Enjoy a picnic in Stoke Park, take a walk through the artists’ village in Watts Gallery, or spend some time at Guildford Castle and celebrate the life of your loved one.
Hosting a wake in Guildford
A wake is an informal event that traditionally takes place after a funeral service and cremation or burial. It’s usually an informal event that involves family and friends gathering to share memories and celebrate the life of their loved one.
Traditionally, wakes would take place at someone’s home, or a community centre or pub, but they can take place anywhere. The people organising the wake may want to honour their loved one by holding the wake at a place that was special to them, such as at the grounds of their favourite football team, for example.
Also, although wakes usually take place directly after the funeral service, they can be held at any time. They can also be as structured or as informal as the organiser would like. Wake organisers have the freedom to host the event that’s right for them, their family and friends, and their loved one.
If you’re organising a wake in Guildford, there are plenty of unique venues where you can host the event in your own way, from a picnic at Stoke Park, or a tour of Guildford Castle.
Find your funeral director in Guildford who will help you arrange a cremation and give you ideas for a wake, memorial, or reception that’s right for you.
Famous wakes vary from all night events to not having one at all
Peter Stringfellow was a flamboyant nightclub owner in London who died in 2018. Following a low-key woodland burial, people organised an all night wake party at his club in Covent Garden.
Meanwhile David Bowie did not want a fuss and chose to have a direct cremation without a funeral or wake. These are ways people have shaped what happens after their loved one has died to reflect their character and wishes.
Stoke Park is Guildford’s largest and most popular park. Set across 27 hectares, it has beautiful grassland and stunning views across Guildford. It is the perfect place to celebrate the life of your loved one, especially if they spent a lot of time in the park or enjoyed nature.
You could stroll through the park and remember your loved one—you might want to walk through the Japanese Garden or spend some time in the Rose Garden. Or, there are plenty of quiet spots in the park for a picnic where you can privately celebrate the life of your loved one with your family and friends.
Celebrate at Stoke Park in a way that is right for you and your loved one’s friends and family. The park is open every day until dusk, and with plenty of space, you are sure to find somewhere meaningful to host your wake.
Watts Gallery — Artists’ Village
If your loved one enjoyed art, then the Watts Gallery — Artists’ Village is the ideal place to host their wake. There is plenty to see in these historic galleries. Why not wander through your loved one’s favourite exhibition and remember your time spent here together?
You could also walk through the Grade I listed Chapel to see the permanent collection and any temporary exhibitions on display. After a walk through the gallery, you could enjoy refreshments at the Tea Shop—alternatively, there is space outside for a picnic in the woodlands. There is plenty of space for some privacy too, and you could hire the Old Kiln or Limnerslease for your wake, if you’d prefer.
Both options have the capacity for 50 guests and come with a catered lunch. You can have a quiet moment at Watts Chapel before spending some time in these intimate spaces. You can expect compassion and dignity when hosting a wake here, with staff on hand to help with your booking and anything else you might need.
If your loved one enjoyed local history, then celebrate their life at Guildford Castle. You can walk through the grounds, stopping for a picnic, or head up to the top of the Great Tower for a panoramic view of Guildford and its surrounding countryside. The castle offers plenty of space for privacy too while you celebrate the life of your loved one.
Open from April to September, you can enjoy the beautiful gardens full of floral displays, or soak up the history on a tour of the castle. Private and guided tours are also available through bookings for those that wish to have some privacy. The castle offers plenty of space for a quiet moment of reflection and can be a great location to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Arrange a direct cremation
If you’d prefer to arrange a direct cremation, you can have a memorial at any time, anywhere you wish, perhaps at home or your loved one’s favourite pub.