The Cuckoo Trail


is a traffic free cycle route following an old railway line from Heathfield in Sussex to Polegate .

The line got its nickname from the tradition of releasing a cuckoo at the Heathfield fair in April.

We stayed at the Horam Manor Touring Park, in the village of Horam.

The site is a grass site,  with a couple of hardstandings,(though I believe this have now been increased in number) spread over two fields; the lower field is particularly uneven.

The site had limited facilities, for example there was no motorhomeservice point, only two water points and no designated grey waste points but it is in a very pleasant setting.

It is also very convenient for the village of Horam with its pubs and local shops and very close to the "Cuckoo Trail"

You leave the site entrance, turn left,down the hill,turn right into the village and follow to the cyletrack.

Alternatively you can turn right out of the site and then take an immediate left and cycle down to the track.

To Heathfield

Turn left along the track and a short 6 mile round trip takes you to the small town of Heathfield where effectively the trail ends.

There is a short section, after this, which you can pick up by the Co Op .

There is a steep descent to the track and then through a tunnel and onto a gravel track through the woods before it ends abruptly after about 3/4 mile.

Plans to continue the track,still following the visible railtrack appear to have been abandoned.

To Eastbourne

In the other direction and this involves a round trip of 30 miles plus.

You take the path to Hellingly Station, (Cuckoos Rest refreshments)  on towards Hailsham and to Polegate where effectively the trail ends

Just before Polegate you can turn left and head towards Eastbourne following route 21, overlooking the Pevensey Levels.

At the end of the levels you can follow the A22 to Sovereign Harbour.

Though you are on a shared pedestian cycleway ,away from the traffic, this does not apply to the numerous busy roundabouts that you have to cross.

It is somewhat amazing that Eastbourne Council have made no safe provision to cross the majority of these roundabouts, so care needs to be taken.

Once you reach Sovereign Harbour you can turn left and go towards Pevensey or alternatively turn right towards Eastbourne along the esplanade.

A word of warning here, there are numerous signs, banning cycling with a penalty of £1000.

It is not a major problem to wheel your cycle along the esplanade and it is extremely pleasant but perhaps sometimes common sense could prevail. We visited off peak and in the middle of the week and there were hardly any pedestrians, particularly as you leave the town .   

Cycling near Hellingly Station