footpath and cycleway in East Sussex

Cuckoo Trail is in East Sussex.

The Cuckoo Trail at Cowden Wood, between Horam and Hailsham.


The Cuckoo Trail is a 14-mile surfaced track through the Sussex countryside. It is a safe route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders of all ages. It follows the path of the old Tunbridge Wells to Eastbourne railway from Heathfield (although it is possible to cycle to Tunbridge wells from Heathfield using local roads (the route is well signposted). The railway line closed to passengers in 1965 and to freight in 1968; along the route there are various station buildings, signals and other infrastructure left behind.

An extension runs south from Polegate to Hampden Park in Eastbourne forming part of a National Cycle Network route. Benches and picnic tables along the way offer plenty of places to stop for a break. All the towns and villages that the route passes through have at least a pub.

The route also links up with The Forest Way and forms part of the cycle route from London to Paris via Newhaven.


Have a well maintained bike and a puncture repair kit etc.; since there are limited bike shops and at certain times of the day and certain sections of the route, traffic can be a bit sparse.

Get inEdit

  • Train: Stations at Polegate and Hampden Park.
  • Bus: Eastbourne Bus Service 01323 416416
  • Car parking: at Heathfield, Horam, Hellingly, Hailsham, Polegate and Hampden Park
  • Horsebox parking: Hellingly Cuckoo Trail Car Park
  • Cycle hire: Cycle Revival, Heathfield 01435 866118
  • Events: Sussex Country Information Centre 01323 442667.

Stay safeEdit

  • Cycle carefully: many people have been hurt by 'speeding' cyclists
  • Avoid walking along the path at night without good lights: many areas of the path have steep sides and are near to roads
  • Keep dogs on leads or at least under control

Go nextEdit


Accommodation: Sussex Country Information Centre 01323 442667

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