Days out in Guildford for Free
Guildford is a town in Surrey, approximately 27 miles south-west of London. The town is steeped in history and has had several notable residents, including Lewis Carroll who is buried in the town's Mount cemetery, The Stranglers and Alan Turing.
These days Guildford is a pretty and bustling town. The cobbled high street is home to a variety of shops and business as well as Surreys most visited art gallery.
A short walk from the high street and less than a mile from the station Guildford castle can be found. Guildford castle is believed to have been built around 1086 by William II of Normandy. The castle and it's beautifully colourful grounds are now open to the public and includes a visitor platform on the roof, which offers panoramic views right across Guildford. There is no charge to visit the castle and grounds but if you wish to go inside there is a small charge and admission is only possible on certain days. The castle also has a small gift shop. Full details of opening times and prices can be found on the castle webpage - http://www.guildford.gov.uk/article/10189/Guildford-Castle
Broadstreet and Blackside Commons
Northwest of the town centre is a large area of grassland and mainly birch and oak woodland, but also includes hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, dog rose and bramble. Many birds live in the woodland including nightingales, turtle doves, warblers and buzzards. If you are lucky you may even spot some of the deer that also live there. There are also several ponds. Several footpaths run through the woods including the Christmas pie trail which runs from Guildford to Farnham. The trail is 8.5 miles long and is suitable for walking and cycling. It isn't paved and can be uneven in places but I had no problems walking with my three wheel pushchair (Quinny Speedi).
The trail is marked with the symbol of a Christmas pudding and can also be found on ordnance survey maps. A map showing the Christmas pie and other trails in the area can be obtained from local libraries or by contacting Surrey county council, who's details can be found here http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/contact-us. Broodstreet common is accessible via Applegarth avenue
and numbers 3, 4, 5 and 27 bus all stop close by.
Stoke park is a large park within short walking distance of Guildford town centre and is home to the annual music festival Guildfest, Surrey county show and the Guildford Lions firework fiesta. The park is accessible from the town centre via London Road and nightingale road. There is also an entrance for pedestrians on Parkway. London road train station is a very short walk from the nightingale road entrance. Coming into the park this way is also closest to the various facilities offered. There is an area of beautiful sensory gardens to walk through or sit in, a children's play area with swings, slides, climbing frames etc and a paddling pool. There is also a small cafe, boating lake, crazy golf course, trim trail and woodland. The crazy golf is open between June and September and for the easter holidays. There is a charge for the crazy golf. The paddling pool generally open late in May for the bank holiday and stays open until August.
This mainly oak and ash woodland is situated within a housing estate approximately 2 miles from Guildford train station and includes wooden children's play equipment. The woods can be accessed via Woodside road or Southway. When entering the woods from Woodside road there is a steep downhill path to reach the playground. Southway is on the number 4 and 5 bus routes.
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© 2012 Claire