Area Guide: Guildford

On the doorstep of the North Downs, Guildford is famous for its historic cobbled High Street.

Guildford is the county town of Surrey situated 27 miles south west of London, which is famous for its excellent retail facilities and historic cobbled High Street. The Borough of Guildford is dominated by the county town and its suburbs, as well as a number of civil parishes largely comprised of picturesque, affluent villages. The beautiful Surrey Hills sit to the east of the Borough and are a regular leisure destination for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

Did You Know?

The 1976 horror movie The Omen was filmed at Guildford Cathedral.

Did You Know?

The nearby village of Shere was the filming location for the movie ‘The Holiday’ starring Kate Winslett and Cameron Diaz.

The Communities

The Borough of Guildford is a local government district with Borough status in Surrey, England. With around half of the Borough’s population, Guildford is its largest settlement and is a thriving town with a medieval castle at its centre along with a cathedral and a busy shopping centre yet is surrounded by stunning countryside.


The town owes its location to the existence of a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey is forded by the Harrow Way. The town grew enough in importance to be the home of the Royal Mint by 978.  With the building of the Wey Navigation and Basingstoke Canal, Guildford was in the centre of a network of waterways that aided its prosperity.  Local landmarks include Guildford Castle. The diocese of Guildford was created in 1927 and Guildford Cathedral was consecrated in 1961; interestingly despite having a University and Cathedral, Guildford is still not classed as a city.

Guildford was named the UK’s tourist destination of the year in 2014 by the Tourist Network Awards and was a previous winner of a ‘Purple Flag’ award recognising the town centre as a safe, vibrant area which offers a great night out for all.

The Horsleys

East Horsely and West Horsley have a distinct village feel that is relaxed, quiet and friendly. Both East Horsley and West Horsley are large enough to have a wide range of shops, amenities and restaurants, yet small enough to retain the feel of a village community. There’s a special appeal for those seeking to move ‘to the country’ but who also want to be close enough to bigger towns and cities and to have the ability to travel into London which is only a 45 minute train journey from the local station or similar by car outside of rush hour.

The Surrey Hills Villages

Albury, Chilworth, Gomshall, Shere and Peaslake are nestled within the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Each of these quaint and picturesque villages offers a quiet slice of semi-rural life. Property development in these villages is at a minimum so they successfully retain the look and feel of their historic roots.

Did You Know?

Guildford residents were the first to nickname Wood Lice as 'Cheesy Bobs'.

House Prices

Guildford has an excellent selection of property.  Within the town centre there is an eclectic mix of small apartments to grand period townhouses. There is also a good selection of well-established roads surrounding the town, catering for the larger and more individual types of property.

Property prices in the Borough of Guildford are some of the most expensive in Surrey, especially in the more historic character properties.

Land Registry Data statistics show that house price of second-hand homes in the Borough of Guildford have grown by 66% in the last 10 years from an average of £265,984 in 2009 to £443,585 in 2018.

Compared to the rest of Surrey, house prices in Guildford are some of the highest in the county, with only Waverley and Elmbridge deemed more expensive.


House Prices

Average House Prices in Surrey (October 2018) - Source Land Registry


Did You Know?

Alan Turing, code-breaker and mathematician, lived in Guildford.

Did You Know?

The River Wey was the first British river to be successfully canalised for commercial traffic, made navigable for barges in 1653.

Did You Know?

Despite having a cathedral Guildford is not actually classed as a city. It applied for city status in 2002 but was turned down - it lost out to Preston.

Did You Know?

The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is named after a popular French actress who lived in Effingham Common. She appeared in many plays and musicals in the early 20th century.

Did You Know?

In 2003 Guildford Council installed a hydroelectric turbine in Guildford Town Mill which provides up to 260,000 kWH of electricity to the National Grid annually - enough to power 46 houses!

Did You Know?

Monty Python comic attended the Royal Grammar School in Guildford.

Places Of Interest / Leisure

Guildford provides a stimulating environment in which to live and work with a wide variety of cultural, sport and recreational activities to pursue. Surrey Sports Park and the Spectrum Leisure Centre, which is home to the Guildford Flames ice hockey team, are popular destinations for all ages.

Loseley Park

The house at Loseley Park, near Guildford, replaced the earlier medieval one that Queen Elizabeth I declared inadequate for her visit. To build the mansion, stone from the nearby Cistercian Waverley Abbey was used.

Watts Gallery

George Frederic Watts OM, RA (1817 – 1904) was widely considered to be the greatest painter of the Victorian era. Today Watts Gallery is an international centre for engaging with mid-19th to early 20th century art, social history, craft, design and architecture.

Pewley Down

This 23 acre nature reserve sits high above Guildford town and is a wonderful place to explore and let children run free. It is a beautiful spot to discover if you are new to the area.

Guildford Cathedral

Meticulously maintained, Guildford Cathedral keeps watch over the county town. Open daily to tourists and for community events, the Cathedral is still very much alive and relevant to modern life and is available for private hire as well as art exhibitions and religious ceremonies.

Newlands Corner

A popular viewpoint from which to look south over the beautiful Surrey Hills, Newlands Corner is served by a cafe and is a popular local beauty spot from which to walk and explore.

Clandon House

This stunning 18th century Grade I Listed Palladian mansion in West Clandon which sits in 540 acres of landscaped grounds, was decimated by a fire in 2015 and is undergoing a £30m rebuild by the National Trust. Once complete Clandon House, will reopen to the public.

Guildford Spectrum

Home to the Guildford Flames ice hockey team, Guildford Spectrum offers community leisure and entertainment for all the family. Facilities include a leisure pool with slides, a teaching pool, diving board, as well as an ice rink, soft play, bowling and many more gym and exercise classes. As a result of the facilities it offers, it is a destination for sports enthusiasts around the county.

University of Surrey

As the leading educational facility in the county, this public research university specialises in science, medicine and business. The University of Surrey is famous for the Surrey Space Centre, a world-leading centre for space research and engineering.  In 2010 Surrey Sports Park opened close to the main campus housing a 50-metre Olympic-size swimming pool, three multi-sports halls, a squash centre, 700 square metres of fitness facilities, two artificial floodlit pitches, outdoor and indoor tennis courts, four real tennis courts and a climbing centre.


From winter walks to the butterflies in the glasshouse and of course, the annual flower show, the RHS flagship garden centre at Wisley is close to everyone’s hearts. A destination for everyone who loves gardening and those who want to learn more about the environment it is popular with families and school trips. In the summer it holds outdoor cinema screenings of popular films in the grounds.

Guildford Castle

Visitors can head straight to the top of Guildford Castle to enjoy stunning 360 degree view over Guildford and beyond and enjoy walking through the stunning gardens, close to the town centre. The remains are thought to date back to just after 1066 and the invasion of William the Conqueror.


Transport Links

Rail links in the Borough of Guildford are superb. The town of Guildford is on the main line between London and Portsmouth, with four trains an hour leaving for London Waterloo.

Several smaller rail lines terminate in Guildford serving the Surrey Hills villages en-route to Dorking, as well as connecting to Farnham to the west and the villages of the Horsleys in the east.  These connections mean the Borough of Guildford is a popular destination for buyers looking to move out of London but still enjoy easy access into it.

Major road routes through the Borough of Guildford include the A3, which feeds journeys from the south coast and travels all the way to the northern reaches of the Borough to Wisley where it connects to the M25.  The A31 is another major trunk road that connects Guildford to Farnham and the villages inbetween.

Guildford enjoys a fast and frequent park and ride service into the town, with collection points to both the north and south of the town.


Local Schools

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