Polgate Cuckoo Trail to Heathfield

Polegate to Heathfield along The Cuckoo Trail. Dedicated cycle track. – 14 miles

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This extremely popular cycle way offers excellent traffic free cycling and is great for a family day out. Along the way you will you cycle past woodland, agricultural and grassland areas. The ride from Polegate to Heathield is approximately 13.5 miles each way making a total ride of 27 miles including your return journey. The route is mainly traffic free with just a few short road sections and as you ride towards Heathfield you climb about 400 feet over an 11 mile part of the route, but think how easy your return journey will be!! The trail surface is tarmac and fine gravel in sections. The Trail largely follows the route of a disused railway line, the Cuckoo Line, which opened in 1880 and ran between Eridge and Polegate railway stations; it obtained its name from the tradition that the first cuckoo in spring was heard at the Heathfield Fair.

Starting from Polegate Community Centre cycle to your right along Windsor way and TURN RIGHT after 50 yards on to School Lane and after about another 50 yards the road bends to the right, at this Point TURN LEFT OFF SCHOOL LANE AND ONTO THE CUCKOO TRAIL via the path on your left. TURN LEFT ALONG THE CUCKOO TRAIL and away from the village of Polegate.

After about 300 yards you pass over a bridge which takes you across the A27. Continue to cycle along the Cuckoo Trail and after about 2 miles the trail passes through the town of Hailsham. On reaching Hailsham there is a short road section you have to cycle along to the next traffic free section of the trail. At the end of the first section of the trail you come out onto Freshfield Close cycle 60 yards to the end of the close THEN TURN LEFT along Lindfield Drive, we then cycled to the end of Linfield Drive and at the end of the road we kept to the right and after a few yards came out onto a car park. On the opposite side of the car park you will see the Continuation of The Cuckoo Trail going under a small flyover under the A295.

Cycle under the small flyover and continue along the trail as you cycle along the first part of the second section of the trail along the wooded path you pass Herstmonceux Castle which is on the other side of the trees on your left after just a few hundred yards. Herstmonceux Castle is a brick-built Tudor castle, affine looking building.

After a few hundred yards you will find yourself cycling along a tree lined trail out in the rural countryside and after cycling about 5 miles past Hailsham you come to the village of Horam where you will cycle past the old site of Horam Railway Station.

Continue to cycle along the trail and you will pass the village of Maynards Green and then another three quarters of a mile to the market town of Heathfield. The Cuckoo Trail takes straight into the heart of Heathfield the end of your ride before your return journey back…

Refreshments on the route are available at Polegate, Hailsham, Heathfield as well as a café in Horam and there is also a café/tea room along the trail about 2 miles from Polegate at The Old Loom Mill Craft Centre.



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