Eating and Drinking
Guildford is one of the most popular places for pubbing and clubbing in the south of England. A huge range of restaurants, pubs and bars cater for the majority of pockets and palates. After hours, the two nightclubs chart and dance music.
Art and Culture
Originally a 17th century town house, Guildford House Gallery features a selection of art from the Borough’s Collection and has various regular exhibitions. Just off the High Street, the museum houses a collection of historical items including archaeological finds, Stone Age pots, Medieval relics, Roman mosaics, Tudor ceramics and works by gardener Gertrude Jekyll and writer Lewis Carol.
Guildford was built in Saxon times and still retains some ninth and tenth century architecture. The stone castle keep, built during the reign of Henry II, is Surrey’s only remaining royal castle. Close to the High Street and surrounded by landscaped grounds, the castle is a favourite spot for students and features open air events in the summer.
Festivals and Markets
Guilfest is held annually in Stoke Park and features hundreds of bands, hundreds of stalls, a 140ft bar, camping and camper van area. Past headliners include Paul Weller, Status Quo, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Proclaimers. The annual Book Festival is held in October - November in a variety of venues throughout Guildford and includes workshops, performances, readings and book signings by celebrated and new writers. Other yearly events include the Summer Festival, the Women’s Festival and the County Show. Every Friday and Saturday North Street hosts a traditional street market where shoppers will find fruit and vegetables, flowers and fabrics. Farmers’ markets and craft fairs regularly visit the town.
Places to go, things to do
Relax in the castle grounds, wander around Loseley House and gardens or picnic in the park of any of the nearby National Trust houses. Alternatively, hire a canoe or rowing boat from Guildford Boat House and take a trip down the River Wey.
Sport and Leisure
The nearby Spectrum is one of the biggest and best leisure centres in the country, with competition, diving and leisure pools, 32-lane tenpin bowling, Olympic-sized icerink, health and fitness suite, sports hall and 400-metre all-weather athletics track. Next to the College, the Lido is set in three acres of landscaped gardens and has a 50-metre heated swimming pool open from May to September and a new gym.
Stage and Screen
The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is one of the country’s leading regional theatres producing, presenting and previewing West End shows, new plays, period and contemporary drama, ballet, opera and musicals. Across town, the Electric Theatre hosts plays by a range of local arts groups and has fortnightly stand-up comedy nights. For big screen entertainment the nine screen Odeon cinema features all the latest films.
Capital City - London
The theatres, eateries, clubs, bars and other attractions of London are only a 40-minute train ride away. Frequent trains run direct to Waterloo.