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Moving to… Guildford

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Located in the county town of Surrey,  Guildford is known for being one of the best commuter towns to London, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. Let’s put it under a microscope.

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History of Guildford 

Guildford has a rich history, home to the medieval Guildford Castle, thought to have been built shortly after the 1066 invasion of England by William the Conqueror. In its past, Saxons and Royals alike have lived in this Surrey town.

Despite being home to a cathedral, Guildford is not a city. It was turned down for city status in 2002.

Where is Guildford?

Located on the banks of the River Wey, in the south east of the UK, Guildford lies smack bang in the middle of London and Portsmouth. It’s the county town of Surrey, offering both beauty and a host of amenities needed for everyday life.

Average house prices

In Guildford, the average house price sits at £563,894.

To break this down further:

Property TypeAverage Price
Semi-detached (most popular)£493,349
Detached£876,021
Flat£295,297

A range of properties are sold here, from luxury townhouses in the bustling town centre to traditional English buildings further out in the countryside. The Charlottesville area and up towards Burpham in particular are known for boasting beautiful properties.

Park Barn and Stoughton are the most affordable areas.

Average rental prices

Currently, the average cost of renting in Guildford is £1,929 pcm. 

Property rents by number of bedrooms:

Number of bedroomsAverage rent (pcm)
1£1,039 
2£1,457 
3£1,746 
4£2,300
52,922 

Property rents by property type:

Property TypeAverage rent (pcm)
Room£643
Flat£1,383
House£2,395

Cost of living in Guildford

As of January 2021, the cost of living in Guildford* is 3.45% higher than in Portsmouth. 

For a family of four, monthly costs are around £2,526 (not including rent). For a single person, monthly costs come to roughly £739 (not including rent). This factors in costs such as transport, food and drink and utilities. 

*These are estimates, to be used as a rough guide only

What to do in Guildford

So, what’s it really like living in this southern town? 

Transport connections

There’s not much to complain about when it comes to getting around. You can get to Waterloo station on the train in 35 minutes, just one reason why it’s so popular with commuters. 

There’s also easy access to Gatwick, and other areas like Southampton, Portsmouth and Reading. The town itself is also very close to the A3 and the A25 if you prefer to drive. 

Surrey Hills 

This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty spans 422 km², offering some of south east England’s most stunning and accessible countryside. There are a number of areas to explore, from Leith Hill Tower to Inglis Memorial. 

That’s not the only beautiful large area of parkland. A winner of the Green Flag Award, Stoke Park is an extremely diverse green space – and Guildford’s largest park. 

Town centre 

Taking a stroll along the cobbled high street shouldn’t disappoint. 

In town, there’s three shopping centres ‘under one roof’, home to designer stores and luxury boutiques. There’s also a traditional farmer’s market that runs every month, selling a variety of goods, from flowers to fresh fruit. 

The overhanging clock is a famous sight on Guildford high street – dated 1683.

Feeling active? The Guildford Spectrum is the UK’s leading leisure centre, where you can undertake activities such as swimming, ice skating and bowling.  

Art & culture 

The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is one of the country’s leading regional producing theatres, putting on a variety of productions. There are also a number of venues for live music and comedy, where you can enjoy a cocktail at the same time. 

Guildford Cathedral is a beautiful place to visit, which boasts twelve bells and was the filming location of the horror film The Omen. The Guildford Museum is also often frequented by families, tourists and history buffs alike, home to a collection of objects dating back to prehistoric times. 

Where to eat in Guildford

Whether you’re looking for the fine dining experience or a casual bite to eat, Guildford has a great food scene. 

The Ivy Castleview deserves a special mention, a delicious brasserie found on the high street that offers sophisticated all day dining. 

La Casita is a delicious taste of the Mediterranean found on the cobbled streets of Guildford, known for being a great lunch spot. 

Not hungry for tapas? Raviz is known for its excellent Indian cuisine, while the Red Lion Inn’s pub grub definitely won’t disappoint. Meanwhile, the Tea Terrace is a cafe straight from a fairytale, great for afternoon tea.

Hidden gems

  • Meet unicorns in an enchanting woodland in Ash
  • The Royal Oak (a dog-friendly pub tucked away off the beaten track)
  • Newlands Corner – a spectacular beauty spot, on a good day you can see to London
  • Craggy Island (indoor climbing centre)
  • St Martha-on-the-Hill
  • Pewley Down

Who lives there?

The last recorded population of Guildford was in 2018, standing at 147,889, according to ONS data. 

With some excellent schooling in the area, it’s hugely popular with families. However, the town’s appeal is far-reaching, thanks to its superb amenities and great motorway and rail access. Commuters can reach London in roughly half an hour, which is why so many choose to live there. 

It’s a firm favourite among those looking for the best of both worlds: where the countryside meets great transport connections. You’re also not far from Portsmouth if you want the beach. 

What’s not to like?

House prices here are over double the UK average of £249,633, as you’re paying for the proximity to London. It’s a property hotspot where paying off a mortgage will be much harder than further up north in the UK.

Renters may struggle, as the high prices can make saving for a deposit more difficult – though not impossible. 

The hills need a mention here too, as there are many of them, and they’re steep. 

Typical broadband speed

The average speed is 48.1 Mbps, which is 57% above the UK national average of 30.6 Mbps, and 26.75% above the average of 37.95 Mbps in Surrey.

Crime rate

The annual crime rate in Guildford area is 23.3 (23.3 crimes reported a year per 1000 workday people). It’s the 14th lowest crime rate out of 104 locations in England and Wales.

Thinking of moving to Guildford? 

Having an overview of Guildford is one thing, but drilling down into the specifics of a property and its area is another. A property report can pull all the information you need in one place, including information on local schools, nearby planning applications and more. Get yours below.

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Last Updated: November 2nd, 2021

Phil Spencer

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