking is Guildford (there are several of these an hour), the travel time will be about 35 minutes. There are also a limited amount of Portsmouth bound trains that go non stop to Guildford. There are other stopping services from Waterloo via Cobham, but these take so much longer it isn't normally worth considering them.

There is a smaller station called London Road (Guildford), which is the penultimate stop on the line from London via Cobham.

Train times can be found on the National Rail Planner [5] or by calling 0845-748-4950 from anywhere in the UK.

By coach

National Express [6] serve Guildford with express bus (UK English:coach) services from around the country; advanced ticketing is necessary. Note that they serve a stop called Guildford Park Barn, which is a slightly out-of-town location near a Tesco supermarket. You will need to catch a local bus or taxi (if you can find one) to take you into Guildford.

By car

Guildford is served by the A3 trunk road which runs from London to Portsmouth. It is about an hour's drive from central London.

If you are visiting for the day by car, consider using the Park & Ride site at the Spectrum leisure complex just off the A3 southbound, or the site on the Old Portsmouth Road at Artington (on the way to Godalming) and catching the dedicated express bus from these locations.

Map of Guildford town centre
Map of Guildford town centre

By foot

The central area of Guildford is easily walkable, but hilly. From the railway station you must cross the river Wey in order to reach the town centre and the bus station.

By bus

Buses not only provide a good way of getting around the central district of Guildford itself, but are adequate for the local community. Although there is a free bus which circles the town centre three times an hour, it is often snarled in the traffic and usually, if you are able, quicker to walk.

  • Traveline [7], telephone 087-608-2-608 from within the UK, provide an impartial online travel planner and telephone query service for local bus services.

By taxi

Taxis are by far the most expensive way to get around Guildford. If you do wish to travel by taxi, there are taxi ranks at the front of the Railway Station, and at the bottom of North Street on the other side of the road from the Electric Theatre[8].

Alternatively taxis can be booked by phone and will usually pick up from most locations within a 5 mile radius of the town centre.

Popular operators include:

City Cabs 01483 888666

  • Surrey Cars[9] 01483 577 677
  • Beeline Cars 01483 566666
    • 5 & 6's 01483 565656
  • GTA Taxis 0800 502250
  • A-Line Cars 01483 564656

you can also get taxis from varous places around the city centre!

By car

Whilst not as bad as either London or Oxford, Guildford's roads can get very congested at peak periods. Especially if you aren't used to driving on the left, central Guildford is probably best avoided.

On the other hand, a car is the one (possibly along with cycling) of the only really practical ways of seeing a lot of the local countryside and villages. Out here the roads are a lot quieter.

By map

If you are planning to do any visiting or exploring beyond central Guildford, you will probably want to obtain a decent map of the area. You should ensure that any map you buy clearly shows the national grid reference lines, and explains how to use them, as grid references are frequently used to indicate out of town locations. The best maps for this purpose are those published by the Ordnance Survey (Britain's national mapping agency) and the following maps cover all the locations mentioned below:

  • Ordnance Survey Landranger 186. This map covers the area around and between Guildford and Aldershot at a scale of 1:50000 and is best for exploration by car or cycle.
  • Ordnance Survey Explorer 145. This map covers the area around Guildford at a scale of 1:25000 and is best for walking.

These maps can be found in any good bookshop in Guildford (see 'Buy' section below), or can be bought online from the [10].

  • Online Maps of Guildford city centre [11]
The Guildhall
The Guildhall
  • Abbot's Hospital, High Street, Guildford. [12] Built in 1619 by Guildfordian Archbishop of Canterbury George Abbot as a retirement home for the local elderly.
  • Lewis Carroll, author, mathematician and photographer, Lewis Carroll (b1832) lived in Guildford until his death in 1898. Visit Lewis Carolls house 'Chestnuts', on Castle Hill in the centre. See Guided Tours of Guildford.
  • The Guildhall, High Street, Guildford. A marvellous Tudor/Stuart building with its overhanging 1683 clock.
  • Guildford Museum, Quarry Street, Guildford.
  • The Spike, Charlotteville, Guildford. 19th Century workhouse used to house vagrants until 1960. This site has now been fully restored and is one of two similar sites in the UK.
  • Guildford Castle and Grounds, Castle Street, Guildford, GU1 3TU, (), [13]. Gardens open all year dawn - dusk, castle closed in winter, summer: daily 10AM-5PM. Medieval castle built to protect the town in the 1400s and one of Henry III's most luxurious residences. Recent conservation work revealed a 12th century first floor chamber which is now open to the public. Free entry into gardens, castle Adult £2.50 Student £1.20.  edit
  • Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7UP, [14]. Open daily, all year round, 8:30AM-5:30PM; Guided tours daily 9:40AM-4PM. A 1930s brick built cathedral which was the first to be built on a new site in the south of England since the Reformation. The inside is more impressive than the outside. The cathedral was started in the 1930s, but it wasn't until 1961 that it was consecrated due to an interruption in construction due to World War II.  edit
  • St Catherine's Chapel ruined abbey a short walk along the river wey from Guildford town centre.
  • The Wey Navigation [15] is the canal that winds its way through Guildford until it reaches the River Thames in Weybridge. Of particular interest is the HQ at Dapdune Wharf, but just sitting down by the locks near the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre watching canal boats is very peaceful and gives one an insight into what the Wey once was - a busy industrial thoroughfare connecting Guildford and Surrey's industries with the rest of the country - and you might even get to help open the locks for the boat!
The Watts Chapel
The Watts Chapel

