Lying on the edge of the High Weald, the bustling East Sussex town of Heathfield is located between Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells, close to the River Cuckmere’s source. It’s a cracking little place, rural but with easy transport connections to London, great schools and a nice community spirit – this market town is rapidly becoming a housing hotspot, with some great property bargains to be had.

History of Bexhill on Sea

The history

Heathfield first gained its market charter in 1316 when Edward II was king. After that, the town really started to take off, although there’s evidence of a Stone Age settlement nearby. Rebel Jack Cade, who whipped up protest against Henry VI, was murdered here in 1450. The 1880 arrival of the railway gave the area a fresh lease of life.

The Dacre family created the private estate of Bayley Park here in 1610, while its Grade II-listed mansion was first built by James Plummer in 1676. In 1791, Francis Newberry changed its name to Heathfield Park and built its Grade II-listed Gibraltar Tower.

At nearby Burwash is Rudyard Kipling’s final family home, now a National Trust property, while fourteenth-century Bodiam Castle is a short drive away.

Local amenities

There’s a popular local market, well regarded primary and secondary schools and a farmers’ market every fortnight. You’ll also find a decent range of shops along the High Street, Station Road and Station Approach, including supermarkets, banks, cafes and restaurants. A branch library, doctors’ surgeries and post office are also all here, alongside pubs like the Half Moon and the fourteenth-century Star Inn, slightly away from the town centre.

Bexhill on Sea Local Amenities
Bexhill on Sea Free Time

Free time

You’re unlikely to be bored here. Heathfield makes an ideal base for keen hikers, given its proximity to Ashdown Forest. The former railway line today forms the Cuckoo Trail ramble to Polegate. The area is rich in history, with so much surrounding countryside to explore, while Brighton is just under an hour away. Meanwhile the Heffle Cuckoo Fair, held since 1315, takes place each April, attracting visitors from across the south-east. It features everything from Morris dancing to vintage cars.

Other popular events include the Heathfield and District Agricultural Show and ‘Le Marché’, with French and English market traders.

Finally, clubs and societies in the town include a cricket team, badminton and bridge clubs, a choir and drama club, among other activities.

Well connected

Although the rail station closed in 1965, there are trains from nearby Buxted to London Victoria and Uckfield. Stonegate has services to Hastings, London Charing Cross and Tunbridge Wells. Buses connect Uckfield and Haywards Heath, Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells. Main roads serving the town are the A267 and A265.

Bexhill on Sea Transport

 Whats nearby

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