Guildford is famous for its historic high street paved with stone setts and its unique town clock overhanging the roadway.
Five minutes walk from the high street is the finest Norman Castle in the county set in a beautifully preserved award winning municipal park.
The high street, with its views ofo the north downs contains a range of historic buildings from the Tudor Royal Grammar School at the top to the Saxon church of St Mary’s. There is also the red brick 18th century Holy Trinity Church with the Jacobean Abbott’s Hospital opposite.Further down is the seventeenth century Guildford House containing the town’s art gallery.
In addition to these landmarks the town possesses some distinctive examples of 20th century architecture including the curved river frontage of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and the bow shaped Debenhams designed to look like a passenger ship.
Further away from the town centre is Guildford Cathedral (1961) standing high up on Stag Hill and visible for miles around.
Guildford is lucky to have several National Trust properties on its doorstep. Literally on the edge of the town is Dapdune Wharf telling the story of the Wey Navigation, one if the earliest commercial canal systems in the country. Just outside the town is Clandon House, the seat of the local aristocracy. Just down the road is another 18th century mansion, Hatchlands
All of these sites and indeed the town itself are set in the North Downs (also known as the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty). There are numourous villages worth exploring of which Shere is the most famous. In the nineteenth century this area became popular with artists and writers and Surrey is one of the best places to discover architecture from the Arts and Crafts movement. One of the artists from this movement was G.F. Watts who home and Gallery is now an artists village in Compton.