On the doorstep of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the thriving and vibrant market town of Guildford has an amazing cultural heritage with an abundance of gardens, walkways and historic buildings. Cobbled streets lead visitors through the town filled with modern markets and shopping. The pedestrianised High Street, lined with 17th-century buildings and watched over by the Guildhall's iconic clock, meanders down to the River Wey and a pub on the river.
Guildford Cathedral on top of Stag Hill rises out of the surrounding countryside, welcoming visitors from far and wide. In town, the Guildhall's striking 17th-century facade on the front of a Tudor structure, and its clock that stretches out above the High Street is a sight to behold, as are, also on the High Street, Guildford House, Abbot's Hospital and The Royal Grammar School.
A five-minute walk up the High Street takes you to Guildford Castle, which started life as a Norman timber structure, turned to stone by Henry II, and made one of the most opulent royal residences in the land under Henry III. Today, the castle ruins are surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.
The music and art landscape is also impressive. Home to Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra, the Civic Hall holds over 1,000 guests for concerts. The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on the riverbank opened in 1965 and has always provided the town with a breathtaking programme of art from all over the country.
The River Wey, which runs right through the centre, brims with pleasure craft and entices many for an amble along its banks, and on display on Millbrook wharf is the 17th-century tread-wheel crane, which used to load and unload barges.