Fringe Box



Further Afield For A Pleasant Day Out: Ripley

Published on: 22 Jan, 2013
Updated on: 8 Feb, 2013

A new reliable monthly guide for Guildford’s day-trippers by John Gilbert

Many readers will know that Ripley village was the first staging post from London for travellers wishing to visit Portsmouth. 

Ripley High Street.

Ripley High Street.

It is easy to imagine the sight of horse-drawn carriages veering through the open gates of the 15th century Talbot Inn. And recall that throughout Britain’s glorious seafaring days, countless sailors thumbed a lift to their Pompey naval bases after stopping at one of Ripley’s many hostelries!  Indeed Admiral Nelson, we are told, stayed at the Talbot, although I doubt that he ever required a philanthropic passer-by to help him on his way.

The Anchor – popular watering hole for Victorian cyclists.

The Anchor – popular watering hole for Victorian cyclists.

Also reflect upon Ripley’s cycling boom of yesteryear, a period when both amateur and professional cyclists would bike from as far as central London to their favoured Surrey village to seek out well-earned refreshment prior to bracing themselves for their arduous journey home.

Indeed, last year’s Olympics paid special tribute to the village by selecting the village as a pivotal turning point in the road racing events. Visitors and locals alike will long remember the competitors racing down the straights of Newark Lane towards the village centre, having dashed by the wonderful water meadows and the 13th-century ruined priory, waving at narrow boats slowly approaching Newark and Papercourt Locks. And who will ever forget the big accidental pile up as they turned into Ripley Lane?

Cedar House.

Cedar House.

Look around the picturesque High Street with its old world architecture.  Check out the 16th- century Cedar House, formerly the George Inn. Study the beamed Anchor public house and visit the Send & Ripley Local History Museum, for many years the local National Westminster Bank!


Pinnocks coffee house.

In the summer rest a while and watch a game of cricket on the green, a village pastime that has taken place for well over 200 years. And remember the more gruesome village tradition – burning the defiant Guy Fawkes! A fun event that is enhanced by a truly exceptional fire works display that is held on the Saturday evening prior to the notorious November 5th.

Walk around the hallowed grounds of St Mary Magdalene Church and remember that tragedies and setbacks are not only the domain of the less fortunate (sadly Eric Clapton’s young son is buried in the churchyard).

Send and Ripley History Society's museum.

Send and Ripley History Society’s museum.

Throughout the year, walkers and dog lovers will be thrilled by the many paths and footways that meander within England’s largest village green. Thereafter take a well earned rest at one of Ripley’s tea/coffee shops.

Take note of the dates of Ripley’s farmers’ market. A great festival of food and other goodies held Saturday mornings on the village green every calendar month.

A warm welcome awaits visitors to Ripley – any time of the year!

A warm welcome awaits visitors to Ripley – any time of the year!

Finally check out the wonderful Ripley Event that will be held in July. A part of its charm and growing appeal is that the summer fair with its obligatory classic car display is perhaps best described as rather old fashioned, yet great family fun for one and all!

Author’s star-rated system: *** Well worth a visit.  ** Worth a detour. * Interesting.

Watsons: Bakery and Tea Room.

Pinnock’s: A Classic Coffee House. *** “The dog friendly upstairs is like a fashionable club in London’s Mayfair.”

Nest: coffee shop. **

Send & Ripley History Museum: **Newark Lock and priory: **

Ripley Green: *** (ample parking).

High Street. *

Christmas Lights. ***

Next Month: Arundel in West Sussex.

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