Named as one of the top places to live in Britain just a few years ago, Guildford is more than just Surrey's thriving county town – it has a bustling and historic centre, a vibrant cultural scene, and is conveniently close to London (27 miles) for commuters.
It is also one of the most expensive places to buy property in the UK outside of London, however, so may be outside of the budget of many buyers – although some villages just a couple of miles away can offer practical and more affordable alternatives.
Here we highlight some of Guildford's key selling points and take a look at some of the current houses on the market – falling into a variety of different price brackets.
Guildford has two railway stations. The main station, Guildford, serves the Portsmouth direct line between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour, and also offers direct services to Aldershot, Reading, Gatwick Airport via Dorking and Redhill, and alternative London routes. There is even one daily long-distance service to Newcastle upon Tyne. The town's other station is London Road (Guildford), situated to the north east of the town centre, and served by stopping services only between Guildford and Waterloo. There are four trains an hour in each direction.
From the main station trains to London Waterloo can take less than 40 minutes, and an annual season ticket to London zones 1-6 costs £4,204. There are several car parking options close by. Farnham Road & Long Stay car park, for example, has a total of 330 parking spaces, with annual season tickets costing £1,800. For the same price there is also a multi storey car park with 250 spaces, while the Smart Car Spaces car park has 77 spaces and charges the lower annual rate of £1,080. Cycle storage spaces are also available in the first two car parks, for a total of 320 bikes, with CCTV coverage.
By road, Guildford is also very well-connected: situated at the beginning of the A31, it is bypassed by the A3 trunk road between London and Portsmouth, about midway between the two, and the M25 is just to the north-east of town.
Guildford is home to several primary, junior and secondary schools as well as independent schools like the Royal Grammar School, and higher education establishments such as the University of Surrey and Battersea College of Technology.
A cross-section of some of the current homes for sale in Guildford, including new builds and resale options, include:
£150,000 or less
Perfect for a first-time buyer who wants to live centrally, this one-bedroom flat on Guildford high street could not be more central. Further details are available on request from the estate agent.
Agent: Gascoigne Pees
£250,000 or less
Well-suited to a first-time buyer or investor looking for a period property in a quiet yet convenient commuter location, this top floor one-bedroom flat in a character house is about two miles from Guildford's centre – and yet it also has the open spaces of the Merrow Downs close by for countryside walks. Local shops are half-a-mile away, while London Road station (which connects with Waterloo) is about a mile away.
£350,000 or less
This price bracket will buy you a two-bedroom semi-detached house with two reception rooms and an attractive rear garden, situated in a quiet location within two miles of the town centre and the mainline railway station. There is off-street parking at the front of the property, while the back garden is mainly laid to lawn with mixed trees, shrubs and plants, greenhouse, two wooden sheds, enclosed with panel fencing. In 2008 Guildford Borough Council confirmed a single storey rear extension under permitted development.
£500,000 or less
In the heart of the village of Shalford, less than two miles south of the centre of Guildford, this new four-bedroom terraced house is one of four modern mews properties built there by local developer St Edmunds Development Limited. Shalford is a small, quintessentially English village with an attractive village green and pond, a church, three pubs, an infant and pre-school, and Shalford railway station -- with regular services to London Waterloo (via Guildford) in as little as 48 minutes.
£550,000 or less
Taylor Wimpey has created Station View, a development of brand new one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments priced from £465,000-£550,000, situated less than a mile from Guildford town centre and within walking distance of the main railway station. The development also offers parking facilities and easy access to local amenities such as a convenience store, post office, major chains and a pharmacy.
Price: £550,000 or less
Housebuilder: Taylor Wimpey
£600,000 or less
Martin Grant Homes' Langley Place development, situated about two-and-a-half miles from the centre of town, still has a couple of brand new detached four-bedroom homes available – one of which is priced at £585,000 and the other at £595,000. Accommodation is arranged over three floors, with a spacious formal reception room at the front and kitchen/dining/family room opening out onto the back garden. Upstairs are three bedrooms, one with an en suite bathroom, while the master bedroom occupies the entire top floor, complete with fitted wardrobes, and its own private shower room just across the landing.
Housebuilder: Martin Grant Homes
£700,000 or less
This detached three- or four-bedroom Arts & Crafts-era property built in 1910 incorporates some beautiful period features such as open fireplaces, period radiators, open fireplaces and oak flooring, giving it plenty of character. It also offers views across Stoke Park and is close to several excellent schools, while the high street is within walking distance.
£800,000 or less
This three-bedroom semi-detached Victorian townhouse has been refurbished and offers accommodation spread over three floors, plus a landscaped rear garden. It is situated in a residential cul de sac in the town centre, close to the High Street and several good local schools, and is on the market as end of chain.
Price: Guide price of £800,000
£1million or less
Right in the heart of Guildford, this detached four-bedroom house enjoys an elevated position with far-reaching views, and it is situated in a handy and sought-after area of town – just a few minutes' walk from the High Street. The property would be ideal for a buyer who wants to take on a modernisation project, and the estate agent also advises that there is scope to extend (subject to planning permission).