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Town Centre Has More Than Just Shopping

Published on: 30 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 2 May, 2021

By Nick Bale, leader of the Guildford Town Guides

One of the distinctive features of Guildford town centre is that it offers so much more than shopping.

It is easy to spend an hour or more having a good look around and many of the buildings have stories to discover. 

White Hart plaque on Sainsbury’s store in Guildford High Street

Why is there a stag on the façade of Sainsbury’s, why does the upstairs showroom of Jigsaw have such an ornate ceiling, or why is there a white lion on the roof above Robert Dyas?

Ornate moulding on the ceiling in the upstairs ceiling of the Jigsaw clothing store in Guildford High Street.

These streets and pavements were walked on by Alan Turing, Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, King Charles II, as well as celebrities of the 20th century. What were they doing in Guildford?

The answers to these and other questions can often be found on the numerous information panels around the town.

Go on a guided walk with the Guildford Town Guides.

One of the best ways to expand your local knowledge is to join one of the free walks offered by the Guildford Town Guides.

Their public walks for 2021 start on Saturday, May 1, with four or more walks every week. See for information and dates. Numbers are limited to five people per tour at the moment so this year booking is essential.

Guildford is also a great place to explore on your own or with a few friends.

Explore Guildford with its Town Guides.

For inspiration, the Town Guides have created three town trails with quiz questions which can be downloaded from the What’s On/Activities page of the Town Guides website.

You can test your knowledge, for example, on the Kings, Worthies and Scoundrels linked to the town on a walk around the town centre. 

Other good options can be found on Visit Guildford website, such as the Guildford Historic Trail leaflet.

For a small fee, you can engage the whole family on one of Treasure Trails ( adventures or try out the recently released Secret Stories, an Ordnance Survey app for mobile phones if you are interested in strange and quirky tales about Guildford.

To complete the adventure, a drink and a rest at one of the outside tables of the cafés and pubs is hard to beat.

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