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Guildford; Local Information
Guildford is a bustling large town, displaying a fine balance between rural settings and a vibrant town. The cobbled High Street is host to numerous shops, department stores and restaurants.
The town has become the official “county town” for Surrey. According to Channel Four Television's "The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK" TV show Guildford was the 9th best place to live in Britain in 2006.
Guildford is the most attractive and safe shopping destination in the UK, according to the Eve Prime Retail Survey. The local economy is the 18th largest of all the local authorities in the South East.
The University of Surrey opened a world class state of the art sports facility during 2010 which is open to public and used for training by Olympic athletes and Harlequin Rugby Club. Currently there are numerous leisure centres in the local area in Cranleigh, Godalming, and Guildford.
The Spectrum in Guildford is the largest of these and is host to a local ice hockey team competing in the country’s premier league. This is located opposite a main park area Stoke Park which is used by many local rugby and football clubs. The local cricket team play in the Surrey Championship premier division and each year host a first class county game at their ground.
Guildford has a 2 theatres in the town centre and a large multiplex cinema. There are many restaurants in and around the towns, covering all tastes.
The borough is within the Surrey hills (area of natural beauty) on the North Downs which encourages walking tourists. The main supermarket is an out of town Tesco’s near the university and research park plus a Sainsbury’s in Burpham to the north of the town. Godalming hosts a Waitrose and a Sainsbury’s, Cranleigh hosts a Sainsbury’s. There is also a new Waitrose to be built in Guildford Town centre in the next 2-3 years.
The local schools throughout the borough are of a high standard which does create a desire for many residents to move into the area or certain catchment areas.
Transport : Guildford is within 45mins drive of Heathrow and Gatwick airport. Guildford has 2 train stations, the larger has a direct train link to Gatwick, Reading, Portsmouth and London (via Woking).Travelling time to each of these destinations is 45 minutes by train. The second Guildford train station (London Road) serves London. Trains to these main destinations run very frequently, at non peak they still run every 30 minutes.
The A3 and A31 both run into the town centre, and are 1.5 from Godalming giving good access to London, The South Coast and the South East Motorway Network, (M25 20 minutes driving, M3 30minutes, M4 40minutes).
National Express run services to London and Portsmouth. There are park and ride schemes from the leisure centre Spectrum, Artington (Godalming road) and Merrow. The river Wey navigation runs from Godalming to Weybridge and is more a tourist feature than genuine transport, however it offers good cycle and pedestrian access between Guildford and Godalming.