A large town in the south-eastern English county of Surrey, Guildford is perhaps best-known for being a major commuter town, being within a short drive of London. Due to its closeness to the capital, Guildford has prospered over the past few decades, with many international businesses setting up offices in the town, although it has become a major retail destination more recently. Despite being home to a number of shimmering office buildings, the town has a historic centre which has remained almost untouched. The cobbled High Street and its soaring medieval castle are two examples of how Guildford’s heritage has been maintained. The town also has an affinity with royalty, being the only royal town in Surrey.
Purely for coping in traffic jams, it would be worthwhile to get around in a small car such as a supermini. It would also be good for street parking if needed.
Driving in Guildford
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
It’s recommended by locals to avoid driving in the town centre at peak hours, usually in the early mornings and weekday evenings.
Guildford has two Park and Ride sites. One is just off the A3100 Old Portsmouth Road, while the other is next to the Spectrum Leisure Complex.
To get onto the M25, the best way is via the A3, which goes through the town in a north-easterly direction.
Highlights & Hotspots
Guildford Museum is one of the main attractions in the town. It goes through its medieval history right up to the present day, with many artefacts detailing its importance as a royal town and as a stop-off point for people travelling from Greenwich to Portsmouth.
Just outside the town centre, Guildford Castle and the surrounding grounds can be seen on a guided tour. The castle was built in the 15th century and is surrounded by lush gardens which are free to enter at all times of the year.
The town is on the edge of the North Downs, a National Park which covers large parts of Surrey. Among the main sights here is Newlands Corner, which is a great starting point for plenty of walking routes. It’s also a good place to see parts of the wider county.
Every July, Guilfest, a three-day music festival, is held just outside the town at Stoke Park. It has attracted a number of top music acts over the years and continues to do so. Tickets tend to sell out within a few weeks of the line-up being announced.
Guildford is close to both London-Heathrow and London-Gatwick airports. Heathrow is 12 miles north of the town centre, while Gatwick is the same distance southeast. Both airports serve a wide range of international destinations, but Heathrow offers more flights.
Heathrow can be reached via the A3 and M25 going north. As for Gatwick, taking the M25 east then driving down the M23 is best, before turning off where you see a sign for the airport.