Tourism- Events in Heathfield
Heathfield is a great base to visit local places of interest and also has the following to offer within Heathfield area.
For photo's of local events see here
Cuckoo Fair - April
According to local legend, England would enjoy no spring at all without the news from Heathfield. It all began at "Hefful fair". In 1315 the bishop of Chichester was our lord of the manor and he made the grant of a market and fair. The dates chosen were the 3 April and 18 June, amended by the calendar correction of 1752 to 14 April and 27 June. The great day of our legend falls on the first of these dates, 14 April, when glad tidings are spread far and wide from Heathfield, by the old woman of Heffle Fair. She carries a basket hanging from her arm and during the day she opens it to let the cuckoo fly out and that tells all of England that winter has finished and spring is at the full and summer is on the way. Sussex folk still reckon to hear the cuckoo on the fair's traditional day, the 14 April.cook
The Heathfield Show - May
This is the largest one day agricultural show in the country and is held on the Saturday of the second May bank holiday weekend. The show was first held on the Hardy Roberts recreation ground at Cross-in-Hand in 1946; run by the Heathfield branch of the national farmers union as a fundraiser for local hospitals (it was pre-NHS). The last Saturday in May or the first in June was not chosen by accident. Mr Henry Dallimore, whose idea it was to hold that first show in 1946, explained "according to two local weather experts the driest fortnight of the year, based on their records for 40 years, was the last week in May and the first in June".
Le Marche - August
During the early 1990s, Heathfield, like many Wealden market towns, was having a tough time with many empty shops and the local traders were barely struggling to survive. By late 1996 there was a desperate search for new ideas to breathe life into the town to sustain economic viability. So in 1997 the event started - taking place on the August bank holiday Monday, with equal numbers of french and english traders, entertainment with street theatre and jazz on the bandstand and story-telling in the library. In the wake of the event the twinning association was set up and, thereafter, has played an important role.
Christmas Family Fun Day - November
This is usually held on the last Saturday in November. One of the local primary schools provides carol singers and then the Christmas lights are switched on in the High Street at 4.30pm outside Trading 4 U. This is organized jointly by the Chamber of Trade, Heathfield Rotary, the Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council and the Heathfield Partnership. It has been a great success and brings large crowds into the shopping centre and sets up the Christmas shopping season in Heathfield.chris
A Selection of Places of Interest to Visit Near Heathfield
Ashdown Forest lies between Crowborough, Forest Row and Maresfield on the more northerly of the two major sandstone ridges in the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). For information on Ashdown Forest, Winne the Pooh and the High Weald please visit: www.ashdownforest.org
The Low Weald
The Low Weald lies between the High Weald and the Downs. It is only 5-8 kilometres wide, extending from Ditchling in the west to Polegate and Hellingly in the east.
This broad low lying gently undulating clay vale underlies a small scale intimate landscape with an intricate mix of copses and shaws, a patchwork of fields and hedgerows. In the east this gives way to a more open and sometimes prairie-like landscape.
Bateman's in Burwash
'That's she! the only she! make an honest woman of her - quick!' was how Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Carrie, felt the first time they saw Bateman's. Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much needed sanctuary for this world-famous writer. The rooms, described by him as 'untouched and unfaked', remain much as he left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts reflecting his strong association with the East. Bateman's is very much a family home, but impressive none the less.
Bateman's Lane, Burwash, East Sussex TN19 7DS
Telephone: 01435 882302
Bodiam Castle, Bodiam, near Robertsbridge
One of the most famous and evocative castles in Britain, Bodiam was built in 1385 as both a defence and a comfortable home. The exterior is virtually complete and the ramparts rise dramatically above the moat. Enough of the interior survives to give an impression of castle life. There are spiral staircases and battlements to explore, and wonderful views of the rother valley from the top of the towers. In the impressive gatehouse is the castle's original wooden portcullis, an extremely rare example of its kind.
Bodiam, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5UA
Telephone: 01580 830196
Michelham Priory and Gardens, Upper Dicker, near Hailsham
Michelham Priory is a very beautiful historic property nestling deep in the Sussex countryside and offers much to interest visitors - history, exhibits, superbly kept gardens, art exhibitions, wildlife and a working watermill. There is a well-stocked gift shop and a self-service restaurant. Michelham Priory also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. The Priory is situated in Upper Dicker approximately two miles west of Hailsham and eight miles north west of Eastbourne.
Upper Dicker, near Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 3QS
Tel: 01323 844224
Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park
A steam railway that runs from Sheffield Park to Kingscote; a peak hourly service with two steam-hauled trains running and an off-peak service with a single steam-hauled train running.
Tinkers Park is the home of the Claude Jessett Collection of steam engines in Hadlow Down. Claude bought his first steam engine 'The Tinker' in 1942 and he used it on his farm at Tinkers Park. By the 1950's Claude and his wife Joyce had become interested in the embryonic steam rally scene and, by the early 60's, their collection of steam engines had grown and they were branching out into collecting fairground organs, farming equipment and narrow gauge railways. The first of the famous annual Tinkers Park steam engine rallies was held in 1966 in aid of Cancer Research and, in the ensuing years, it has raised over £150,000 for that charity.
At Tinkers Park a band of dedicated volunteers is working hard to restore the collection in order to feed your senses with the sights, sounds and smells of Britain's rural industrial past. Take a ride around Tinkers Park on the Great Bush Railway, hear the mechanical musical fair organs and meet the mighty steam engines.
Tinkers Park is situated next to Hadlow Down and Tinkers Lane in East Sussex on the A272 between Uckfield and Mayfield. There is ample free parking on site for cars and cycles.
Links to other local websites
Go to www.visitsussex.org to check out events taking place in Sussex.
The Cuckoo Trail - a leisure route used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It passes through some beautiful countryside and is extremely popular with some 250,000 visitors annually. Being mainly off-road it is suitable and safe for people of all ages and abilities. The slight gradients and sloped accesses make the Trail available to most mobility scooters and wheelchairs. http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Leisure/Attractions_and_Places_to_Visit/Tourism_Cuckoo_Trail.aspx
For information on what is going on in:
Burwash, Burwash Weald and Burwash Common visit: www.burwash.org
Eastbourne, about 18 miles away, visit http://www.eastbourne.org
Brighton, about 26 miles away, visit http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk
Lewes, about 17 miles away, visit http://www.sussexpast.co.uk
Other local market towns to visit:
Crowborough, home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, visit http://www.crowboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk