Guilford - The Heart of Surrey
You can spend half a day in Guildford Town Centre where you can enjoy dining in restaurants, pubs or cafes with a wide range of cuisines and many serving locally produced food.
You can shop till you drop in well-known high street shops, designer shops and quirky independents - after all, Guildford was voted the best luxury shopping destination outside London by Experian!
You can then step back in time and explore the heritage of this bustling market town. Book one of the knowledgeable town guides to take you on a walk pointing out all the history of the town, or pick up an Historic Trail map from the Tourist Office (available in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) or download the Hand Held Tour of Historic Guildford from Google or Apple iStore.
There are two perfect coach stops in town - either at the top of town outside G Live Entertainment Venue (which gives you an opportunity to drop into the Radisson Blu Edwardian Guildford for one of their exquisite afternoon tea's) or at the bottom of town by the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (also a perfect spot for lunch overlooking the River Wey). Set a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Guildford's cobbled high street you will find beautifully manicured flower beds within the sculptured Castle grounds and Guildford's own Great Tower Castle keep.
The Castle originally built sometime after 1066 and offers a fantastic view of the lush rolling green hills that is the Surrey countryside if you climb the 34 steps that leads to the viewing platform you can see out over the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other iconic buildings in Guildford.
The Castle grounds provide a stunning display of colour throughout the year and a peaceful place to stop and contemplate the history of the spot where you are sitting. With group tour's there is ample parking close by and a guided tour of the venue is available upon request.
With free entry you can also explore the Guildford Museum, Guildford House Art Gallery and the Guildhall. You can also visit St Mary's Church, Guildford's oldest building, or book to have a tour of Abbot's Hospital - built in 1619 as an alms house.
In the heart of the Surrey Hills is the Artists' Village, a unique arts heritage site. Founded by Victorian artists G F and Mary Watts the Artists'Village provides a gateway for inspiration, learning and creation. With our permanent collections, temporary exhibitions, expert tours, woodland walks and famous Tea Shop, it's a great day out for all. Step back in time in the newly restored G F Watts Studio, discover unfinished canvases, and see finished masterpieces including new loans from Tate. Learn the techniques Mary Watts used when creating Watts Chapel in the first studio dedicated to her work. In the surrounding countryside there are many stately homes with neat manicured gardens to explore, or take a trip around Denbies Wine estate and taste some locally produced wine!
For full details of places to visit, group tours and itineraries, contact Guildford Tourist Information Centre on 01483 444333 or go to www.visitguildford.com