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Guildford in General
Member Name: Blurbubble
Guildford in General
Date: 16/05/01, updated on 16/05/01 (98 review reads)
Advantages: Pretty, variety
Disadvantages: Very hilly! Expensive
...as you could say for any city I suppose. However, in recent years, Guildford has started to resemble UK "Anytown" with the same old unimaginative chain stores available ANYWHERE, and the Friary Shopping Mall has got to be one of the worst I have ever been to. It's poorly lit, dingy, slippery and badly designed, both inside and out.
Guildford used to boast a whole host of one-off stores, boutiques and bric-a-brac stores but these are fast disappearing as the larger stores swallow them up in their race to expand. Boots the Chemists virtually swallowed a whole street meaning the loss of the only Pet Shop in the town amongst other small stores. To be fair the interesting, oddity shops ARE still there if you search for them down the side streets. There is no doubt Guildford is a pretty town, with it's cobbled High Street, back streets and alleys and some of the older buildings but I think it is facing a real danger of becoming just another town indistinguishable from anywhere else.
The welcome to Guildford signs boast that it is a “Historical Town” – which is true. It has the castle ruins and grounds which are very picturesque and a tourist attraction. Indeed the town as a whole seems to attract quite a lot of tourism. The older architecture is very appealing and dates back hundreds of years as displayed not only by the residential housing but also by the old Abbot’s Hospital, Holy Trinity Church, Stoke Hospital and Guildhall (with the famous clock which can be seen from all the way down the High Street).
Entertainment for all is there if your are prepared to look for it! There are a multitude of pubs within the town centre – at last count about 15 – catering for all tastes, old, new theme etc as well as four main nightclubs which, unfortunately, generally cater for the younger crowd with varying levels of sophistication but all attracting their fair share of trouble and the under-aged a
s is always the case. There is a fairly new multi-cinema in the Odeon alongside the scenic riverside. There are also places such as the Laser Quest studio which suits all ages (though I’ve never been there!)
The river is another attraction in itself with the pretty riverside locations and picnic areas, locks and canal barges and a riverside theatre too. Also ideal if you like to feed the ducks! There are plenty of green, flowery garden areas within the town and just outside too as well as rolling green scenery to be seen even from the town centre views.
Guildford also boasts the Cathedral (where the original Omen was filmed incidentally!), a University, a new-ish multi-leisure centre (Spectrum) for all sports and the Civic Hall. Admittedly the Civic Hall is long past it’s best and is no longer the attraction it used to be – an old grey building in need of drastic updating both inside and out but it still hosts regular entertainment in the form of comedy, live bands, children’s shows etc.
One way or another, if not just for shopping, a visitor to Guildford is most likely to find something of interest somewhere!