Bells and beers for Pilgrim Morris

Round & About


The cheery sight and sound of morris dancers is a sure sign of summer, so make sure you catch Pilgrim Morris this season

Pilgrim Morris of Guildford were established in 1972 and dance a variety of traditions in the Cotswold style, generally dancing around Surrey and north-east Hampshire during the summer season.

After kicking off the season on St George’s Day as one of the guest sides on a walking tour of Odiham, Pilgrim Morris followed up with the ever popular Summerpole event on Guildford High Street – perhaps you enjoyed their dancing last month?

There is a full schedule of events for the summer season that can be found on the Pilgrim Morris website with some of the highlights for the coming year being the Walking Tour of Windsor dancing as guests of Windsor Morris in the streets of the historic town on Saturday, 29th June and the Albury Produce Show on Saturday, 20th July as well as numerous pubs this month and next.

Pilgrim Morris always welcome new members so if you fancy giving it a go, come along during the Practice Season (October to April). We practice at Holy Trinity Junior School, Addison Road, Guildford, on Wednesday evenings between 8pm and 10pm.

Being a Pilgrim is about more than dancing: we normally have a music session after our pub gigs and the team has a strong social side. We also present the traditional Guildford Mummers Play on Twelfth Night (January 6th) in the oldest pubs in Guildford town. Please come to one of our events this summer and join in the fun.

Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

Round & About


You’ll find him and Juliet in Guildford Castle Gardens and seven other town locations

This summer one of greatest of all love stories will explode onto the streets of Guildford.

For three weeks, June 21st to July 13th, Guildford Shakespeare Company is closing the High Street every evening to bring to life the passion and excitement of Shakespeare’s impulsive star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet. In a society fuelled by greed and entitlement, can their fragile vision of a better world survive their families’ ruthless feud?

Featuring, amongst others, the iconic Guildhall balcony, historic Abbot’s Hospital and stylish Tunsgate Quarter you will follow the action as the story unfolds, ending in the stunning Castle Gardens. You will walk roughly 1,500m from Holy Trinity Church down the High Street to Tunsgate Quarter, and back again. Scenes will unfold as you move with the action. Stewards will be on hand. The second half of the performance will be static in the Castle Gardens, around the Bandstand.

GSC’s professional cast will also be joined by a community ensemble of adults and young people. The Youth Ensemble will form the street of gangs of Montagues and Capulets and come from three local schools and GSC’s own GSC Saturdays. The Adult Ensemble of community actors are the guest at Capulets’ masked ball.

Join GSC for a truly unique telling of Shakespeare’s heart breaking tale, as they continue their 18th birthday celebrations this year.

Romeo & Juliet also has two static performances on June 29th and July 13th. Book tickets at Tickets – Guildford Shakespeare Company.

Uplift your spirits with Vayu Yoga

Round & About


Forget your cares and de-stress in the calm inviting studio space of the new Vayu Yoga in Guildford

December is a non-stop whirl of activity, going here and there, school and work functions to attend and all amid the joy/chaos that Christmas brings so never is there a greater need for some ‘time out’ to take a breather for yourself.

Step into Vayu Yoga above Black Sheep Coffee in North Street, Guildford, and you’ll be stepping into a haven of all that is tranquil. Peace exudes and you’ll feel a lifetime away from the crazy world outside.

The clean, warm, inviting interior will have you letting out an instant sigh of relief as you absorb the unique experience that awaits, inviting you to feel the benefits of moving your body and calming your mind.

The only independent yoga studio in Guildford, Vayu Yoga is run by Lucy Butler, a yoga teacher and Reiki master. Lucy wants to share her passion and love for yoga through her calm and welcoming studio space ‘where you can breathe deeply and energise your morning or release into your evening’.

Vayu Yoga embodies three core principles – philosophy, community and your wellbeing. The philosophy is to curate sessions in which you can experience the rich variety yoga has to offer. Community is at the heart of Vayu Yoga with the emphasis on offering an accessible approach to yoga for everyone from beginners to those more experienced. Your wellbeing and self awareness will increase through the practice with a calm mind and healthy body helping to add to the feeling of overall contentment.

Lucy says: “We’ve created a beautiful environment with the best teachers in the area, where you will receive individual attention and guidance. We offer an experience, a step away from the stresses and strains of daily life, where you can focus on an hour of ‘you’ time from beginners to advanced practitioners.

“We also offer a range of intimate workshops for a longer immersive experience. A luxurious experience like no other studio, a clean beautifully scented space where you can relax and enjoy our tranquil atmosphere.”

A range of classes is available including hot vinyasa, Hatha, mindful flow, and the popular candlelight restorative as well as the relaxing Yin. One-to-one private sessions and small groups sessions, can also be enjoyed, alongside Reiki.

To find out more and book your class click here


Lucy is offering five Round & About readers the chance to join a free taster class. To enter click here.

Q&A with Fiona Allen on tour

Liz Nicholls


We chat to comedian & Smack The Pony star Fiona Allen who is on tour with her debut stand-up show On The Run, including stops at Guildford’s Electric Theatre on 28th September, plus Swindon, London & Maidenhead

Q. Hi Fiona. Seeing as your show is called On The Run, can you tell us about your impulse to get away from your hometown?

“I think I get my wanderlust from my mum and dad. My mum grew up in the time of Franco and left Spain as a young woman. She couldn’t speak English and was an au pair, then she became a nurse in the north of England where she met my dad (a psychiatric nurse). He then went on to work in Saudi Arabia when I was eight (interesting school holidays in Saudi…). Then the family home moved back to Spain, then back to the UK, so basically itchy feet are hardwired into me. I think I’m genetically predisposed to look at the horizon and think I wonder what’s over the hill. I was like that as a chid, and I simply haven’t changed.”

Q. How did you meet your husband & how has the whirlwind of family life affected ‘romance’?

“He was a location manager on the first series of Smack The Pony. We kept glancing at each other but trying to look like we weren’t. Then the director, who was getting slightly irritated, said ‘for God’s sake, talk to each other and go on a date’. One day I slipped filming a scene and missed the crash mat as it was the wrong way round. I banged my head, and he took me back to the base. It was then, when I was dazed, confused and slightly concussed that he asked me out for a drink! I could be flippant about the romance question, but I won’t be as one thing I really believe is that marriage is sometimes how you navigate the tough times together. Flowers, kind thoughts and actions are lovely, but nothing is more romantic than knowing that every day, no matter what, someone has always got your back. However he doesn’t tidy up and drives me bonkers.”

Q. What about meeting your father-in-law, Michael Parkingson?

“He was just a normal (very) Northern bloke who happened to be famous. Good to chat to as a journo and cut through stuff. He can ask a question. I can so answer it.”

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G Live: Acorn Wood family theatre

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Families! Catch Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Beloved Tales from Acorn Wood, live on stage at G Live on Thursday, 31st August.

The family favourite stage adaptation from Norwell Lapley Productions (NLP) is coming to G Live this summer. Based on Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s best-selling lift-the-flap books, Tales of Acorn Wood is brought to life on stage for the first time in an enchanting lift-the-flap experience.

The show is packed full of toe-tapping songs and an array of beautifully crafted puppets, as well as striking state-of-the-art staging, projection and technology.

Poor old Fox has lost his socks! Are they in the kitchen or inside the clock? And Rat-a-tat-tat! Who’s that keeping tired Rabbit awake? You can also join in with Pig and Hen’s game of hide-and-seek and discover the special surprise Postman Bear is planning for his friends.

The creative team working on the show include celebrated Birmingham based choreographer Johnny Autin as puppet director, alongside director Brad Fitt, acclaimed production designer Ian Westbrook, motion graphic designer Louise Rhoades-Brown and lighting designer Alex Musgrave. Props and puppets have been designed and created by Deborah Mingham. The creative team is completed with musical director composer Miles Russell.

Julia Donaldson said: “I am really happy that the Tales from Acorn Wood has moved to the stage. Fans of the books are bound to enjoy seeing the four main characters: Fox, Bear, Pig and Rabbit brought to life through NLP’s clever staging. Live performance and songs are both very close to my heart and I am sure this production will delight children and families.”

Axel Scheffler added: “I have always enjoyed illustrating the Tales from Acorn Wood stories; the wide cast of animal friends is fun to draw, and I enjoy developing their world through my pictures. The NLP team has used state of the art staging and technology to create a brilliant experience for children and I was thrilled to see my illustrations come to life, I especially loved how they created the lift-the-flap effects on stage!

Book your tickets to enjoy Tales of Acorn Wood, based on the favourite stories by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, on Thursday, 31st August, at 1pm & 4pm. Adults: £18, under-14s £16, family of four £64. Box office: G Live & 0343 310 0055.

Alpine skier’s art exhibition in Guildford

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Teenager Molly Butler is helping making her alpine skiing dreams come true through her art exhibition at The Hideaway Café

Molly Butler, a sprinted 16 year old learned to ski about the same time she was learning to walk! She is intent on pursuing one goal – to become a top alpine ski racer.

Being selected to represent Team GB at the European Youth Olympics in Italy in January, and in May being selected for the GB alpine squad, was just the first step on the journey.

As Molly is from a family without substantial wealth, it is no mean feat in finding the funds to cover the equipment, training, travelling and so on. A full year of required training to maintain this level of competition is more than £30,000. But sadly, for GB alpine athletes, there is no funding available, constant support is needed to continue.

To help fund her ski racing several years ago Molly set up a small business where she sells prints of her artwork, cards and other small gifts. View her work at (

This summer Molly is exhibiting her art for three months from June 19th at the Hideaway Cafe in Guildford, an initiative of the Matrix charity providing a lifeline for vulnerable young people across Guildford Borough.

She’ll be working hard to help with the extortionate fees race training brings with it but she will be helping others with 25% from her sales going towards Matrix, making the whole exhibition even more worthwhile and meaningful.

Molly is so happy to be living her dream, she says: “I was born to ski, I couldn’t think of doing anything else in my life.”

Her second ‘love’ is her art. “I’ve combined my love for both skiing and art to create my unique hand-drawn gifts,” she explains. “The inspiration for my original artwork prints and the designs comes from the mountains and the natural world. All of my products make great gifts and are practical too. Wherever I am, or whatever I’m doing, the snow-capped peaks always remind me to keep chasing my dreams.”

By visiting Guildford and stopping by the Hideaway café to view and purchase Molly’s artwork (as well as enjoying a great coffee and cakes) you are not only supporting Molly, you will be joining her on her journey as well as supporting others.

And you can share every step, and all the action, by following Molly on Instagram and Facebook.

If you can’t make it to the exhibition please consider visiting her website and making a purchase.

She also has a dedicated Fundraising page.

Chris Kamara to open Ninja Warrior

Karen Neville


Football pundit and presenter of Ninja Warrior UK launches the new Guildford attraction on February 2nd

In perfect time for the February half term holidays, the inspirational co-presenter of the TV show, legendary pundit, Chris Kamara MBE, will launch Guildford’s Ninja Warrior UK Adventure Park.

He will be at the venue to welcome the guests alongside a number of professional Ninjas who people may recognise from the TV series. Amongst them will be first-time women’s champion Beth Lodge, who took the title during the grand finale of Ninja Warrior UK Series 6 in October 2022.

Due to the demand for launch-day tickets, three sessions will now be available to the public at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

Chris Kamara said: “I am really excited about the opening of Guildford’s Ninja Warrior UK Adventure Park; the reaction I see from guests who experience these venues for the very first time is just unbelievable! Ninja Warrior UK is a great family show and it is brilliant to be able to give families in Surrey the opportunity to come and try an adventure park. And, I still get to do the best bit of the job, which is to watch on – it’s equally as entertaining, trust me!”

The new Guildford venue, which opens on Thornbury Way in Slyfield on February 2nd, will feature a mix of adrenalin-fuelled TV show-style courses and inflatable runs inspired by the family favourite programme, and promises to combine fun, fitness and fire imaginations, with many discovering their inner Ninja in no time.

Visitors aged 5+ can choose from a range of amazing obstacles that will test their climbing, balancing and swinging skills to the max, and of course, try to beat the infamous Warped Wall. The Mount Sasuke climbing feature is an additional challenge for wannabe Ninjas, and the enormous inflatable course with its tunnels, battle towers and assault course, promises even more fun, before a visit to the Ninja Café for a well-earned rest. For the under 5s, there is a dedicated Mini Ninjas soft play area as well.

Tim Morrison, Co-Founder of Prime Leisure Group, operator of the Ninja Warrior UK Guildford venue, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to our Guildford opening next month, and now our Surrey visitors will have the added bonus of meeting Chris Kamara MBE at the launch event! We are very much looking forward to opening our doors and welcoming everyone from across the region to come and enjoy an adrenalin-fuelled, fitness-focussed visit.”

Admission starts from £13.95 per person and £6.95 for Mini Ninjas soft play (under 5s). Book your space at Ninja Warrior UK Guildford.

Move to the Boileroom Beat

Round & About


The new jazz scene comes to Guildford with a series of gigs by new exciting artists, starting on October 21st with Camilla George

Visionary saxophonist Camilla George kicks off the Beat series at the Boileroom with a heady mix of afrobeat, hip hop and jazz.

