Trains to Godalming travel through the tranquil Surrey countryside, and arrive in a historic town of winding streets and ancient buildings with wooded hillside all around. It's a charming sight, and one that sets the tone for a visit to this one-time Saxon settlement. Rail arrived in Godalming in 1849, offering direct trains north to London and south to Portsmouth and prompting new residential developments all over the town. Today, the station's noted for its flower displays and regularly wins the Godalming in Bloom annual competition.
Godalming's growth was driven by the wool, cloth, paper and leather industries, the latter continuing well into the 1950s. In fact, a dynamo at the town's Westbrook Mills leatherworks supplied the power for the world's first public electricity system, established in 1881. Today, Godalming boasts lovely cafes and independents shops, and historic buildings along High Street and Church Street. The town's museum is also worth a peek.