A day in Guildford is like stepping back in time to an old English village. One of just three towns established in 1829, the same year in which Western Australia was settled, Guildford was based on the model of an English country town, and hasn’t changed must since. Today it is one of only three towns in Perth on the National Trust register.
Especially during the cooler months, Guildford is a beautiful destination with a village charm for a lazy Saturday or Sunday with plenty to do. It’s like a day in the country without the long drive. Riverside walking trails, antique stores, heritage pubs and superb restaurants, including the recently opened Oscars, which is not to be missed.
Here’s our list of things to see and do, and if that’s not enough, the entire Swan Valley is just a stone’s throw away: see more Swan Valley fun here!
Despite being the furthest point up the Swan River from the ocean, Guildford is surprisingly accessible by road and public transport alike. The Midland train line stops on Guildford’s main street (at Guildford Station) and there is ample parking for those who want to drive. Guildford is only a 20-minute drive from Perth’s CBD, making it perfect for a day trip adventure.
For some quaint, old-time, interesting fun, Guildford’s very own Natural History Museum transports you back in time, with displays of animals from Tasmanian Tigers to dinosaurs. Only a five-minute walk from Guildford train station and surrounded by quaint antique and homeware stores, this mini-museum is set in the beautiful heritage-listed old Regent Theatre. Come along, bring the little ones, and maybe meet a dinosaur or two – and for only $6 entry, it’s some vintage-style fun that won’t break the bank.
Another gem to visit is Dr Russell’s Imaginarium. Owner Phil Russell has gathered together his endlessly fascinating collection of quirky antique curio collectables over his whole life, including an impressive range of original Star Wars memorabilia. From old telephones and glassware to toys from the Baby Boomer era and Roman coins, as well as Australian lucky pennies, figurines and apothecary bottles, it’s hard to imagine a more eclectic and interesting treasure trove. Specialising in the unusual and rare, this fascinating shop is well worth a visit, and you may come home with a treasure for yourself too.
Antique and Vintage Shopping
If it’s shopping you’re looking for, Guildford is home to a treasure trove of small stores that bring vintage flair to you. From bookstores to homewares, clothes to trinkets, you can find it all just a short walk up James Street from Guildford station. Adjacent to the Guildford Hotel is Jones of Guildford, offering curios, antique furniture and an array of beautiful old books.
The Guildford Book Exchange has over thousands of great reads on offer to delight the young, old, and young-at-heart, with some vintage childhood classics up for grabs. Finish up your day out with a stroll along the main street, and snap up some gorgeous vintage and antique goodies before you depart.
Eat and Drink
Nestled in the heart of Guildford, Oscar’s at Guildford Landing is a beautiful venue decorated in keeping with the heritage style of the area. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant has a cosy and familiar setting that lends itself to a long and relaxing dining experience. Serving a sustainable and delicious menu that’s meant for sharing, we recommend trying the lamb and fish wing dishes (and the tasty desserts too!).
After your meal and if you’re feeling like a drink, the Rose and Crown Hotel and the Guildford Hotel are two beautiful historical buildings that offer delicious drops in beautiful settings. The Rose and Crown is Guildford’s oldest operating hotel (built in 1841), and this National Trust-listed building serves drinks inside the hotel itself and outside in their leafy garden space. The Guildford Hotel was handed its liquor licence in the 1880’s and was then remodelled in 2016, bringing together the old and new into the perfect space to enjoy an Aperol spritz or tap beer.
Out and About
Guildford is home to heritage walking trails that take you through all of the history and grandeur of the town. Starting and finishing at the Old Guildford Courthouse, the trails have over 50 informative interpretive panels to explore over four trails: the Captain Stirling Walk, the Town Walk, the River Ramble and the Stirling Square Circuit. Enjoy Swan River views and insights into early colonial life, and pick up your guide from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre.