It's a leisurely 20 minute drive or train ride east of the city to reach Guildford and the Swan Valley. Or, you can arrive in style aboard a full or half day Swan River cruise from Barrack Street Jetty.
Make the visitor centre your first port of call to pick up a guide on heritage walks and begin your journey from 1829, when Guildford started life as one of the first three towns of the Swan River Colony.
Today, Guildford is one of only three towns in Perth on the National Trust register and proudly preserves its heritage. The visitor centre is housed in the original courthouse (circa 1866), where interpretive displays offer a fascinating introduction to the region's past. You can also see how the other half lived in the 19th century by joining a guided tour of Woodbridge House and its memorabilia.
The influence of the English gentry is still evident in the tearooms, where you can indulge in a Devonshire tea. Head for James Street and you'll get to taste the sensational homemade burgers that have been a local favourite since 1946. Or dine in style at the historic hotel and homestead.
Other heritage buildings open their doors to display the works of local artists, including decorative pottery and fine art. Time your visit to coincide with the third Sunday of the month and you'll also be treated to the Town Hall craft market. From here, it's a short stroll to the antique strip on James Street, where you can pick up a piece of history to take home.
To make Guildford your base for an extended Swan Valley escape, choose from bed and breakfasts, self-contained cottages and motel style rooms, or the luxury of a beautifully restored 19th century hotel.