Expect an up-tempo feast of stunning jazz horns, polyrhythmic drums, guitar and keys and Camilla’s sax flying effortlessly between lush afrobeat and jazz melodies.

Camilla has carved out her own unique identity in the vibrant London scene, with her strong cultural roots and love of fusing African and Western Music. Following her critically acclaimed debut album Isang and much lauded follow up The People Could Fly in 2018 Camilla launches her third album Ibio, Ibio at London’s Jazz Café on 16th November.

Camilla studied with several jazz greats including sax giant Jean Toussaint. Her band have supported Courtney Pine and Femi Kuti and played many festivals including EFG London Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Jazz and We Out Here. She has also been a member of celebrated group Jazz Jamaica since 2009.

Check it out and move to the beat

Over the last few years the UK has become home to a diverse, accessible and newly confident new jazz scene whose innovative sounds are liberating the genre for new audiences. That vibrant UK new jazz scene is now coming to Guildford as Guildford Jazz teams up with the Boileroom to present some of the best and hippest new UK jazz, funk, afro sound, and blues fusion artists.

The Beat series, which is co-funded by Arts Council England, kicks off on October 21st with visionary saxophonist Camilla George’s up tempo feast of afrobeat hip hop and jazz. Other artists appearing in the series are Mark Kavuma’s Banger Factory, Yolanda Charles Project Ph, Xhosa Cole, Alex Hitchcock and Rosie Frater -Taylor.

Come along, check it out and move to the beat

Find out more

Tickets are £12 and available at and

Go car free In Guildford

Round & About


Get on your bike or walk this Sunday, 25th September and help make the town centre a better place for all

Guildford is going car free this Sunday, 25th September to make the town centre experience more enjoyable for all.

Guildford Borough Council is putting pedestrians first offering them the opportunity to have fun on traffic-free streets; find out how to help tackle climate change and air pollution; ask questions to experts and listen to talks from local councils, University of Surrey and Zero Carbon Guildford

The town centre will transform with many roads and streets closed to traffic. Leave your car at home and use alternative forms of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport.

A more enjoyable town centre experience is just a walk away this Car Free Day which features free events across town from 10am to 4.30pm.

Come by foot - walk, run or dance - it's up to you.

Activities include circus skills, nine metre climbing tower, Punch and Judy and street play for children, live music from local groups, ethical vegan market, rural crafts market, antiques and brocante market, farmers’ market, street food and drink stalls, e-bike and e-skateboard demos and information about how residents can step up their actions to tackle climate change.

So how can you enjoy Care Free Day and be part of it?

Come by foot – walk, run or dance – it’s up to you.

Cycle, scoot or skate – there are plenty of bike racks in and around the town. If you don’t have your own bike, hire a Brompton Bike from Guildford Station. There will be 50 extra bicycle parking spaces until 5pm with 10 each in Upper High Street (outside Pizza Express), Eastgate Gardens (at junction with Upper High Street), North Street (at junction with Market Street), High Street (outside Nationwide) and Tunsgate (outside Bang & Olufsen).

Find out more

More on Car Free Day at

Guildford Design Awards Exhibition in Surrey

Round & About


Interested in good design? Interested in exciting new buildings in the borough? Interested in sustainability?

The Guildford Design Awards Exhibition concludes its travel round the villages at West Horsley Place on Saturday, 29th October, 10am-4.30pm.

The exhibition will then have two days at the Guildhall in Guildford; on Friday 18th & Saturday 19th November, 10am-4.30pm.

The Guildford Design Awards were established to encourage and recognise; good design in new buildings and external spaces; restoration and conservation projects which ensure the legacy of our heritage buildings; projects which demonstrate sustainable energy principles and exemplary environmental awareness. The Awards help to establish a sense of civic pride in our built environment and improve our awareness of the importance of good design and the benefits it brings to our daily wellbeing.

Make sure to catch the travelling exhibition of the 2020 and 2021 award-winning projects to coincide with the Heritage and Architecture Open Days. Admission is free. Learn about some the excellent quality of commercial, public and community buildings, individual houses, multiple housing, conservation and regeneration projects and public art

Exhibition locations, dates and times:-

The Guildford Design Awards is a joint project between the Guildford Society and Guildford Borough Council, applications for the 2023​ Awards ​​(which as 2022 awards were postponed because of the pandemic, will include projects completed between June 2021 and June 2023), will be open next spring.

Submit an entry...

Potential entries are welcome over the next 12 months – email [email protected]