A charming country lifestyle awaits you in this East Sussex market town lying between Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne. With a variety of shops, a Waitrose supermarket, good amenities and outstanding schools, it has plenty to offer
Shops & restaurants
Heathfield has always been famed for its markets, with the regular ones held on Tuesdays and Saturdays by Watsons auctioneers. The town centre also has a wealth of interesting shops, as well as three supermarkets – Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
There are a number of independent shops, too, offering everything from antiques to hairdressing. But the markets really add to its appeal.
The annual French Le Marché is a very popular event, with lots of artisans from across the Channel. More than 80 stalls, plus entertainment, fill Station Road every August Bank Holiday.
A regular farmers’ market is also held in the Co-op car park on the third Saturday of each month.
And there’s plenty to eat the rest of the time, too. Popular options for a sit-down meal in the High Street include intimate Greek restaurant Pilio and modern Indian café Rasoi, while Trip Advisor’s current chart-topper is the Galin Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.
In Old Heathfield, the 14th-century Star Inn has a large garden and an excellent food menu, while Maynards Green’s Runt-in-Tun is also a popular venue, even boasting its own campsite.
There are also several fast food outlets. The Community Oven is an excellent wood-fired pizzeria housed in a horsebox open every Friday night.
There are ten primary schools located within five miles of the town:
- All Saints’ and St Richard’s Church of England Primary School, School Hill, Old Heathfield (Ofsted rated ‘Good’ in November 2011)
- Blackboys Church of England Primary School, School Lane, Blackboys (‘Outstanding’, March 2009)
Broad Oak Community Primary School, Scotsford Road, Broad Oak (‘Requires improvement’, January 2016)
- Cross-in-Hand Church of England Primary School, Sheepsetting Lane, Cross-in-Hand (‘Good’, March 2015)
- Five Ashes Church of England Primary School, Five Ashes, Mayfield (‘Good’, June 2016)
- Maynards Green Community Primary School, Maynards Green (‘Good’, September 2013)
- Parkside Community Primary School, Beechwood Lane, Heathfield (‘Good’, July 2013)
- Mayfield Church of England Primary School, Fletching Street, Mayfield (‘Good’, December 2015)
- Punnetts Town Community Primary School, Battle Road, Punnetts Town (‘Good’, November 2014)
- St Mark’s Church of England Primary School, School Lane, Hadlow Down (‘Outstanding’, June 2009)
The town’s secondary school, Heathfield Community College, was rated ‘Good’ following its most recent Ofsted inspection in May 2016. The school, in Cade Street, Old Heathfield, caters for up to 1,500 students aged between 11 and 18.
For outdoor types, The Cuckoo Trail – formerly a railway line – gives walkers and cyclists a flat, easy route through beautiful countryside as far as Eastbourne. Going indoors, Heathfield Leisure Centre, also in Cade Street, offers a gym and facilities for a range of sports, including badminton, five-a-side football, karate and trampolining, while the surrounding area boasts several other gyms and equestrian centres. There are also three recreational parks, plus a skate park and a youth club.
Public swimming pools are near at hand in Hailsham (5 miles away) and Uckfield (7 miles), with golf courses in Uckfield and Crowborough.
Heathfield & Waldron Rugby Club in nearby Cross-in-Hand, and Heathfield Park Cricket Club are active, friendly, community-based sporting groups.
Heathfield Community Centre in Sheepsetting Lane is the hub for many other activities, including serving as a theatre for Heathfield Youth Drama.
Visitor attractions in the area include Rudyard Kipling’s former home Bateman’s at Burwash (5.5 miles away) and Michelham Priory Gardens at Upper Dicker (7.5 miles).
Council tax brackets
Heathfield is in the district of Wealden, East Sussex. The annual council tax charged by Wealden District Council to owners and occupiers of Band D homes in the town during the 2016/17 financial year is £1,735.77. The national average for such a property is £1,530, with the average for Band D homes in rural districts being £1,601, and £1,306 in London.
Out of this payment, 71.21 per cent goes to East Sussex County Council and 10.09 per cent to Wealden District Council for the provision of services and maintenance and development of infrastructure.
The remainder is divided between the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner (8.47 per cent), East Sussex Fire Authority (4.93 per cent) and town or parish councils (5.3 per cent).
Direct trains to London are available from Buxted (7 miles away), with services operated by Southern taking 76 minutes to reach London Bridge in normal times. Alternatively, Southeastern trains from Stonegate station (8 miles) to London Bridge take 64 minutes, or 71 minutes to Charing Cross. Hastings is a 33-minute journey in the opposite direction.
Heathfield is served by a number of bus routes which connect the town to Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells, Lewes, Haywards Heath and Brighton.
For motorists, the town is on the A265, halfway between Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne. It’s a ten-mile drive to join the A21 Hastings to London road and 45 minutes to Brighton. The south coast is 17 miles away.