There are also many interesting things to see around Guildford:

  • Clandon Park (national trust), [16].
  • Denbies Vineyard, [17] Very good wine.
  • Hatchlands Park (national trust), [18].
  • Leith Hill and its folly (national trust), [19].
  • Loseley House, [20].
  • Newlands Corner, [21]. Situated on the southern facing side of the North Downs, there are fantastic views over Surrey and also plenty of walks to be done. 10 min drive from the centre of Guildford.
  • Painshill Landscape Gardens
  • RHS Wisley gardens, [22]. One of the top Royal Horticultural Society gardens in the country. 15 min drive up the A3.
  • Surrey Hills
  • Waverley Abbey
  • Watts Gallery and the exceptional Watts Chapel located just off the A3, south of Guildiford, near Compton, well worth a visit to see the fine Arts and Crafts buildings.
The River Wey, five minutes away from Guildford town centre
The River Wey, five minutes away from Guildford town centre
  • Guided tour of Guildford, Tours start from under the Tunsgate arch (opposite the Guildhall clock in the High Street), 01483 444333 (), [23]. Mondays 11.00AM, Wednesdays 2.30PM, Sundays 2.30PM, Thursdays 7.00PM. Walks last 70 to 90 minutes and cover about half a mile, and there are a choice of tours to do from Ghosts and legends to tours looking at historic buildings in the town. Booked through the Tourist Information centre.  edit
  • Odeon Cinema. Multi screen cinema showing all the usual Hollywood offerings.  edit
  • Craggy Island, [24]. The ultimate artificial climbing experience for all abilities. .  edit
  • Spectrum. Leisure centre with swimming, bowling, ice skating, fitness suites...  edit
  • Guildford Lido. Closed in Winter. Now Fully restored attractive 1930s art deco outdoor swimming pool.  edit
  • River Wey Trips [25]
  • Guldford Boats [26]

Alternatively, hire a rowing boat (£7) or a canoe (£5) and travel along the river at your own pace. Boats can be hired from the Guildford Boathouse, located at the back of Millmead short stay car park off the Shalford Road. The boats tend to be in good condition and the river is not too crowded!


There are many walks around the North Downs surrounding Guildford including the North Downs Way which runs from Farnham (8miles West Guildford) to Folkstone some 80miles away. There are also pleasant walks to be had along the River Wey to Godalming or Woking. Pewly down and the chantries SE of the town centre offer a change of scenery.

  • Guilfest [27] - annual summer 3-day rock and pop festival taking place on 4th, 5th and 6th July 2009 at Stoke Park. Confirmed acts include Motorhead, The Lightning Seeds and Will Young.
  • Guildford Book Festival [28] - annual festival of literature held on 16th - 25th October 2009 and featuring signings, readings, plays etc.
  • Guildford International Music Festival - A biennial festival (2005, 2007, 2009 etc.) featuring many concerts across 2-3 weeks. Genres are mixed, and the festival brings high quality professional acts to the town.
  • Farnborough International Airshow - not technically in Guildford (10 miles away in Farnborough), but well worth a visit to this biennial airshow.


Adult learning providers include

  • University of Surrey, ph: (+44) 01483 300 800, (fax: +44 (0)1483 300 803) [29]
  • Guildford College, Stoke Road, ph: (+44) 01483 448 500, [30]
  • Guildford Adult Education Centre, Sydenham Road, ph: 01483 51 85 28. Run by the county council.

