Pictures of Guildford
in the county of Surrey
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Fashionable county town of the County of Surrey. It has a High Street of mellow Georgian buildings, and despite changing times Guildford is a town that has managed to maintain its charm and character.
The River Wey has been central to the life of the town for centuries. Its beautiful Guildhall stands in the High Street which runs down to the banks of the river. This is an impressive Tudor building with a 17th century facade and a protruding clock bearing the date 1683. Tall windows and an elegant balcony complete this attractive building which also has a bell-turret. In the old courtroom there is a set of standard measures presented to Guildford by Queen Elizabeth I, one of the few complete sets from this period still in existence.
Guildford cathedral occupies a commanding position on Stag Hill. This is one of the few churches built during the 20th century, it was begun in 1936 but was delayed by the advent of the Second World War, it was finally finished and consecrated in 1961. It has an eye catching red brick exterior to a simplified Gothic design by Sir Edward Maufe.
Away from the High Street stands ruined Guildford Castle, this was built by Henry II during the 12th century and is located on a mound. Here, from the castle keep visitors can take in good views of the town. Housed within the castle is the museum of local history, this has a collection dedicated to Lewis Caroll the author of Alice in Wonderland, who died in Guildford at the end of the 19th century and whose body lies buried in Mount Cemetery.
Leisure is catered for by the Spectrum Leisure Complex is in Parkway. The river life of the Wey provides endless entertainment with ducks and swans waddling out of the water in search of food - usually there are children are at hand to help out with feeding. Further down the river interesting old mills can be seen and many wharfs and boathouses can be found where boats can be hired or river trips arranged. The town's original barge building site is at Dapdune Wharf this is now in the hands of the National Trust and has a visitor centre recalling three hundred years of waterway history. Mostly, for centuries the waters of the river had only a commercial usage, it has locks built during the 17th century, now-a-days it is the scene of pleasure with gaily painted narrow boats and other rivercraft gliding sedately between banks lined with willow trees dipping gracious branches at the waters edge.
The Civic Hall is the home of Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra and is a venue for concerts and other entertainments, whilst the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre regularly presents shows direct from London's West End. This theatre is pleasantly situated at the side of the river just a short distance from Town Bridge.
The students attending Surrey University give the town a youthful feel. The university has sites in Guildford, one at Stag Hill and the other a short distance out of the town. The North Downs Way runs right through Guildford with the stretch towards Dorking being particularly open and attractive.
Around the town there are upmarket hotels and restaurants, historic inns, fine shops, cafe's and interesting public houses. With its close proximity to London, plus its historic connections Guildford attracts many of its residents from the business sector of London. It is a wholly interesting town which offers much to visitors, who should they tarry for a day or so get to experience a pleasant way of life with a charm long since gone from many other places.
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