First documented around the year 1200, Ripley is a town steeped in history. There are an impressive 20 listed buildings, many of which are roadside inns that housed travellers journeying across the country. Perhaps an obvious pattern to these inns is the nautical-themed names. This is no coincidence, and is a result of the prosperity experienced by the town when Portsmouth’s naval port began to flourish, as Ripley sits on the main road from London to Portsmouth. Ripley was also put more firmly on the proverbial map in 2012 when the Olympic cycling road race went through the town, which has also been awarded the label of ‘England’s cycling mecca’ since Victorian times.
Due to Ripley’s location just 40 minutes from the West End of London, the town has earned a reputation as a great location for city-dwellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a weekend, and breathe in some fresh countryside air. Alongside its signature roadside inns, there are plenty of boutique hotels and spas to stay at near Ripley, perfect if you’re looking for some decadent time away. Ever popular with tourists is the farmers market which boasts over 40 stalls, selling everything from deli meats and cheeses to pretty bunches of flowers. During winter, this transforms into a lively Christmas market, perfect for gift shopping or just perusing and soaking up the festive vibes.
After a long day browsing the independent shops on the high street or cycling into the Surrey countryside, you’d be forgiven for wanting a decent meal. Thankfully, there are plenty of restaurants in Ripley to help you out.