Guildford invites you to enjoy its colonial charm, arts and fresh local flavours following the heritage trail by car, past grand 19th century architecture to the banks of the Swan River and the Swan Valley vineyards beyond.

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. Wineries and attractions are scattered throughout the region so hiring a car or jumping on board a tour are the best way to enjoy WA's oldest wine region.

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 classified as a historic town by the National Trust of Australia, making it one of only three towns in Perth to enjoy this status. The visitor centre is housed in the original courthouse (circa 1866), where interpretive displays offer a fascinating introduction to the region's past. Join a guided tour of Woodbridge House or the Guildford Gaol.

The influence of the English gentry is still evident in the tearooms, where you can indulge in a Devonshire tea 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.