This 14 mile trail follows the former ‘Cuckoo Line’ railway track which stretches from Heathfield to Polegate. It passes through Horam, Hellingly and Hailsham. The cuckoo line opened in 1880 and was the Polegate to Eridge Railway. It was named the Cuckoo Line after the tradtion that the first cuckoo of spring was always heard at the Heathfield Fair. The last trains ran in 1968 following the famous Beeching Cuts.
The surfaced track is a safe family-friendly route for walkers, cyclists and horseriders. An extension runs south from Polegate to Hampden Park, near Eastbourne forming part of the National Cycle Network (Route 21). Benches and picnic tables along the way offer plenty of places to stop for a break.
10 miles with a number of shorter circular options from 2 and a half miles.
flat, surfaced and accessible track – good for buggies and wheelcahirs
pubs and tea rooms along the route at Forest Row, Hartfield and Groombridge, toilets in Forest Row and Groombridge
accessible by bus
The Forest Way (PDF leaflet, east Sussex County Council), a cycling, horse-riding and walking route, is approximately 10 miles long and runs along an old railway line from East Grinstead to Groombridge. The Park lies within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and passes through or close to East Grinstead, Forest Row, Hartfield, Withyham and Groombridge. The Forest Way is accessible for people with disabilities. Part of the National Cycle Network. Combine a walk with a visit to the beautiful ‘enchanted’ gardens at Groombridge Place.
Bus company, Metrobus, have produced an excellent Forest Way Circular Walks leaflet (PDF) showing the whole route with its circular options and marking on all the many pubs along the way as well as the bus stops for the 291 bus from East Grinstead to Tunbridge Wells.
The western end of the Forest Way links up with the Worth Way which extends to Three Bridges. See the Metrobus Countryside Walks page for two futher walks along the Worth Way.