A truly special shopping experience awaits customers on their first visit to Guitar Village, set in picturesque surroundings in the Surrey market town of Farnham in southern England. For starters, the building itself is beautiful—an ancient medieval edifice dating to 1467, complete with original wooden beams, weathered brickwork and vaulted ceilings (it’s even rumored to have its own ghost).
Far more recently, however—since 1987—Guitar Village is home to a tremendous selection of Fender instruments and amps. Inside, 15 demo rooms house more than 1,200 midrange, high-end and vintage guitars and basses, making for an exceptional welcome for the shop’s always-expanding worldwide clientele.
Customers always comment on the shop’s beauty and how it’s such a welcome alternative to more-than-plentiful mall-type stores, but it’s after they walk in that they’re really knocked out. In addition to the seemingly endless gear selection, Guitar Village is manned by a customer-focused staff of experienced players with a wealth of specialized knowledge on Fender instruments and amps old and new.
Guitar Village welcomes players at all levels from novice to pro, and rock royalty has been drawn to the shop for nearly a quarter of a century now—artists including Eric Clapton, Noel Gallagher, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page and many others.
On entering, visitors can’t help but be drawn to the large selection of more than 70 Fender Custom Shop models right there on the shop floor, including master-built instruments and popular heavily relic-ed Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars. A superb selection of Gretsch® guitars is also on hand and on abundant display. This great range can largely be attributed to the extensive vintage guitar-trade experience of owner Derek Eyre Walker.
“I work closely with the guys at the Fender Custom Shop here in the U.K.,” Walker said. “They visit us with a plethora of great guitars, and we hand-pick what we feel are the best examples that complement the ever-growing Guitar Village stock.”
Further, Guitar Village’s many years of experience with genuine 1950s and 1960s Fender gear has helped shape the pronounced rock ‘n’ roll vibe of the entire shop, abundantly reflected not only in the wealth of great guitars on display, but also amplifiers.
A wide selection of players’ favorite amps line the demo rooms, ranging from straight ’65 reissue Princetons, Deluxe Reverbs and Twins to Delta-flavored tweed series combos and modern classics such as the Hot Rod Series, all plugged in and ready to rock.
“Having dealt continuously with Fender guitars and amps since the late ’70s, it has been a real and very interesting pleasure to watch their evolution over the decades,” Walker said. “To the point where I feel the company is on top of its game.”
Below, a small selection of the vast Guitar Village Fender and Gretsch selection: