Guildford Guidebook
“honestly cannot think of anywhere I would rather be...”
“For the Snark was a Boojum, you see” reviewer: 21 December 2001

“I've lived in Guildford for nearly 14 years now and honestly cannot think of anywhere I would rather be… It has a great range of shops, loads of restaurants and clubs (if you're into that kind of thing). The high street is really attractive and buzzing with life and it is really well supplied with leisure facilities (a great sports/leisure centre, a nine-screen Odeon cinema, 3 theatres etc. etc). It also has a big university which brings lots of nightlife with it.

Even better is that it is within minutes of the North Downs and some beautiful countryside - if you like walking or just lazy drives around

pretty country villages you couldn't pick a better base.”

Reviews of Guildford, by people who live there, at

“Guildford […] far more exotic to me than Nagasaki”

Kazuo Ishiguro: 8 November 1954 - Present

“I went many years without even associating Nagasaki with the atomic bomb,' he says. 'Then in the 1980s, when there was a new concern about CND and so on, Nagasaki took on this symbolic value. I felt my Nagasaki had been appropriated. It was suddenly this burning city of ashes. For me it was where I lived until the age of five. A beautiful place of mountains and sea, where I can remember whole days and conversations, my nursery school, my house. I recall very clearly when we arrived in Guildford. The shock of that new atmosphere. And now when I look back to the Guildford of that time it seems far more exotic to me than Nagasaki.”

As quoted by The Guardian Newspaper on 20 February 2005. Ishiguro is a celebrated contemporary fiction writer, ranking 32nd in the Times’s “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.” Photo credit to Jane Bown, taken from

Lewis Carroll: 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898

“In the midst of the word he was trying to say,

In the midst of his laughter and glee,

He had softly and suddenly vanished away —

For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.”

Although not a quote about Guildford, Carroll thought up the last line of his nonsense poem, ‘The Hunting of the Snark” whilst taking one of his favourite walks from Guildford to Farnham across the Hog’s Back on 18 July 1875.

“The town of Guildford, which […] I, […] think the prettiest”

William Cobbett: 9 March 1763 – 18 June 1835

“The town of Guildford, which (taken with its environs) I, who have seen so many, many towns, think the prettiest, and, taken all together, the most agreeable and most happy-looking, that I ever saw in my life. Here are hill and dell in endless variety. Here are the chalk and the sand, vieing with each other in making beautiful scenes. Here is a navigable river and fine meadows. Here are woods and downs. Here is something of everything but fat marshes and their skeleton-making agues .”

A section from William Cobbett’s ‘Rural Rides’, the entry written on October 23rd, 1825.

What’s being said about Guildford? Kazuo Ishiguro