Weybridge: where to eat, shop and visit
- Credit: Archant
One of our county’s most affluent towns, Weybridge is right in the heart of Elmbridge, the area known as Surrey’s Beverly Hills. As well as all the glitz and the glamour, however, the town’s track record with motoring and aviation, and its lovely riverside walks, means there’s plenty for visitors to explore, too
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2012
Life in the fast lane
The futuristic Mercedes-Benz World, a later addition to the historic Brooklands site, offers visitors the chance to browse the company’s flagship showroom and test drive the latest models. If you’re feeling particularly active, then their ultimate driving experiences on one of several circuits, including a wet skid circle and 10-acre off-road area, could be for you. What is more, you might even bump into F1 stars Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button, who are both occasional visitors.
On the river
The picturesque walks along the towpath of the River Wey Navigation, which meets the Thames not far from The Minnow pub in Thames Street, are just right for a Sunday stroll. The Thames Lock is a pretty place for a picture, and there are plenty of picnic spots if the weather is right. Look out for the historic Weybridge Rowing Club, established in 1880, whose clubhouse is situated near the lock.
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A racing past
The world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, Brooklands, was opened in Weybridge in 1907, and as well as being the birthplace of British motorsport, it was also an important place for aviation, the home of Concorde and the scene of many engineering achievements. Today, a number of buildings and the famous banked stretch of the track still survive, and this distinguished past is celebrated at Brooklands Museum.
Time for tea
Henry VIII and his queens made considerable use of Oatlands Palace in Weybridge, and so did subsequent monarchs. The demolition of 1650 was very thorough, however, leaving only part of an outer court wall standing, with many of the bricks being used to line the lock walls of the new Wey Navigation near Guildford. Nowadays, Oatlands Park Hotel stands on the site of the former palace and its worth stopping at for afternoon tea.
Eating out in Weybridge
Famous for being one of the county’s culinary hotspots, Weybridge has a wide range of delectable choices - from tasty Spanish tapas at El Meson de Los Hermanos on Baker Street to fresh French cuisine at Sosio’s on Oatlands Drive. Back on Baker Street, you’ll find Cafe Da Vinci and Cafe One. For a great Indian’ meal, The Gaylord curry house on Queens Road is another tip. A celeb haven, Weybridge’s bars and restaurants are renowned for their glitz and glamour, whether it’s cocktails at Red (01932 850222) or a glass of wine or two at Sullivans (01932 850545).
Over the years, the illustrious St George’s Hill has been home to an array of superstars, from Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard to John Lennon - to name but a few. A gated estate, the Hill has one of the most desired and envied postcodes in the UK. Indeed, the average price for an acre has been known to reach £3m. If you want to hobnob with the stars, Weybridge is definitely the place to be.
Need to know:
Where to eat: The popular Italian eatery La Casa (01932 843470) at 2 Temple Hall, Monument Hill, where you’ll be in good company: Hollywood star George Clooney was recently spotted dining there.
Where to drink: Sullivans (01932 850545) wine bar is perfect for a relaxed evening out and has been open since 1981.
Something to take home: Suggesting a new car from Mercedes-Benz World might be a bit much but both their shop and the neighbouring Brooklands Museum have plenty of gifts perfect for any motoring enthusiast the latter is also home to the Brooklands mascot: Bertie Bear!
Somewhere to stay: Brooklands Hotel (01932 335700) has left its mark not just on the Weybridge area but the whole of Surrey - its restaurants and spa attract people from all over.
Between junction 10 and 11 of the M25, Weybridge is also on a main line train service from Waterloo.
Get in touch with what you most love about Weybridge and how you’d spend your perfect weekend there at www.facebook.com/SurreyLife