Guildford, the largest town in Surrey and the county's capital, has a lovely historic center with charming original storefronts. Gabled merchants' houses line the steep, pleasantly provincial High Street, where the remains of a Norman castle are tucked away in a peaceful garden, and the iconic clock on the old guildhall dates from 1683. The area around the train station is rather seedy and crowded, but once you make your way to the center it's a much nicer town. Guildford is a good place to base yourself if you're planning to visit nearby attractions such as the Royal Horticultural Society gardens in Wisley or the ruins of Waverley Abbey.
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