Haywards Heath to Wivelsfield via Chailey
Sunday 13 th March 2022
This little ride came about in consideration of the short days and (possibly) inclement weather at this time of year. It is actually a combination of the first bit of the Haywards Heath to Lewes ride (September 2019) and the last bit of Balcombe to Wivelsfield (September 2015 and January 2019). The join is at Freshfield Crossways.
We’ll enjoy again the delightful little urban bridleway that takes us out of central Haywards Heath. At Walstead we embark on a network of those little country lanes that are a feature of rural Sussex, and popular with cyclists; there are some ups and downs, as we criss-cross the Ouse valley and later ascend to Chailey.
Owing to the dearth of affordable pubs in this area, the lunch stop will be near the end (at the Cock, in fact, a frequent Clarion lunch venue), so it will be an early-to-rise and early-to- bed affair. We probably won’t venture across Chailey Common (as it’s very muddy and uneven) but may catch a glimpse of the ponies. The windmill will not be open yet but we could go and look at it if we want.
On the way to Wivelsfield Green, there is a small chance of once again encountering the farm-cum-café-cum-model-railway exhibition, with the swing, the story of which I have occasionally bored people with over the years. Apparently it is at Oakwood Farm. But it can’t be a tea stop, because we won’t have had lunch yet!
Distance: 15 miles
Start at: 10:00 am at Haywards Heath station (Boltro Road exit). When alighting from the train on platform 3 or 4, walk back the way you have come and take the lift to the bridge, then turn left and get the lift down to the exit.
Recommended train: 9.29 London Bridge train from Brighton.
Do not wait on the concourse – get straight on the train and make for the bike store
carriage at the front.
Finish at: Wivelsfield station.