Guildford, the county town of Surrey, is known as a commuter town, but it has so much more to offer. It’s home to some great bars and restaurants, and it plays host to some important cultural attractions that are well worth visiting.
If you’re looking for things to do around Guildford, check out our guide on places to visit in Guildford, courtesy of the Access Self Storage Guildford team.
Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex
If you’re looking for things to do around Guildford with children, you’ll want to go to the Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex. Based just outside Guildford in Stoke Park, the leisure centre hosts tons of activities including ice skating, swimming, bowling, soft play and gym classes. Open all year round, you can book private parties there or just turn up on the day, although it’s recommended that you book tickets in advance. It also plays host to the Woking Beer Festival in November.
Watts Gallery – Artists’ Gallery
George Frederic Watts was one of the greatest painters from the Victorian era and is considered by many as 'England's Michelangelo'. The Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village contains his incredible work (and the work of his wife Mary Watts) and hosts family events and workshops. It’s open every day from 10:30 – 17:00, and you can buy tickets online or turn up and pay in person.
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One of the most popular things to do around Guildford is visit Guildford Castle. It’s thought to have been built by William the Conqueror after the 1066 invasion of England. The Castle is now home to beautiful gardens and you can go up to the top of the Great Tower for a panoramic view of Guildford and the surrounding countryside. Be warned that the castle is closed from November to February, but the grounds are open all year round and free to enter.
Spike Heritage Centre
Those looking for a cultural heritage experience should visit the Spike Heritage Centre, the last remaining of over 600 workhouses in the UK. The Guildford Union Workhouse was built in 1838 and housed the poor, the infirm, the ill and the destitute in Edwardian England. When you visit the Spike, you can see what the workers had to do to earn their keep, including stone chopping and the picking of oakum. Get a tour from a volunteer and experience the lives of working people in the 19th and early 20th century before the introduction of the welfare state. The Spike Heritage Centre is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays for public visits and costs £6.
While you’re looking for places to visit in Guildford, you might as well get a recommendation for great food, right? Thai Terrace is widely known by locals as one of the best restaurants in the area. The rooftop palm terrace overlooking the city is a great spot to grab a drink and the menu is full of different options, including chicken, beef, prawn, tofu and vegetable Thai dishes. It’s closed on Sundays but is otherwise open from 12-2.30pm and 6-10.30pm.