Whether you’re looking for a cultural town break or a get-away-from-it-all countryside escape, Guildford has it all. Culture vultures have the stunning Guildford Castle to explore with its gorgeous gardens, restored Norman keep and hidden secrets. Make sure you keep an eye out for events in the grounds themed around medieval technologies, Game Of Thrones and Alice In Wonderland.
You can peruse the area’s archeological finds, textiles and Lewis Carroll artefacts at the Guildford Museum and then throw yourself into the local arts and crafts scene in the exhibitions at the Guildford House gallery on the High Street. Head 7 miles out of town to the Watts Gallery Artists Village, which is well worth a visit for its incredible display of over 100 works by the celebrated Victorian painter GF Watts.
If you’re seeking more rural escapes, meanwhile, you have 2,600 acres of Surrey Hills to explore, an area of outstanding natural beauty to ramble, cycle or sail. You can also enjoy one of Guildford’s 78 parks and 32 children’s playgrounds if the kids need to let off some steam.
You can take in a tree walk with the gardeners of Hatchlands Park, ducking off to discover the intriguing Georgian icehouse and the mysterious stone temple. Then, take in one of the area’s many stately homes, such as Polesden Lacey, the Edwardian retreat with spectacular views over 1,400 acres of ancient woodland where the Queen Mother spent her honeymoon.