The locality of Guildford, combined with its rich history and rural surroundings makes this town an extremely popular one with London commuters. But when the town has so much itself to offer, why choose to travel away from it to work?
Off the Rails
Guildford is blessed with not one but two rail stations, connecting the town to London Waterloo, Portsmouth, Reading and Gatwick Airport. There are even daily services taking passengers as far as Newcastle and York, so keeping networked does not pose a problem. Guildford Main train station even operates a folding Brompton bike hire scheme, making commuting to the town from surrounding locations that bit more straightforward.
On the Town
Evenings and weekends are rich in options to be sociable with colleagues. Quality touring theatre can be found at the Yvonne Arnaud, while mainstream comedy and music tours visit G-Live so there is plenty of live entertainment on offer whatever your preference. From cinema to eating out, the choice is unlimited; food from a host of nationalities, vegetarian specialist or fine dining followed by cinema from the mainstream Odeon to the alternative content offered at the Boilerroom. Guildford has embraced the current vogue for festival vibes and seems to be constantly looking forward to one festival after another. In the next three months alone, we see events continue around town in the season-long Guildford Summer Festival, Always the Sun festival in Stoke Park, The Surrey Country Fair in Loseley Park, Guildford Book Festival, Gin Festival and Jazz Festival. Never a dull moment!
In such a bustling town, the scope to pursue interests around working hours is plentiful. The Boilerroom is a community hub that hosts more than music; you will find craft, drawing and gaming groups, not to mention punk rock yoga classes. Beyond the far side of Stoke Park sits Guildford Spectrum, where activities abound. It’s worth the trip beyond central town to enjoy ice skating, swimming, bowling, rock climbing and athletics. There is even the largest Scalextric track in the country if you prefer your driving activity in miniature.
Shop ’til you Drop
Guildford isn’t just a beautiful place to shop, with its listed buildings and cobbled streets, it’s a practical place too. You’re spoilt for choice here with big name fashion sitting alongside boutique independent traders. Friday and Saturday sees the North Street Market offer everything from fruit and veg to clothes and jewellery. Just keep an eye on the time, or your colleagues will have to send out a search party!
If you’d rather browse the annals of time than the aisles of shops, Guildford is an ideal place to wile away a lunch hour or two. The town museum is a fascinating way to spend a rainy hour or even a sunny one! With 25 notable plaques around the town, from the Alan Turing blue plaque to the Angel Hotel plaque commemorating this oldest of English coaching inns, you can undertake your own history tour any day you like!
Although not native to Guildford, Lewis Carroll is buried in The Mount Cemetery in Guildford town centre, having housed his six sisters in the town and in one visit writing Alice Through the Looking Glass. He spent his last year residing in Guildford and you can spot references to him from the statue of Alice in the grounds of Guildford Castle to the white rabbit leaping along the River Wey.
So, whether you work for a large firm in one of Guildford’s business parks, or a smaller company or retail outlet in the town, there are so many benefits when you choose this as your professional destination. So much so that you may find yourself spending longer days here than you necessarily intended!