Guildford; an English town with picturesque gardens

Guildford; an English town with picturesque gardens

Guildford is a beautiful town in Surrey, southern England. It is reachable by train from London; it takes between 30 minutes to about an hour, depending on the number of stops.

Guildford has a lot to offer; picturesque gardens, a castle with wonderful views from the top, the river Wey, strolls in nature, a lively high street, great pubs, and more…

I went to Guildford for the first time on a sunny summer weekend. I was invited to a birthday garden party where I met fun British and international people who said they are very happy living in Guildford. My partner and I decided to stay overnight and explore the town at our own pace. I loved every minute of our stay. There are many things to do and see, and I explored on foot the whole time. I must go back because I didn’t see everything the town has to offer.

The Guildford vibe

Beautiful Guildford has a nice relaxed feel to it. In the summer, the streets are filled with flowers and music street performers on the historic cobbled High Street. There are several narrow side streets with lively terraces and shops. Wandering around the town centre is fun; there are pretty narrow streets with shops and cafes, churches and cemeteries, pubs, views of green hills, beautiful architecture, manicured gardens, and friendly locals.

Busy pedestrian street in the town centre
Busy pedestrian street in the town centre

Highlights of my trip to Guildford:

Pubs with a view

The King’s Head, located right next to the Castle’s entrance was a great find after a long walk around the Castle gardens. Tip: table 47 has a great view of the narrow winding street.

The Weyside, located on the River Wey bank is a beautiful pub with different areas to choose from; indoors and outdoors. My favourite tables are the ones right next to the river (weather permitting of course.) The views are great and relaxing. You’ll see ducks passing by as well as boats, kayaks, rowing boats, people on paddleboards and maybe a neighbour fishing from his/her deck. I enjoyed this pub very much, it was very relaxing.

The White House, located closer to the train station overlooks the river Wey. The outdoor tables on a nice day are great to enjoy the view of nature as well as that or passers-by.

The Guildford Town centre

The cobbled Guildford High Street is pretty, colourful, and lively. From one end, it has nice views of green hills which reminded me that I was in a beautiful town surrounded by picturesque gardens and nature.

Holy Trinity C of E Church and back garden filled with tombstones is right on the High Street. The garden is small but nice and a different experience for those of us not used to walking among tombstones.

Holy Trinity C of E Church
The garden behind Holy Trinity C of E Church with tombstones

Live music performers bring life to the High Street. We especially enjoyed two guys who played great tunes, sold CDs with their music, and had a very cool and fun style.

Live music performers
Live music performers bringing life to the High Street

Nice shops for window shopping…the variety of shops on Guildford High Street is good. There are local and international brands to choose from.

Shops and beautiful architecture on High Street
Architecture, views and shops on the High Street

The Guildford Castle and Gardens

Guildford Castle is a medieval castle surrounded by colourful picturesque gardens and a tower square on the top which has wonderful views of the gardens, rooftops, green hills, and the Cathedral. There are many benches distributed all over the gardens where you can stop and take the views in, listen to the sounds of nature, and smell the flowers.

More gardens to explore and relax in

Castle Green Bowls club is located right next to the Guildford Castle and has a well-kept green bowls lawn and gardens around it with flowers, benches, a statue, and a bandstand.

We sat on a bench under the sunny blue sky and watched a game of bowls. My grandfather, family, and friends used to play bowls when I was a girl so watching this brought back fond childhood memories.

The bowls field and the players
The bowls field and the players in action

A big park with fun activities in Guildford

Stoke Park is a big park with many facilities and activities on offer.

Good food and drinks with Guildford Castle view

The Ivy Castle View rooftop is a great option to have food or drinks with a scenic view of the Castle and gardens. The Ivy is well known for good quality and décor so you can’t go wrong.

The Ivy rooftop
The Ivy Castle View rooftop

I will definitely go back to Guildford. It is easily accessible from London, where I live, it has comfortable hotels to stay at and the nature, the views, the walks, the local pubs, High Street, and friendly people make it a great escapade from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Orange door with flowers on the sides
Beautiful details adding colour to the High Street

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