Haywards Heath to Lewes

If you want to go out for a whole day, journey through varied and interesting countryside, choose from an excellent selection of lunch stops, why not walk from Hayward's Heath to Lewes.  When I did it with a couple of mates, it was early June and the Sussex countryside, intensely green, was really showing off.

The walk as described is 16 miles long and to avoid a walk through the suburbs of Hayward's Heath, we got a taxi from the station to the eastern outskirts of the town.  It's a well defined walk initially heading east along the High Weald Landscape Trail before turning south along the South Weald Way.

The walk is flat and if the weather is good, best completed slowly.  There are plenty of plenty of shady places to rest and an abundance of pubs to visit.  If you like traditional pies than you have to stop at the bakery in Newick (4) complete with a huge and ancient oven.  Alternatively, for a really well-kept pint of Harvey's bitter, visit the Anchor Inn (8) which is beautifully located in the middle of nowhere on the banks of the Ouse.
Oven in Newick's bakery (4)
Water meadow to the south of Sheffield Park (3)
Approaching the Anchor Inn (7)
Barn at Vuggles Farm (5)

Riverside walks across water meadows (3) and (7) full of cattle enjoying the sun is my lasting impression, but the walk has other, attention grabbing features. For the rail buff it provides a chance to visit the southern terminal of the Bluebell line and have a look at Sheffield Park Station (2) but there is also an old canal (7) near Isfield where the weirs are currently being restored and a whole series of pill boxes dating back to the 2nd World War.
Ouse near Barcombe House (9)

One of many 2nd World War pill boxes (10)

Roger rushing for a pint (11)

Finally of course the route has a perfect destination, Lewes.  It's very accessible, with trains back to London and Brighton, but with a pub as good as the splendid Gardener's Arms why would anyone want to rush.

If you want to download gpx file for this route follow the link


  1. Going to be undertaking this route on Saturday... apx how long did it take to complete? Many thanks

    1. It's 16 miles long and fairly flat so between 7 and 8 hours - recommend you knock a couple of hours off at the Haywards Heath end, avoiding the suburbs and getting a taxi. Weather looks good for Saturday, have a nice one