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Ripley village guide 2015

PUBLISHED: 10:05 12 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:55 12 October 2015

The picturesque Newark Priory (Photo: Matthew Williams)

The picturesque Newark Priory (Photo: Matthew Williams)

Archant

Long a destination for cyclists from far and wide, all that freewheeling obviously helped to build up appetites as these days it’s the foodies that are out in force in the rather delectable village of Ripley

The Michelin starred Drake's restaurant (Photo: Matthew Williams)The Michelin starred Drake's restaurant (Photo: Matthew Williams)

Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life

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Did you know?

1 The Portsmouth Road passes through the centre of Ripley and gave the village some importance as a stopping-off place for those journeying from London to Portsmouth (hence the stagecoach in the village sign). Numerous inns lined the road to cater for the travellers, and cyclists later took to the roads in their thousands to enjoy them.

2 Along with Chobham, Ripley took the gastro-village crown at the 2014 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards with Drake’s restaurant, Pinnock’s Coffee House and Ripley Farmers’ Market all taking accolades.

3 It stands to reason that the village where Eric Clapton was born has its own guitar shop and you can’t miss Ripley Guitars: the owner hangs up a bright red guitar outside his shop every morning as he opens for business.

4 One of the local village cricketers, Lumpy Stevens, played a part in a significant rewriting of the cricketing rules. So accurate was his bowling that he’d frequently bowl between the two stumps that were then the norm without dislodging the bail. A third would soon be introduced.

5 Dating back to the 16th century, the Dunsborough Park estate was formed \aduring the dissolution of the monasteries. Since then, the property has grown from a small farmhouse to the stunning building you see today. Every year, the Dutch owners host their Festival of Tulips.

6 Just ten minutes away, you’ll find one of the nation’s great gardens at RHS Wisley. The original garden was the creation of George Fergusson Wilson – a businessman, scientist, inventor and keen gardener. In 1878, he purchased the site and established the ‘Oakwood experimental garden’ before passing it onto the Royal Horticultural Society in 1903.

7 Located on private land, Newark Priory is a Grade 1 ancient monument and can be viewed while walking along the River Wey between Pyrford and Ripley.

8 The nearby Papercourt Lock ranks among the prettiest on the River Wey, with its picturesque cottage and its large tumbling bay to cope with the overspill water.

9 On another point of interest, until 1956, there was a boathouse near Worsfold Gates, which hired out pleasure craft including skiffs, punts and canoes.

10 Established in 1961, the Papercourt Sailing Club is one of the leading sailing clubs in the south-east. Papercourt Lake was transformed from two working quarries.

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A pocket guide:

Drink at: Pop in for a pint at the Half Moon freehouse, which is found on the High Street.

Eat at: One of the best restaurants in the country – let alone Surrey – Drake’s is a must-visit for those with a taste for foodie flair. They also happen to own The Anchor pub in the village.

Stay at: A quintessentially English coaching inn with a modern twist, check out The Talbot.

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