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Leisure in and around Cuckfield

Walking, Cycling & Riding
Cuckfield lies on the edge of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  There are endless possibilities for lovers of the outdoors to enjoy this area either on foot or in the saddle!  The High Weald Landscape Trail stretches for 90 miles from Rye to Horsham and crosses the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It comes through Cuckfield on the Western side running alongside New England Wood.  Circular walks that link with the trail go from East Grinstead to West Hoathly, West Hoathly to Horsted Keynes, Balcombe to Ardingly, and Ardingly to Handcross.  For more information about the Trail see “Along and Around the High Weald Landscape Trail” by Eila Lawton and Lorna Jenner, High Weald Forum ISBN 0 9536013 0 7 Includes OS based route maps.   Available from env.publications@kent.gov.uk or telephone 08458 247600.

The centre of Cuckfield lies at OS grid reference TQ 305 245.  The following Ordnance Survey maps are applicable to Cuckfield:

  • Landranger Series, scale 1:50,000
  • 1 1/4 inch to 1 mile (2cm to 1 km)
    198 Brighton and Lewes

  • Explorer Series, scale 1:25,000
  • 2 1/2 inches to 1 mile (4cm to 1km)
    135 Ashdown Forest (but we are right on the edge so you might also need…)

  • Explorer Series134 Crawley and Horsham

Other local walks include the Sussex Border Path - a walk of 150 miles (240km) starting at Thorney Island and ending at Rye. The nearest point on the trail can be found in Scaynes Hill.  Also the South Downs Way which runs for 100 miles following the ridge across the South Downs from Eastbourne to Winchester.

There are many footpaths and bridleways around Cuckfield and the Cuckfield Society are in the process of updating a series of walks leaflets based around the village.  More info on this will be posted here soon.  In addition, West Sussex County Council’s interactive map shows footpaths & bridleways in the county.

In the village itself we have New England Wood, which is held in trust as a nature reserve and an area of informal recreation for Cuckfield residents. Newbury Pond to the south of the village is a nature reserve and Blunts Wood and Paiges Meadow situated between Haywards Heath and Cuckfield are important sites for wildlife consisting of small deciduous woods with adjoining meadows typical of the Sussex landscape.

The Worsley Memorial Recreation Ground in the centre of the village is managed by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) and includes a football pitch & pavilion, tennis courts & pavilion (used by the Cuckfield Lawn Tennis Club), Children’s playground and Paddling pool. 

At the North end of the village the playing fields at Whitemans Green (also managed by MSDC) include an Athletics Track, Cricket pitch, football, rugby & stoolball pitches.  There is a pavilion for users and the clubhouse of the Haywards heath Rugby Football Club.  Parking is provided but this is limited.

To book these facilities contact MSDC on 01444 477379 or email bookings@midsussex.gov.uk.

The village also contains a cricket club with pitches, nets & pavilion at the Southern approach from Ansty and the Cuckfield Golf Centre on the Staplefield Road.

Other sports facilities in the area include the Olympus leisure centres and swimming pools at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath and the Triangle in Burgess Hill.  Beech Hurst in Haywards Heath run by MSDC is home to the Haywards Heath Bowls Club and has tennis courts, pitch & putt a miniature steam railway and a children’s playground. 

Children's Activities
There are loads of activities for children in and around Cuckfield.  Highlights include:

Gardens and Places to Visit
This area has a wealth of National Trust Properties including:

Nymans Garden
“An outstanding plant collection in an inspirational garden setting;  A 'theatrical' garden design full of variety, surprises and delight;  Delightful woodland walks through leafy glades, past cascades and lakes”

Wakehurst Place
“Kew's 'country garden', with plants from across the world.  500 acres of walled and water gardens, woodland and wetland conservation area.  The Wellcome Trust Millennium Building, adjacent to Wakehurst Place, aims to house seeds from 10% of the world's flora by 2009 to save species from extinction in the wild.”

Sheffield Park
“Magnificent 'Capability' Brown landscaped garden; Waterfalls, cascades and four large lakes; Profusion of colour all year, including bluebells, rhododendrons and trees with spectacular autumnal colours”

Also, on the border of Cuckfield & Haywards Heath lies Borde Hill Garden, “a stunningly beautiful and botanically rich heritage Garden, set within  over 150 acres of traditional parkland. It captivates and delights visitors throughout each season of the year with a series of intimate ‘living garden rooms’, fine woodland, parkland, lakes and outstanding views across the magnificent Sussex High Weald”  The garden is closed for the Winter Season and reopens on 1st April 2007.

Other places to visit include:

Many private gardens also open for charity throughout the year under the “Yellow Book” scheme.  Find out which gardens are open at www.ngs.org.uk

There are also several PYOs and farm shops locally such as:

  • Laines Organic Farm, Newbury Lane Cuckfield
  • Paternosters PYO fruit farm, Slough Green Lane, Warninglid
  • Sewards Strawberries, Stairbridge Lane, Bolney
  • Tulleys Farm, Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill Road, Turners Hill.

For more information about what to do in West Sussex, visit WSCC Leisure & Tourism pages.