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Things to do in Weybridge: Where to eat, shop and visit

PUBLISHED: 20:31 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:30 02 May 2018

Life on the River Wey

Life on the River Wey

Pete Gardner Photography

Located on the banks of the River Wey, the well-heeled town of Weybridge is the place to go for a waterside stroll, motoring heritage and a spot of alfresco lunch...

Escape to the countrysideEscape to the countryside

A potted history...

References to the area can be traced back as far as the Iron Age with relics of forts near to what is now the salubrious St George’s Hill.

However, Weybridge has had a few variations on its name. The Domesday Book mentions ‘Webruge’ and others can be traced – ‘Waigebrugge’ and ‘Waybrugg’ – all meaning ‘a bridge over the Wey’.

One of the earliest canals in the country, the River Wey Navigation was opened in 1653. It is also claimed that in 1890 Weybridge was the first town to be wholly lit by electricity (though this may cause sparks to fly with Godalming folk who insist their town was the first…).

The town is also notable for its celebrated motoring history. In 1907, the famous Brooklands racetrack opened nearby, the spirit of which lives on in the marvellous Brooklands Museum, and the motoring heritage continues to this day with the nearby Mercedes-Benz World complex.

On another point of interest, a church has stood on the site of St James’ for more than 800 years. The small medieval church of St Nicholas was replaced by the current church in 1849.

The column at Monument Green has a fascinating history too – it was once, believe it or not, the centrepiece of Seven Dials at Covent Garden – the column there now is just a replica!

Today, Weybridge is a bustling, cosmopolitan town with a plethora of coffee shops, smart boutiques and swanky interiors stores serving its well-heeled clientele.

 

Hidden gems…

There’s a couple of real hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered here…

A short walk from Church Street, there is a footpath alongside St James’ Church that will take you to the Churchfields wildflower meadow. Specifically created to produce a fabulous display of traditional wildflowers in spring and summer, you really will be amazed at the colours. While you’re there, watch out for unusual butterflies and birds – and listen out for the grasshoppers too.

Now you’re in the mood for walking, take a wander down Bridge Road (not far and it’ll do you good…). Here you come across Weybridge Town Lock on the River Wey Navigation. Opened in 1653, this particular lock is at the end of the longest man-made section of the Navigation.

Then carry on along the towpath to Coxes Lock (just a 10-minute walk, honestly!) and have a look at Coxes Mill. The last commercially operated mill on the Wey, it stayed open until, incredibly, 1983. Now converted into apartments, the lucky few who live there must have the most enviable views over the Wey. One last statistic before you wander back – the lock is the deepest unmanned one on the Navigation with a rise of eight feet six inches (2.59 metres in foreign money…).

Back in the town itself, Weybridge residents seem unable to get enough of dancing – the local hall in Church Street carries a noticeboard advertising no less than five different groups, with Argentine Tango, Just Dance, Belly Dancing, Pole Dancing and, finally, the ‘Helz Belz’ dance group all vying for your attention.

 

Shop til you drop…

Quite a few independent businesses nestle alongside each other in the main streets.

If you’re in the market for house improvements, pop in to have a look at the astonishing range of lighting at Weybridge Lights in Queens Road (01932 820318) with everything from wall washes, uplighters and downlighters to crystal chandeliers.

Alternatively, hand the whole thing over to Juliet and Judy at Marsh and Wiesenfeld Interior Design (01932 842181) who will, if you wish, design the interior of your dreams right from scratch.

For something a little out of the ordinary, how about completing your fabulous new interior with an armchair from Art Works in the High Street (01932 853343). The one pictured on the right is finished in what looks like covers of old newspaper cuttings – at least you’d never be short of something to read while reclining. A veritable snip at £795.

 

Grab a bite…

With a whole host of restaurants, cafés and pubs, you won’t be short of choice in Weybridge.Established in 1981, Sullivans Wine Bar in Church Street (01932 850545) has a relaxed atmosphere with continental style seating on the pavement too. There’s also plenty to choose from food-wise with snacks, roasts, breakfasts and more, though the toasties are just right for a quick lunchtime snack.

Brand-new at the time of writing is the intriguingly named No. 7 Temple restaurant (07809 572537) at, you guessed it, No 7, Temple Market. Describing itself as Indian gastronomy, for more details take a look at their website at templeweybridge.com.

Fancy an Italian? Valentina at 10-12 High Street (01932 218062) should be able to satisfy your craving with bistecca, pollo, spigola and even saltimbocca. Another Italian with good reports can be found at Osso Buco’s at 23 Church Street (01932 849949).

And that’s really just to give you a small taster!

 

Famous faces…

It’s fair to say that the leafy enclaves of Weybridge seem to attract the odd celebrity or two…

In fact, St George’s Hill just up the road has always been a popular residential location for celebrities with house prices in the millions.

The security gated access once led to the likes of Cliff Richard, John Lennon, Bobby Davro, Englebert Humperdink, Elton John, Jenson Button and Tom Jones – to name but a few – though today is more well-known for the large number of Russian businessmen.

 

Getting there…

Weybridge has a busy train station on the main line to Waterloo (19 minutes) and frequent buses (436 Arriva). Car parking is good too, with a large area next to St James’ Church. Pop in the postcode KT13 8DE to your Sat Nav and you’re away…

 

My favourite Weybridge...

Based in Weybridge, architect Andrew Long is a senior partner at Iconic, the company behind some of the county’s most prestigious houses, including at 
St George’s Hill. Here, he reveals his five favourite things to do in the area...

1. For all you petrolheads and classic car fanatics, Brooklands Museum is well worth a visit so that you can be transported back to the heyday of the motorsport in the area. Once you have finished there, you can go to Mercedes-Benz World next door and let the kids touch as many cars as they want, slamming doors and putting their greasy fingerprints over lovely polished new cars!

2. The roar of Concorde booming over the skies above may be long gone, but the beautiful beast at Brooklands Museum, although looking sad at being grounded, is well worth a visit too. The sight of the scaled down Heathrow roundabout model, now at the entrance to Brooklands, also brings a smile to my face every time I drive by.

3. I love the Lebanese restaurant Meejana. I have been visiting there with friends and clients since it opened. The food is always great and it has a very friendly atmosphere. On a sunny day, it’s nice to sit outside and watch the world go by. Not withstanding the garlic odour that may hang around you the next day, it comes highly recommended.

4. Car-spotting on the roads can be entertaining too. What I find amusing with Weybridge is that you can sit in traffic on the school run, surrounded by Aston Martins, Porsches and spanking new Range Rovers, and the children are so blasé about this that when they see a Ford Granada or something equally obscure from the past, they go, “cool, what’s that, Dad?!” Always makes me chuckle!

5. St George’s Hill Tennis Club has the largest number of grass courts outside London, and it’s fun on a sunny day to watch the wannabe Andy Murrays. The club has a huge amount of history and celebrated its centenary last year. Also, the Lakeside restaurant does a great Sunday spread for the family and you often need to book in advance.

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