One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to see my uni friends FAR more often. I didn’t do very well in the last half of last year but 2018 has already seen me reunited with some of my uni favourites twice! Callum and I got the chance to visit Neetu yesterday in her hometown, Guildford. I was particularly excited about this trip as I’ve always heard wonderful things about the hilly and historic town (Who even knew there was a “d” in the town’s name?!). I was, naturally, way more excited to be greeted by Neetu as I hopped off the coach yesterday morning. And, soon enough, the excitement continued as we met Callum (“Cal” from here out… Callum doesn’t quite sit right) at the train station.
- Hot chocolate at Surrey Hills Coffee (SO yum)
- A venture through Guildford’s extensive and brilliant shopping opportunities
- Stroll along the river (while carrying out our very own photo shoot)
- Lunch at TGI Fridays
- A wander through Guildford’s old high street
- Guided tour (the tour guide, of course, being Neetu) through the castle and its unbelievably beautiful grounds
- A beverage at one of Guildford’s many pubs
Why I loved Guildford
- The many amazing backdrops Guildford provided us with meant my camera became acquainted with so many photos I’ll treasure for ever
- The shops that sat in old and grand buildings
- The mixture of the big businesses we all know and then small and independent businesses too
- The “London” feel of the town but also the cosy vibes it wore as well (and it wore them wonderfully)
- The pretty riverside
- The unique castle and grounds
- The fact every person we interacted with was lovely
- The familiar feeling inspired by my deciding it was a little like Winchester and Chichester; two of my favourite local cities
The best memories from our day in Guildford
- When “the three pigeons” (what Neetu endearingly named us as we passed a pub named Three Pigeons) were reunited, I expressed over-excitedly that I couldn’t wait to see the barges. Cal looked immediately amused; Neetu looked confused. Soon we laughed, realising I meant canal boats. And you can be certain that my silliness was brought up repeatedly throughout the day.
- Upon taking a boomerang shot for Neetu, we all discovered that I cannot pout and pretend to blow a kiss. We have video evidence of this that will haunt me for ever. But that laughs (at me… definitely at me) were most certainly worth it.
- We walked a really chilled walk alongside the river (no barges were seen, unfortunately) and giggled for far too long after Neetu ordered us to “act surprised” (meaning “act candid”, of course) for a video she was taking. “We should actually act surprised, right?” Cal, on the same page as me, uttered “yes” (translation: duh). Once Neetu panned round on us we were the visual representation of “exaggerated” as we gasped, shocked, hands over mouths. It’s a moment that words don’t do justice, but something I’ll remember for ever.
- One of the final big giggles came from our tour around Guildford Castle. Our guide (I would rate Neetu 5/5 on Tripadvisor if she would just set up a profile, as I’ve asked) informed us of something fascinating (but not fascinating enough as what happened next became such a big part of the day that I can’t remember what she previously said). Cal uttered entirely whole-heartedly, “Gee whiz” in response to the forgotten fact. Neetu and I stopped in our tracks and turned. “Gee whiz?” I asked and regret took over Cal’s features. The rest was history.
Why you should explore your own country
It’s days like yesterday that make me want to face palm myself. My country has so much to offer and I don’t take advantage of this nearly enough. While I love both destinations, I visit London and Brighton quite a lot throughout the year but give few other places a chance. Through visiting Neetu I got to get to know Guildford; one of England’s wonderful destinations.
I LOVE exploring what towns and cities England has to offer and, far more often than not, I’m pleased with where my adventure has taken me. A late addition to my New Year’s Resolution is most certainly to explore England more. Both Cal and I frequently found ourselves expressing how much we loved Guildford and I can’t wait to find more English treasures this year.
Ultimately I adored Guildford and look forward to visiting Neetu again. I want to shop there, have picnics there and read Alice and Wonderland by all of the Alice-inspired parts of Guildford. The best part of the day was most certainly seeing my two uni pals and, as per usual, it was tough to wave goodbye when my coach arrived in the evening. A crucial part of my self love this year must include seeing friends from afar at least once a month. It’s like therapy. For now, though, I’ll settle with the smile I’m still sporting from having such a glorious day yesterday.
~ Kat ~