The sheer number of excellent entertainment options in Guildford may come as somewhat of a surprise to anyone new to the town. Lining the banks of the River Kew, you’ll find some sublime theatres, as well as a state-of-the-art concert hall and several community venues, which each add their own unique charm to Guildford.
Entertainment in Guildford
The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is a beautiful riverside theatre named after the famous French-born pianist, singer and actress who enjoyed stardom across a 30-year career beginning in the 1920s. Take a look at what’s on during your stay; the theatre curates a quality programme of theatre, opera, ballet and pantomime from some of the best touring companies in the UK. If you want to grab a drink before or after a show, some of our favourite Guildford nightlife is nearby, as well.
Another exceptional theatre overlooking the River Kew is the Electric Theatre. It’s the former electricity works, which served Guildford for more than half a century. It’s recently been transformed into a fab arts venue. When it comes to fringe theatre and jazz, there are few better places in Guildford. It’s also home to the hilarious monthly Circuit Comedy Club.
Speaking of comedy clubs, the best in town is the Kick Back Comedy Club, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month at The Boileroom. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance as its extremely popular. The comedy club books four professional comedians from the national circuit as well as a compere to give you an uproarious evening of entertainment.
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
Music lovers will want to check out G Live, the state-of-the-art concert hall at the far end of the High Street. It was built on the former site of the Guildford Civic Hall, which was the town’s main entertainment venue for years. With an enormous 1,000-seat auditorium and a 100-seat studio theatre, the venue attracts a wide range of artists, with genres spanning the world of music.
The Boileroom is our favourite music venue. It’s a community arts centre with a wonderful reputation for hosting the best upcoming bands, as well as comedy acts courtesy of the Kick Back Comedy Club. The gig space is small, but its intimacy only adds to the venue’s atmosphere. It’s brilliant when the crowd gets going. Top tip: Get there early and try the pizzas from on-site Fireaway; they’re delicious.
Komo is our favourite cocktail bar in Guildford and a stylish venue for local artists. There tends to be some form of live music taking place from Thursday to Sunday. The weekly jazz night is our favourite, which takes place on Thursday.
Lastly, The Star Inn is a veritable institution when it comes to Guildford entertainment. It’s a community pub with great ales, a fantastic atmosphere and a dedicated gig space. The inn is the town’s longest-running live music venue, with a rich history of entertaining the locals for more than 400 years.
Sports fans looking for some action during their stay should make their way to the Guildford Spectrum, which is home to the Guildford Flames ice hockey team. Playing in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the top tier of ice hockey in the UK, the standard is high, and the atmosphere is enormous.
The Guildford Spectrum is also home to Guildford City FC, the local amateur football club and just a 10-minute walk down the road from our Guildford hotel. The nearby Sports Ground on Woodbridge Road is where you can also enjoy a spot of cricket courtesy of the Guildford Cricket Club, which is one of the most successful clubs in Surrey County.