There are also various private education providers including a Pitman Centre


There is a government run Jobcentreplus [31] on the corner of Onslow Street and York Road, near the Police Station. They are trying to squeese too much from their staff, but can still help find work of all kinds and do it good.

Guildford also has a vast array of temping agencies and private owned job centres. Walk up the High Street or North Street, or look in the local newspaper, the Surrey Advertiser.



Guildford is the major shopping centre of West Surrey, with most of its shops clustered in a fairly compact area on and around the High Street, and the parrallel North Street.

There are three shopping centres,

  • The Friary Shopping Centre at the bottom of North Street and Onslow Street
  • The White Lion Walk between the bottom of North Street and the bottom of the High Street
  • The Tunsgate Shopping Centre halfway up the High Street

There are two major department stores,

  • House of Fraser (A&N), [32].
  • Debenhams, [33].

Although there are several shopping malls, unlike many modern towns in England, the attractive cobbled High Street has remained the focus of Guildford's shopping district. It is here, on the High Street and on North Street that you will find the best shops, and have the nicest shopping experience.

In general stores open M-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM and Su 10AM-4PM although many stay open longer on some days and some do not open on a Sunday.

In addition to the shops and malls scattered around North Street and the High Street there is also a regular market each Friday and Saturday which stretches along North Street which offers a variety of goods including traditional fresh meat, fish, fruit, fresh ground coffee, cheese, olives, vegetables, flowers, pet food, luggage, linen, rugs, bags, towels, jewellery, clothes, cards, wooden carvings, CDs and picture frames.

The market operates during normal shopping hours on Fridays and Saturdays on North Street in Guildford, and is very close to Leapale Road and Castle multi-storey car parks.

There is also a Farmers Market on the High Street generally on the first Tuesday of every month. These times can vary during the summer season and during Guilford Summer festival, where markets, including crafts and handicrafts markets can be seen lining the high street for several weeks.


All main British banks and building societies have branches in Guildford, and most of them are situated around the eastern end of the High Street. These branches normally open M-Fr 9AM-4PM and Sa 9AM-noon.

Most bank and building society branches have 'through the wall' type ATMs that are open 24x7.

For changing money there are many Bureaux De Change services throughout the town, with some such as the post office offering commission free exchanges.

  • Auberge Restaurant Ltd, 274 High St, ph: 01483 506202
  • NEW Jamie's Italian, 13 Friary St, ph: 01483 600920
  • Magnifico's Restaurant, 144 High St, ph: 01483 300999
  • Mandarin Restaurant, 13 Epsom Rd, ph: 01483 572293
  • Matahari, 10 Chapel Street, ph: 01483 457886. [34] Thoughtfully prepared Fusion. The restaurant is small and intimate.
  • Old Orleans, Bedford Rd, ph: 01483 567882 Good quality Tex Mex, has a nice bar with seats out on the plaza infront.
  • Pews Bar & Restaurant, 21 Chapel St, ph: 01483 535012 [35]
  • Planet Spice [[[CLOSED]]] 20 Tunsgate, ph: 01483 306222. Good curry house, smaller and quieter than Rose Valley. Meals cost about £10. Beers about £2.50.
  • Rose Valley Curry House, 50-52 Chertsey St, ph: 01483 572572. Best curry house in town. Prince Harry and his mates have been known to dine here in the past.
  • Rumwong, 16-18 London Road, 01483 536092, [36]. Well presented Thai Restaurant with a decent menu. There is normal seating, and for the brave, more traditional Kan Tok (much lower!) seating. Mains from around £8.  edit
  • Sir & Madam Thai Restaurant, 8-9 Jeffries Passage, ph:01483 535025
  • Strada Restaurant, 222 High St, ph: 01483 454455
  • The Thai Terrace-Rooftop Restaurant, 7th Floor Castle Car Park, ph: 01483 503350 Offers a superb view of the town
  • Yvonne Arnaud Riverview Restaurant, Millbrook, ph: 01483 569334
  • Zinfandel Restaurant, 4 Chapel St, ph: 01483 455155 [37]
  • Worplesdon Place Hotel - very good food, but a bit expensive, and service can be slow.


Pubs and bars

In the town centre, Bridge Street (between The Friary shopping centre and the railway station) has a cluster of formulaic wine bars and cafe bars. Cheap prices and themed nights are fun, and popular with locals, as such the area gets extremely busy around closing time.

