Haywards Heath Circular
Haywards Heath – Cuckfield – Slough Green – Hickstead – Ansty – Haywards Heath
This is a variant of a ride we have done several times before; road works have necessitated a
change to the return route.
From the suburbs of Haywards Heath we will go through Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadow Nature Reserve, which has a good cycle path. We reach Cuckfield, after which we can have coffee at the golf club, and admire impressive views of Balcombe Viaduct. Turning south, we take the delightful Broxmead Lane, over the less-delightful A23, to our lunch stop at the Bolney Stage pub.
Leaving the pub, we encounter three very nice Clarionesque lanes: Buncton Lane, Stairbridge Lane and Jobs Lane, at the end of which we turn northwards along Bishopstone Lane, crossing and re-crossing the East Adur as it rushes westwards to join its sibling the West Adur near Henfield.
A short bridleway takes us to Cuckfield Road, where we join, in reverse, the route of a Haywards Heath to Shoreham ride we did in 2016. That ride, as anyone who participated will surely recall, involved us walking across a field near Ansty; nevertheless it is an official bridleway, and a very pretty route which only gets slightly muddy underwheel. A delightful tree-covered bridleway takes us into Copyhold Lane (not the one north of Haywards Heath) and then back to the station via another quiet lane. (Much of this off-road route has a tarmacked alternative for those who want that.)
Start at Haywards Heath Station at 10:30. Meet at the main station entrance.
Length: 16 miles.
Duration: About 5 hours.
Terrain: Tarmacked lanes, some B roads, some bridleways. Mainly flat with a few “undulations”.
How to Get There: Catch the 10:15 London Bridge train from Brighton. To avoid a last-minute
rush, get straight on the train and make for the bike storage carriage at the front.
Return Trains: 21, 24, 38, 51, and 54 minutes past the hour.