Places to Visit
The Guildford Tourist Office situated in Guildford House just up the High Street from the town clock is the best starting point for a visit to Guildford. There is plenty to see. Guildford is famous for its historic High Street paved with stone setts and its unique town clock overhanging the roadway. See Explore the Town Centre.
The High Street, with its views of the North Downs, contains a range of historic buildings including the Saxon church of St Mary’s and the red brick 18th century Holy Trinity Church with the Jacobean Abbot’s Hospital opposite. Further down is the seventeenth century Guildford House containing the town’s art gallery. Not far away is Guildford Castle set in the beautiful Castle Grounds famous for it flower borders.
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. 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 of 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 numerous 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. See Watts Gallery.