  • Bar Mambo Onslow Street. Brilliant location.... Drink prices now very reasonable. Shows a lot of sport - football, rugby, etc. Staff are very friendly, food is fantastic. It's the place to be...
  • Bar Med Bridge St. A (loosely) Mediterranean themed bar that shows a lot of Sky football matches. Reasonably priced beer, and pretty good food aswell.
  • Rodborough Buildings Bridge St. huge bar on two floors. Cheap beer and serves good food during the day. Pints cost £2-£3 although there are often drinks promotions. JD Wetherspoons bar. Closes at 11PM.
  • Tickled Ivory Onslow Street. Piano Bar offering live music all week. Offers a slightly more relaxing atmosphere than the other mob of Bridge Street bars.

On or near the High Street:

  • Auberge 274 High Street, ph: 01483 506202. Very cool wine bar and French restaurant. One you try it you'll been hooked!
  • Joe Clarks 176 High Street, ph: 01483 563846. Cafe/ Wine bar with a Mediterranean feel.
  • The Tudor Lounge 144 High Street, ph: 01483 300999. Totally revamped and far removed from its previous life as a run down resturant. Worth checking out.
  • The Three Pigeons 169 High Street, ph: 01483 574310. Finally justice has been done and this historic town pub has been rightly renamed back to The Three Pigeons after 3 sad years of being an unsuccessful gastro pub. Good value food and drink now served.
  • Fahrenheit 55 3 Milkhouse Gate (just off the High Street, near Sainsburys), ph: 01483 579111, [38] Very cool tapas bar with live bands playing from time to time. The food can be quite expensive, and it's not all tapas, but it's still very nice! Pints of beer cost around £3, and cocktails £4. Fahrenheit is one of the last bars to close in town: it is open until 2AM most nights.
  • Five & Lime, Leapale Road (Opposite Leapale Road Car Park). An excellent bar in the centre of Guildford, A good selection of tap & bottled beers plus some amazing spirits. The food is excellent & served from 12PM-7PM. Open later on Friday & Saturday.
  • The King's Head 52 Quarry Street, ph: 01483 575004. Inside, a traditional English pub, outside a very chic rooftop terrace. Very nice sitting outside in the summer.
  • Pews Bar 21 Chapel St, ph: 01483 535012. Large outdoor German style beer garden and bar.
  • The Robin Hood Sydenham Road, 01483 888307. Just behind the High Street, a 'proper' pub, good beer, great friendly atmosphere, food lunchtimes and evenings with new menu and famous Sunday Roast which takes some beating! Live music Friday and Saturday evenings with acoustic Sunday night entertainment starting mid-August. Need to book for Sunday lunch.
  • The Royal Oak 15 Trinity Churchyard, ph: 01483 566637. Hidden just behind the top of the high street, a traditional English pub, serving a range of real ales and imported drinks. Also known to host a few live music events from time to time.
  • The Star Inn, 2 Quarry St, ph: 01483 532887. Quite a lively pub with a young crowd. Good live local bands on some nights.
  • The Guildford Tup, 46 Chertsey St, ph: 01483 562441. close to York Road Car Park. Expensive beer, but very good beer garden with BBQ and frequent bands
  • Ha Ha Bar and Canteen, 16-17 North Street, ph: 01483 573534. Nice central location, close to the Bus Station and Taxi rank, opens till 1PM F/Sa.
  • The White House, 8 High Street, ph: 01483 302006. Nice outside terrace close to the river, very nice to relax an a summers day or night.
  • The Rowbarge, 7 Riverside. Outside deck looks over the river.
  • The George Abbot, 7-11 High Street, ph: 01483 302006. Large Pub with big screens with live sports. Good selection of beers and real ales. Nice selection of food.
  • The Britannia, 9 Millmead, 01483 572160. previously called Scruffy Murphys, there is a deck on the front of the pub which overlooks the river.
  • The Boatman, Millbrook, Guildford. Located a short walk out of town close to the Yvonne Arnold Theatre, nice outside deck which stretches right out next to the river (railings are now placed at the edge for safety).
  • Ye Olde Ship Inn, St. Catherines, Portsmouth Road. Next to the College of Law, is the oldest pub in Guildford.
  • The Angel, on the High Street. A very pleasant pub, with a fine selection of locally brewed ales. It is expensive to drink here but this keeps the youth out, making it one of very few pubs in Guildford town centre where you can enjoy a quiet drink!
  • The White Hart, White Hart Lane, Wood Street (3 miles outside of Guildford) is a nice traditional English pub serving good quality local ales in a very attractive setting.
  • The Ship Inn Pitch Place, Worplesdon Road, 1 mile out of Guildford. Next to Yeomans Honda, serves traditional food and quality ales.

