Extra Walk 225 – Wivelsfield to Haywards Heath
Length: 18 km (11.2 miles), with shorter options. Toughness: 5/10 09:42
Brighton train (Thameslink) from London Bridge
(East Croydon 09:56), changing at Haywards Heath
(arr 10:28, dep 10:38) for Southern's service to Ore, arriving Wivelsfield
. Buy a day return to Wivelsfield
Or you can take the Ore train direct from Victoria
(Clapham Jct 09:53, East Croydon 10:03), but the advantage of the Thameslink train is that you can get a much cheaper "FCC only" ticket from London Bridge. The Thameslink trains don't stop at Wivelsfield on Sundays which is why you have to change at Haywards Heath. If necessary, get a return to the next station (Burgess Hill), which is the same fare. Even if a hard-hearted Southern ticket inspector insists on an extra ticket for the four-minute hop to Wivelsfield, you'll still be better off.
Returning from Haywards Heath, "FCC only" ticket-holders have Thameslink services to London Bridge at 03 & 33 minutes past the hour, while others can also take Southern services to Victoria at 11, 27 & 41 minutes past.
This walk starts in the Low Weald and gradually works its way up to the attractive village of Cuckfield
on the southern edge of the High Weald, where there are fine views back to the South Downs. After a lunch stop in one of the town's pubs or cafés much of the afternoon is on the High Weald Landscape Trail, this time with equally fine views to the north across the Ouse Valley. The tea stop is a pleasant café outside Borde Hill Garden
; if you might want to visit the garden, download a 2-for-1 voucher from the train companies' Days Out Guide
and pair up to get in for half price. The final leg into Haywards Heath is rather less appealing and you won't find much there to detain you before the journey back.
You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 225
page. There are short cuts for both the morning and afternoon legs if you want to leave more time for visiting Borde Hill Garden.