Living here - why Surrey?

Images of Guildford

The beautiful town of Guildford is in the heart of Surrey, with plenty of exciting places to explore and enjoy. The calming scenery that Guildford offers is perfectly combined with access to the city life of London, just 40 minutes away by train. Perfect for people who enjoy having the best of both worlds. Guildford has all the richness and amenities of a city and yet remains compact enough to explore with ease. 

Transport links

Just under 40 minutes on the train to the busy city of London, Guildford’s train station has one of the best connecting trains to most destinations on the South Coast. Feeling like a nice day at the beach? The train to Portsmouth is only 1 hour away with a direct train. Need an airport? There is an easy route to Heathrow or Gatwick airports by either train or car via the A3 and M25.

Things to do


Moving to Guildford means you will never be bored with the number of activities around. Guildford is home to the UK’s first leisure centre, Guildford Spectrum, housing a wide range of activities under one roof such as bowling, swimming, ice-skating and many more. The choice of art galleries and cafés, restaurants and nightlife, means you can experience Guildford with your family or as an individual. 

Guildford is a great place that celebrates music and the arts, providing a diverse mix. There are music and food festivals through the spring and autumn as well as great bands and west-end touring productions at the local theatres and concert halls such as G Live, Yvonne Arnaud and Electric Theatre.  

Guildford and the surrounding areas also offer many places of interest. In the streets and lanes around the cobbled picturesque High Street, there awaits a wealth of history to discover and many retailers from high-end fashion to independent shops. On the weekend, you’ll be able to enjoy the premium local produce Guildford has to offer, with North Street market on Saturdays and a Farmers’ market happening every first Tuesday of the month. 

Relaxing in Guildford has never been easier, from being able to chill in our beautiful public parks such as Stoke Park and Loseley Park. You can also hire a narrow boat or rowing boat and splash about on the National Trust's Wey Navigation, which turns through the town. Guildford also offers lovely walks along the towpath out into the countryside where you will find a host of charming villages, beautiful gardens and historic buildings to explore like our Guildford Castle and Guildford Cathedral.  

Guildford and the surrounding areas also offer many places of interest. In the streets and lanes around the cobbled High street, there awaits a wealth of history to discover including the castle built by William the Conqueror - Surrey's only Royal castle - and the house and grave of the author Lewis Carroll.

Education around Guildford

Guildford is known for its good schools, both fantastic state and private with strong Ofsted ratings for most schools in the area. There are excellent primary schools including Queen Eleanor’s Church of England Junior School and Northmead Junior School. Secondary schools in the area include Guildford County School and George Abbot School, all of which score well above the national average in passes achieved at GSCE. 

Guildford also offers many options for Higher Education. Guildford College offers a broad range of courses from A-Levels to Access into Nursing Courses. The College of Law in Guildford, offers law degrees and post-graduate courses. Guildford also has a reputation for the arts with the Guildford School of Acting (which has recently merged with the University of Surrey), the Academy for Contemporary Music and the Italia Conte dance school all based here. 

Guildford is also home to the University of Surrey. The University has strong links with Royal Surrey and has a continuing and exciting programme of future development and expansion.

Interesting facts

Here are some random facts about Guildford!

  • Guildford has one of the highest life expectancies in Britain
  • Despite having a cathedral, Guildford is not a city. It needs a Royal Charter for that, and we haven't got one yet
  • In his tales of the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Thomas Mallory called Guildford "Astolat", where the fair Elaine died for the love of Sir Lancelot
  • Alchemists were forerunners of modern research chemists, except that they tried to turn cheap metals into silver or gold. The last alchemist in England, James Price, committed suicide in his laboratory on Guildford's Upper High Street in 1783 when he failed to demonstrate this magical process to sceptical scientists
  • George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury whose statue stands on the High Street, accidentally killed a gamekeeper while out hunting with a crossbow
  • The High Street is not paved with cobbles. We have brick-shaped blocks of granite called "setts".

Thinking about working in one of our community hospitals? Take a look at what it's like living in Milford and Haslemere.