The Greater London town of Guildford has a population of approximately 80,000 people and is well known for being filled with character. Many consider Guildford a city thanks to its large cathedral. The misunderstanding that all cathedral towns are cities comes after King Henry VIII created six cathedral towns and gave them all city status I the 1540’s. Towns are in fact invited to apply for city status, usually prompted by a royal special occasion and despite submitting such applications numerous times, Guildford remains a town.
The largest percentage of houses in Guildford are detached, 3-bedroom homes with 2 or more in residence according to a 2011 Census. These figures line up to the family feel that Guildford embodies, a fantastic location for commuters into London due to its direct line into London Waterloo whilst still offering more space for residents in and around the beautiful area. Guildford also offers direct train links to Reading, Portsmouth Harbour and Redhill.
In Guildford’s bustling high street, you will find historic landmarks distinguishing Guildford’s unique character as well as plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy. Guildford castle, the Norman Style castle, later adapted as a royal hunting lodge, built by William the Conqueror is one of these buildings that still stands.
Those with an interest in religious architecture may be drawn by the discovery of the remains of what is believed to be the oldest synagogue in Western Europe which was found under the High Street in 1995. The grandeur of the cathedral built in 1936 also attracts visitors who may spot the areas inside where some scenes of the horror classic The Omen were filmed.
The most notable landmark in Guildford is the 14th century, Grade 1 listed Guildhall which still stands intact today. The Projecting clock which was made for the front of the building in 1683 can be seen throughout the High Street by shoppers and visitors to the town.
Families and fun seekers can enjoy day of fun by visiting Guildford’s prize winning Spectrum Leisure Centre where there is a choice to swim in a variety of pools, bowl, play laser tag, ice skate and use one of the numerous halls for indoor sports often frequented by local and elite sports teams. There is also an abundance of other activity venues to enjoy including the Airhop trampoline park.
Those looking for some more fresh air may head to Stoke park which features 50 hectares of green space, mini golf, a children’s paddling pool, a model boating pond as well as a fitness and skate park. Losely park also attracts many visitors to Guildford in its hosting of public shows, weddings, large parties, events and tours of the stately home also available.
The River Wey runs directly through Guildford and was one of the first rivers to be made navigable and open to barge traffic in 1653, connecting Guilford to Weybrigde and London. Visitors today can attend the visitor centre at Dapdune Wharf which tells the story of the navigations and people who worked on such barges as well as seeing the area where the barges were built and climb aboard ‘Reliance’, one of three surviving barges.
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