The posh Surrey village of Ripley is prime walking country. Crossing the largest green that I have ever seen, (sorry didn’t mean to be so poetic) you find yourself walking past the
pretty Danesborough Farm and down a muddy lane which reaches the Wey Navigation.
You will probably see the first of many brightly coloured barges moored here at Walsham Gates. Crossing over the weir, head right and you pass a pretty lock side house and you are on the towpath heading towards Byfleet. Mind you Byfleet is some distance but there is plenty to see on the Wey.
There are many barges moored alongside this part of the canal and with late and really quite warm sunshine they look a pretty sight. To be fair he who likes to think he is obeyed and I thought we would see more barges being used, this being half term and the weather so good…but maybe many fly off to warmer climes as this week is traditionally chill and wet. Before long you will see on your right hand side the smooth green of a golf course and an unusually named bridge called Pigeon House? I have to ask the question just why? Why call a bridge by that name? This begs the educated or the locally informed to comment in the box below……please!
Three quarters of a mile further on is The Anchor a convenient canal side pub run by a well known chain and obviously a popular stopping off point for Sunday afternoon drivers, cyclists and walkers alike. It had to be done and much welcomed as this tow walking malarkey is thirsty work. The food looked great too. The Anchor is conveniently located at Pyrford Lock so we could watch the barges move through the lock and past the drinkers who look on thinking this barging looks somewhat hard on a Sunday afternoon!
We carried on to the Wharf which the info boards kindly told us was or is the oldest wharf in the UK if I remember rightly. Suburban housing starts to edge the water and Byfleet beckons, well to some it must but we chose to turn around and retrace our footsteps to Ripley.
Beautiful houses edge this part of the Wey, a few with their own jetty or boat house and we coveted the large gardens that gently rolled down to the water. Well for a moment, wouldn’t want the mowing which goes along with it!
We also came across a house which the poet John Donne lived in for a few years, not sure if the building is used but it looks cared for and appears to be in the garden of a lovely home.
He who likes to think he is obeyed and I reckon it was a good six miles flat walking and one to be repeated one day.
The Grey Traveller stayed at Broadway Barn an upscale, plush and very comfortable guest house just off the main High Street, convenient to the tow paths and the eateries. Ripley is a quaint little village with several first class eating places and shops and we ended our meander exploring it’s side streets.