Went down to Polegate today with Jenni and Tony and did the Cuckoo Trail. The trail begins at Polegate and passes through Hailsham, Hellingly, Horam and Heathfield and is built on the original Cuckoo Line (opened in 1880) Polegate to Eridge railway track. Shared by walkers and horseriders, the Cuckoo Trail is now also part of the National Cycle Network 21 and takes you from East Sussex to the Weald.
The trail is about 11 miles each way and there are plenty of benches around as well as wood carvings based on local wildlife. The route is pretty easy as the trail is mainly flat and mostly tarmacked, and for much part, riders are protected from the hailing wind due to the surrounding Wealden trees. There is a slight ascent when riding north towards Heathfield. Generally we found the route much easier when cycling southwards back towards Polegate - but maybe that's because we had lunch at the local pub in Heathfield. The weather was lovely today as the Northern wind did not arrive until much later. But I do need to get a pair of full finger winter mitts. We love the trail, it is fairly easy and therefore a perfect trail to speed through. We would definitely do again - probably in Spring when the birds are migrating.
The trail itself is signposted throughout but if you want to explore the surrounding area you would need either an Ordnance Survey Explorer 123 or Landranger 199 map.
Total: 26 miles (22 miles Cuckoo Trail, 4 miles in Brighton, Polegate and Heathfield)
An abandoned former railway station:
A former rail platform now makes up part of the Cuckoo Trail:
Technorati tags: Cuckoo Trail Wealden Weald Polegate Bike Ride Cycling Bike Trail