Some of the best things to see and do in Ripley
- Credit: Archant
The restaurants, coffee shops and independent boutiques that line Ripley’s streets make this village the perfect place to get away from it all and explore stunning riverside walks
Visit the beautiful village of Ripley and you're just as likely to see the musician Paul Weller enjoying a cuppa and a chat at the local coffee shop or a Hollywood A-lister shooting a scene as you are a member of the local community busily rearranging the best of Surrey's food and drink producers on the village green.
That's because The Modfather has a recording studio in the village, the area is popular with film crews due to its picture-perfect nature and the community, well, the Ripley community make things happen. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than at the hugely popular Ripley Farmers' Market, which is held on the second Saturday of every month and belies its voluntary nature. Over the years, it's grown a reputation as a must-visit event - and who doesn't enjoy trying great food and drink in beautiful surroundings?
Ripley is a place with food and drink firmly at its heart. There's the Michelin-starred The Clock House restaurant leading the way these days, The Anchor pub was highly commended in the Restaurant of the Year category at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards and won the award the year before, and The Toby Cottage is one of Surrey's oldest independent restaurants. It's in this village that the up-and-coming gin company, Distillers of Surrey, creates its Sherlock & Sons range, and it's also home to Ripley Nurseries garden centre and farm shop, which is always worth exploring.
Then there are the coffee shops, with Nest Home & Café perfect for a relaxing spot of people watching and Pinnock's a cosy and quirky little haven. There's also one of the county's best 'secret getaways', Broadway Barn, hidden just off the High Street.
The village is packed full of quality independent shops too, with the likes of the Jamie Stevens hair salon, Miss Bush bridal boutique (which is found in a beautifully converted Victorian Chapel) and Jo Downs Handmade Glass.
Famously, guitar hero Eric Clapton was born in Ripley and you'll find an excellent music shop, Ripley Guitars, in the centre of the village today, at a time when they're disappearing quicker than your local Blues king can crank out the opening lick of Layla elsewhere.
Ripley's place in life was largely established by the Portsmouth Road passing through its centre. Historically, this gave the village some importance as a stopping-off place for those journeying from London to Portsmouth - hence the stagecoach in the village sign, which is found near the village green, and the unmissable ivy-draped Talbot coaching inn.
If you'd like to learn a little more about the heritage of the place, you can discover a potted history in the Send & Ripley Local History Museum, which opens every Saturday morning in the courtyard of the village hall.
Wherever you look in Ripley, there are chocolate box pretty cottages and historic buildings and there are perhaps few places in Surrey that are better for a riverside stroll with the River Wey passing close by. Head up the river and past the spectacular Newark Priory and you'll forget where in the world you are as narrowboats putt-putt on by.
It's an idyllic spot and there's every chance you won't want to leave.
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The RHS' flagship garden, Wisley is a world class attraction where you can happily lose a full day among the blooms. Where better to learn about home grown flavours than RHS Garden Wisley? It's less than a 10-minute drive from Ripley.
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While Wisley is world famous, Dunsborough Park is a secret little treat that unravels its wonders as you stroll around each corner. Privately owned, it only opens at select times of the year.
Ripley is blessed with some of the most attractive spots along the River Wey, making for idyllic walks and potential picnic destinations (just make sure to take your litter home with you!). The spectacular ancient monument, Newark Priory, is found on private land but can clearly be seen from the towpath; Papercourt Lock and its picturesque cottage ranks among the prettiest on the canal; and Walsham Lock is only a few minutes' walk from the village green.
With local producers from around the county heading to the village, Ripley Farmers' Market is the perfect destination for anyone with a love for great food and drink - and it also helps to raise money for local causes.
Long part of Surrey's restaurant royalty, The Clock House is making waves these days with head chef Fred Clapperton at the helm. Proudly boasting a Michelin star, if you're a lover of exquisite tasting menus, stand out wines and fine dining ambiance, this is the place for you - and make sure to ask for a Distillers of Surrey cocktail (the gin is distilled minutes away).
24 hours in
- Morning - Having perhaps chosen to stay at Broadway Barn because, well, you're worth it and there are few better places to stay in the area, you may have already enjoyed a delicious breakfast and not fancy moving anywhere fast. So, you could perhaps have a stroll around the village to acclimatise yourself but do make sure to pop into Nest Home & Café for a coffee and a browse. Relax, there's no need to rush about.
- Afternoon - Having found your most 'holiday at home' level, you can either head for a leisurely and top-class lunch at The Anchor (if the weather is warm, try to get a table in their little courtyard) or pick up some goodies from Ripley Nurseries' farm shop and hit the River Wey towpath. Explore the locks and head for the sight of the gorgeous Newark Priory, if it's a sunny day. Make sure to take a camera! Equally, RHS Garden Wisley could have your name on it - but we'd make sure to head there as early as possible.
- Evening - Having freshened up, it's time for a flavour adventure - spoil yourself with the tasting menu at The Clock House. The restaurant is found in a beautiful building just off the High Street and it's got a lovely little lounge bar and garden to stretch out your visit, depending on timings. Alternatively, The Half Moon Inn, with its gastropub offering, or Ripley Curry Garden, which has been known to host a rock star or two, might be more your speed.
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