In the Stoke Park Area

For visitors to Guildford this is generally an overlooked area of guildford, which is up and coming due to the increasing student population. Also recently billed as Guildford's latin quarter due to the increasing number of dancing and salsa venues opening up there.

  • The Stoke 103 Stoke Road, holds dance classes every Thursday which include include Salsa (Cuban, Cross Body On 1)and Rueda. Student discounts apply.
  • The Prince Albert 85 Stoke Road, Currently offering a selection of pub meals from £2.
  • The Casino, Onslow St. Guildford's main event night club.
  • Dusk (formerly known as Cinderellas). This is a smaller club than Harper's, attracting a younger crowd.
  • The Legion , Millbrook. On 3 floors, with 2 bars and a dance floor.
  • Flares , Bridge Street. 70's/ 80's themed bar.
  • m.Brasserie & Bar, 36-40 London Road. Part of the Mandolay hotel, this bar is at the top of the high street on the town centre and has a free entry disco/club before 10.30PM
  • The Boileroom, 13 Stokefields 01483440022. Billed as Guildford's Premier Live Music venue.
  • Wooden Bridge Pub, Woodbridge Hill, GU2-9AA, 01483 572708. Guildford's Live Music Venue for the greatest talent that The ACM, Guildford and the surrounding areas have to offer. Weekly Live nights: The Other Side Of The Bridge, hosted by Way Out. Every Saturday from 8pm.
  • Abeille Guest House, 119 Stoke Rd, ph: 01483 532 200, [39] .From £40
  • Acacia Villas Guest House, 29 Woodbridge Road, ph: 01483 458 884, [40] .From £35
  • Stoke House, 113 Stoke Road, ph: 01483 453 025, [41] .From £37
  • Guildford Guest House, 117 Stoke Road, ph: 01483 590 008, [42] .From £37
  • Holiday Inn, Egerton Rd, ph: 0870 4 009 068 [43]. From £35 to £199
  • Premier Travel Inn, Parkway, ph: 0870 1 977 122, [44]. From £47.
  • Travelodge, Woodbridge Meadows, ph: 0871 984 8484, [45]. From £19.
  • Asperion Hotel, 73 Farnham Rd, ph: 01483 579 299, [46]. From £50.
  • Blanes Court Hotel, 4 Albury Rd, Guildford, ph: 01483 573 171, [47]. From £60.
  • Clavadel Hotel, Epsom Rd, ph: 01483 569 066, [48]. From £59.95.
  • Quinns Hotel, 78 Epsom Rd, ph: 01483 560 422, [49]. From £54.50.
  • The Angel Posting House and Livery, High Street, ph: 01483 564 555.
  • The Guildford Hotel, 253 High St, ph: 01483 564 511, [50]. From £50.
  • Premier Inn Worplesdon Place, Perry Hill, ph: 0870 850 6370, [51]. From £57.
  • Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Guildford/Leatherhead, E Horsley, ph: 01483 284 222, [52]. From £59.
  • Manor House Hotel, Newlands Corner, ph: 01483 222 624 [53]. From £95.
  • Mandolay Hotel, 36-40 London Rd, ph: 01483 575 158 [54]. From £110.



Guildford's area code (for landline numbers) is 01483 when dialed from within the UK or +441483 from outside the UK.

Cellphone coverage is generally good within the city and surrounding area.


If you are travelling with a laptop then you will find broad-band internet access in the rooms of most, but not all, medium to high end hotels. If this is important to you check before booking. Alternatively there are many WiFi hot spots in and around Guildford and WiFinder [55] provides a register.

There are also several places that offer web and other internet access if you are travelling without a laptop. These include:

  • Caffe Nero, High Street.
  • Guildford library, 77 North Street (at the top of North Street), ph: 01483 568496 (fax: 01483 579177), [56]. Free access.
  • Quarks Internet Cafe, 7 Jeffries Passage, ph: 01483 451166, [57].
  • London 45 mins by train/car, with many tourist attractions and things to do.
  • Portsmouth to see the Historic Dockyard. About 50 mins by train/car.
  • Farnham Ancient Historic Market Town, about 15 minutes by Train/ Car from Guildford Centre.
  • Windsor Fabulous royal castle, which the Queen still uses, and very attractive town. Most recently the Guildhall hosted the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla.
  • World War I Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial [58] - Southwest of the town of Brookwood, about 9.5 kilometers (six miles) north of Guildford. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9AM to 5PM. The final resting place for 468 American military dead from World War I. There is a small chapel inscribed with the names of 563 Missing in Action persons. Free

Theme Parks

There are three very good theme parks all within 45 minutes drive of Guildford:

  • Chessington World of Adventures Just off M25, Junction 10 [59] 2006 opening times: from March 27th - October 31st. Great theme park and zoo that is aimed at kids and younger teenagers. Tickets: £29 adults, £19.50 kids, although there are many 1/2 price offers going on around the year.
  • Legoland Windsor near Windsor, [60] 2006 opening times: 25th March - 29th October. Good theme park, aimed at younger children, with fewer rides, although it has many lego towns. Tickets: £30 adults, £23 kids.
  • Thorpe Park Just off M25, Junction 12 [61] The big theme park in the South! Thorpe Park is aimed squarely at adrenaline junkies (although there are plenty of rides to suit others!) and is well worth a visit. Be sure to go on all the rides, especially Colossus (world's first 10 loop roller coaster), Nemesis Inferno (fast and fun!) and 2006's big new ride, Stealth (0 - 80mph in 2 seconds!)Tickets: £28.50 adults, £20 kids

Stay safe

Guildford is the most attractive and safe shopping destination in the UK, according to the Eve Prime Retail Survey 2004.

Much of the centre of town is being monitored 24 hours a day by CCTV cameras.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GUILDFORD, a market town and municipal borough, and the county town of Surrey, England, in the Guildford parliamentary division, 29 m. S.W. of London by the London and South Western railway; served also by the London, Brighton, and South Coast and the South Eastern and Chatham railways.

Pop. (1901) 15,938. It is beautifully situated on an acclivity of the northern chalk Downs and on the river Wey. Its older streets contain a number of picturesque gabled houses, with quaint lattices and curious doorways. The ruins of a Norman castle stand finely above the town and are well preserved; while the ground about them is laid out as a public garden. Beneath the Angel Inn and a house in the vicinity are extensive vaults, apparently of Early English date, and traditionally connected with the castle. The church of St Mary is Norman and Early English, with later additions and considerably restored; its aisles retain their eastward apses and it contains many interesting details. The church of St Nicholas is a modern building on an ancient site, and that of Holy Trinity is a brick structure of 1763, with later additions, also on the site of an earlier church, from which some of the monuments are preserved, including that of Archbishop Abbot (1640). The town hall dates from 1683 and contains a number of interesting pictures. Other public buildings are the county hall, corn-market and institute with museum and library. Abbot's Hospital, founded by Archbishop Abbot in 1619, is a beautiful Tudor brick building. The county hospital (1866) was erected as a memorial to Albert, Prince Consort. The Royal Free Grammar School, founded in 1509, and incorporated by Edward VI., is an important school for boys. At Cranleigh, 6 m. S.E., is a large middle-class county school. The town has flour mills, iron foundries and breweries, and a large trade in grain; while fairs are held for live stock. There is a manufacture of gunpowder in the neighbouring village of Chilworth. Guildford is a suffragan bishopric in the diocese of Winchester. The borough is under a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Area, 2601 acres.

Guildford (Gyldeford, Geldeford), occurs among the possessions of King Alfred, and was a royal borough throughout the middle ages. It probably owed its rise to its position at the junction of trade routes. It is first mentioned as a borough in 11 3 1. Henry III. granted a charter to the men of Guildford in 1256, by which they obtained freedom from toll throughout the kingdom, and the privilege of having the county court held always in their town. Edward III. granted charters to Guildford in 1340, 1346 and 1367; Henry VI. in 1423; Henry VII. in 1488. Elizabeth in 1580 confirmed earlier charters, and other charters were granted in 1603, 1626 and 1686. The borough was incorporated in 1486 under the title of the mayor and good men of Guildford. During the middle ages the government of the town rested with a powerful merchant gild. Two members for Guildford sat in the parliament of 1295, and the borough continued to return two representatives until 1867 when the number was reduced to one. By the Redistribution Act of 1885 Guildford became merged in the county for electoral purposes. Edward II. granted to the town the right of having two fairs, at the feast of St Matthew (21st of September) and at Trinity respectively. Henry VII. granted fairs on the feast of St Martin (11th of November) and St George (23rd of April). Fairs in May for the sale of sheep and in November for the sale of cattle are still held. The market rights date at least from 1276, and three weekly markets are still held for the sale of corn, cattle and vegetables respectively. The cloth trade which formed the staple industry at Guildford in the middle ages is now extinct.

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  1. The county town of Surrey, England

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