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  • Writer's picturekenneth

How Well do YOU Know Guildford?

When many of us go to Guildford it is to shop, eat, go to work or for some other specific reason. How often do we actually take time to look around us and discover the history, the architecture, those hidden corners and all the other features that make the town interesting?

Oddly enough, there are quite a lot of people who don’t even know that Guildford has a castle or that there is a statue of Alice Through the Looking Glass in the castle grounds. Similarly, many other buildings and locations that have formed part of the history of the town are just there in the background as we walk past.

For example, what is the significance of the plaque over Sainsbury’s in the High Street? Why is there a pub sign over NatWest bank? Where is there a medieval undercroft? Why is Racks Close so called?

These and many other questions and points of interest are covered in the various walks led by the incredibly knowledgeable Town Guides. Over the years, I’ve attended a good number of their informative walks and I don’t think that I have ever come away without having learned something new. Each of the guides has their own special interests and knowledge base so every walk has that feeling of being with a real enthusiast.

Across Walkfest this year, various Guides will be hosting walks on different topics – ranging from their ever popular “The Guildford Story” to more specialized topics such as “Royal Guildford” or “40 Years of Astonishing Inventions”. So, if you want to learn more about how Guildford came to develop over the centuries, who some of its famous inhabitants and visitors were, why there were so many pubs or even more esoteric bits of information such as ‘where was Guildfords first theatre’, then these walks are for you.

All the Town Guides walks need to be prebooked via their website but even if you can’t get to one of them during September’s Walkfest, you can book to join on other dates throughout the year. In the meantime, look up and look around you next time you are in town. You may be surprised what you hadn’t noticed in the past.

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