We have a storage facility in Guildford
(just to the north of the town centre), and we think it’s a great place to live, work and visit. If you live in, or frequently visit, Surrey/the south east of England and want somewhere new to explore, there are some fantastic things to do in Guildford.
In the UK, we’re rather dependent on the weather as to what we can do in our spare time, so we’ve found the best attractions in Guildford to enjoy on sunny days, and on rainy days, so you’ll be able to visit all year round in 2022.
Outdoor places to visit in Guildford
When the sun is shining, there are some great things to do in Guildford. There are plenty of green spaces to explore independently: whether you fancy a walk, a picnic or just a quiet space to relax in the fresh air, you could visit any of the local parks or areas of natural beauty.
Local beauty spots, woodlands and areas of outstanding natural beauty near Guildford include: Chantry Wood; the Riverside Nature Reserve; Pewley Down and the Surrey Hills AONB, to name but a few.
If you want to do more than simply enjoy the countryside, though, here are the best Guildford attractions for you to try when you visit:
1. Sylvanian Families trail
If you’re a parent, this is a great walk for all the family. You’ll enjoy it because the surroundings are beautiful, and your children will have great fun too.
Set in Hatchlands Park
(a National Trust property in East Clandon, Guildford), the trail winds through the woodland area of Centenary Walk. The trail has lots of information about the trees and wildlife in the woods, which can be read in conjunction with an activity sheet for the children. Along the trail are wooden sculptures of Sylvanian Family characters that make for rather cute family photo opportunities.
Entry to Hatchlands Park includes the trail, and costs from £5.45 per adult and £2.70 per child.
2. Silent Pool
If the weather is particularly warm, or you are particularly brave, this is a great spot for open water swimming. It’s a quiet, natural lake surrounded by evergreen trees and is one of the most tranquil Guildford attractions. On a quiet day, the pool has an eerie feel, and there are a few local legends about its rather dark history.
Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful spot and as well as taking a dip in the cool, blue water, you could spend a few hours relaxing and looking out for local wildlife including kingfishers and woodpeckers.
3. Guildford Lido
If you want to swim in the open but aren’t quite brave enough to dip into natural waters, the 1930’s Lido at Guildford is a great place to visit.
The Lido is the star attraction in three acres of beautiful gardens, and at 50m long there’s enough space for grownups to swim in lanes, and little ones to splash around in the shallow end. You can bring your own picnic - the water is heated, but colder than an indoor pool, so bring plenty of towels and maybe a flask of tea, too!
4. Farmers’ Market
The Farmers’ Market in Guildford has been running for over 20 years, and is easily found on the High Street. It runs on the first Tuesday of each month, and over 40 vendors offer meats, cheeses, baked goods, eggs, preserves, crafts, fruit and veg, and a range of tasty treats. There’s cooked food, such as paella, to enjoy if you want to grab some lunch while you browse.
5. Wild Wood Adventure
As an alternative to climbing all over your furniture, you could encourage your children (age 6+) to climb all over this great treetop attraction in Guildford!
Zip wires, balancing logs, wobbling bridges and climbing walls will wear them out before they zip wire back to the ground or drop from a 15m free-fall tower to meet you for lunch.
6. Guildford Treasure Trail
If you’d like to explore Guildford itself, you can download a self-guided walking trail that guides you through the town and gives you clues to solve over the course of around 1.5 hours. Starting on the Millmead River, it’s a great way to get to know the town and keep an eye out for other things you’d like to do in Guildford.
7. Christs College Ski Club, Guildford
If you’re feeling energetic, have a go at tubing or ‘doughnutting’ - sit in a rubber ring and hurtle down an outdoor ski slope! You’ll need to wear long sleeves and trousers, and under 16s need to wear a helmet. It’s a great alternative to dry slope skiing: you don’t need any specialist equipment and you don’t need any experience or training - all you need is a sense of fun!
Indoor Guildford Attractions
As lovely as it is to be outdoors, the rain and wind can make some attractions … well, unattractive. If you’re looking for things to do in Guildford when it’s raining, here are some great ideas:
8. Craggy Island Indoor Climbing Centre, Guildford
This is a great indoor climbing wall, with over 300 routes to reach the top. Suitable for anyone aged 5 or over, you can learn to belay, climb and boulder. Even better, there’s a nice cafe that serves lovely cake to replace all the calories you’ll have burnt off!
9. G Live Centre
This is a venue that offers a wide range of live entertainment including comedy acts, classical music, live bands, ballet and West End musicals. There’s also a bistro cafe and a restaurant for lunches and pre-show dining.
During the day, there are always exhibitions (such as local art, writing, and poetry), and workshops for anyone to join in at a very low price (typically £2 per ticket). For instance, you could go along to their creative workshop, held in the cafe, and take part in making origami, clay models or collages, or you could join a ‘Feel Good Singing Workshop’ - a very informal session for you to sing popular songs with a friendly group of locals.
10. The Undercroft
Hidden beneath North Street in Guildford is a little-known attraction called The Undercroft. It’s small, so it won’t take long to look around, but it’s staffed by knowledgeable volunteers who can tell you all about its history.
Open on Saturdays and Wednesdays in summer, it’s what remains of a genuine mediaeval shop that sold goods to royalty and the wealthy noblemen of Guildford as far back as the reign of Henry III.
The stunning architecture was built by craftsmen and would have been home to wine merchants or traders of fine materials.
11. Guildford Castle
Whilst not entirely indoors, Guildford Castle
has enough shelter to keep you warm and dry for most of the day! This is a Norman fortress that was built upon and used as a palace for 300 years by Henry III and Edward I among others, so it’s a great place to visit in Guildford if you’re interested in English history.
If there’s a break in the clouds, you can explore the grounds that are well-tended and feature a statue of Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, who lived nearby in the late 1800s.
12. Loseley Park (which is not a park…)
Despite the name, this is actually a manor house, where Queen Elizabeth I stayed many times during the 1500s, and James I also visited - a carving above the library’s fireplace was created to commemorate one such royal visit.
The manor house itself is constructed from materials from Waverley Abbey, plus wooden panelling from the banqueting tents and Nonsuch Palace owned by Henry VIII.
There are loads of lovely places to visit in Guildford and things to do here. Hopefully you’ll find plenty of ways to entertain yourself next time you’re in Guildford, or perhaps we’ve inspired you to visit!