It is a Sunday morning and I wake up at a friendly place in Guildford, a beautiful medieval city. It is barely 7:30am and Jazz is excited, ready to go for a walk.Iput my coat on, take hold of the lead and try to close the door as silently as possible. Despite the sun, the temperature outside is chilly; the car is covered in a layer of frost as we get the thrower.
Our stroll begins at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre, a graded building with Art-deco accents. For its size Guildford is a very lively city, with it’s university and a great choice of activities. Behind the theatre, the green spaces between the river and canal are ideal for Jazz to romp playfully. This part of the city is particularly nice in the summer, with its lawns, its picnic tables, its locks and small bridges, it all feels like a special little park. We follow the watercourse to the White House, one of the most famous pubs of the city, which I recall being partly underwater during the big floods a few years ago.
We cross the river Wey via the old Guildford Town Bridge, which nowadays is for pedestrians only, and is part of the High Street. This thoroughfare of the old city is virtually empty at this time of the day. The road climbs steeply up the hill, with many old, sometimes graded, buildings on either side, giving it loads of character. Small arcades and narrow passages all contribute to remind of the medieval origin of the place while the Guildhall clock overlooks the street near its centre. Further up, the Holy Trinity church can be found opposite the nice building that is Abbot’s Hospital.The walk back is quite random. The blackthorns are in blossom on this mid-April morning, and the flower beds of the city are starting to show their colours. To my surprise, a single stall is being installed under the main arcade, I recognize the bakers I thought were only present on market days. I jump on the opportunity to fill up with croissants and pain au chocolat, and get a big sourdough for breakfast.
The ruins of Guildford castle are amongst my favourite spots. The square tower, perched on the side of the hill, overlooks the valley. The grounds around it have been transformed into a colourful public garden. Situated on the edge of the old town, it is a charming place to spend a peaceful moment. My fingers are frozen, so we leave this historical place to head back to home. It’s about time to start that breakfast.