Surrounding the medieval Guildford Castle, Guildford town in Surrey (not to be confused with Guildford, British Columbia), is historic, has convenient transport links and provides access to some beautiful surrounding countryside as well.
The town has a cobbled street running through its centre - not great for high heels but charming for setting the scene for a relaxed weekend of retail therapy and pampering. Guildford has Saxon roots and by AD 978 it was home to an early English Royal Mint. Today the pretty high street is filled with historic building frontages and plenty of upmarket shops to explore.
Other local attractions include Loseley Park, which features a 16th-century manor house with a walled garden. The Guildhall is a popular destination, dating from the 1300s, then there’s Guildford Castle - a Norman motte-and-bailey fortress with a statue of Alice Through the Looking Glass, a memorial to the author Lewis Carroll, in the grounds.
The North Downs are on Guildford’s doorstep, providing easy access to green space and wonderful walks. Newlands Corner is a particular beauty spot, where Agatha Christie once staged a disappearance - adding to its dramatic effect.
For those on a spa break there’s a wonderful selection of hotels and day spas to choose from in and around guildford. Close by is the luxurious Pennyhill Park near Bagshot, part of Spabreaks.com's Elysium Collection. Barnett Hill Hotel is a charming Queen Anne mansion known for award-winning service and total indulgence, and Guildford Manor is a complete escape complete with luxury spa facilities, fantastic food and ultra relaxing rooms and suites.