Arts & Culture
Guildford has a varied and vibrant arts scene for visitors to enjoy. You can experience high quality theatrical productions, all genres of live music, a wide range of performing arts, literary festivals and visual arts in a variety of locations.
Guildford House Gallery, with its High Street location, is in a beautiful seventeenth century building. As well as periodically displaying work by local artists, it also hosts a constantly changing programme of temporary exhibitions.
Watts Gallery - the artists' village is just three miles south of Guildford. This collection of buildings was designed by the notable Victorian artists, GF Watts together with his wife Mary. This unique art and crafts space hosts Watt's paintings and sculptures as well as touring exhibitions of other notable artists. Mary Watt's memorial chapel is considered one of Surrey's architectural gems.
The Sidney Sime Gallery is home to the work of the artist, illustrators and caricaturist bearing the gallery's name, Though born in poverty, Sime became famous for drawings and illustrations with fantastic themes.
Public Art Walks where you can appreciate a variety of sculptures dotted around the town are periodically available with the Guildford Town Guides.
Theatre, Music and Performance...
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre has a changing programme of national touring productions ranging from comedies and musicals to award winning dramas on tour from London's West End. The Mill Studio also hosts smaller productions and art exhibitions.
GLive is a 1,000 seat capacity arts and entertainment venue. It hosts a varied programme of events, ranging from international musicians, classical concerts and operas, entertainment shows, famous comedy acts and themed evenings.
The Electric Theatre is a vibrant arts venue where a constantly changing programme of events include all kinds of music, burlesque, local theatre productions and literary festival events.
The Boileroom is a community arts hub notable for showcasing up and coming musicians. The venues has hosted the likes of Ed Sheeran, Foals, Bastille and the Sugarhill Gang to name a few. As well as being an intimate venue for incredible live gigs, it also hosts a number of other events such as drink and draws, gamer lounges and comedy nights.
The Ivy Arts Centre, based on the University of Surrey campus, showcases the work of School of Arts students (including the Guildford School of Acting) as well as professional artists.
Guildford Cathedral and local churches are the venues for many performances, particularly for choirs and orchestras. Guildford Cathedral's nave is a vast, atmospheric space for large concerts and festivals. Other churches in the town that frequently host cultural events are: Holy Trinity Church, St Mary's Church, St Nicholas Church and the United Reformed Church.
Pub Venues are popular for bands, small theatrical productions and comedy nights. Some of the pubs with regular events programmes are: The Star Inn, The Britannia and The Keep.
Outdoor venues are integral to Guildford's cultural scene during the summer and we have a variety of beautiful backdrops for magical performances under the stars. The Castle Grounds, Stoke Park, The College of Law grounds and the University of Surrey grounds all periodically host outdoor plays or music events. The Guildford Shakespeare Company has a programme of summer performances every year, along with other local and visiting drama groups. The Guildford Fringe Festival takes place throughout July in both indoor and outdoor venues around the town. Another notable festival is the annual Guildford Book Festival which takes place in October.
Visit our events page to find out what is happening and when. Our plan your visit page will help you get here and if you would like to stay in a town centre hotel or a cost bed and breakfast, please visit our where to stay page.