Cycling the Cuckoo Trail!


Bob and I had been wanting to cycle the Cuckoo Trail for ages, but the weather hadn’t been cooperating!  Don’t you just hate that?  We couldn’t believe our luck when we finally got to do it.

The Cuckoo Trail is a cycle path that runs along the old railway line from Polegate to Heathfield in East Sussex.  The railway line closed in 1968.  From Eastbourne, it is about a 32 mile ride, round trip.

Cuckoo TrailThe cycle path takes you along past fields, through towns and housing estates.  This was quite an interesting sculpture.  It was different from every angle.

IMG_8059This was an unusual barrier on a little bridge.  The Cuckoo Trail is not just for cyclists.  Many people walk along the trail too. It would have been so easy just to fly past this bridge as most people do.

IMG_8061

Here is Bob with the bikes.  I pimped mine up with some plastic flowers from the pound shop.  I was inspired by the flowers on the bikes in Bruges.  We are loaded up with a blanket and a picnic, plus some warm clothes, just in case.  The journey from our house was relatively easy going.  However, the last five miles to Heathfield was a bit of a struggle.  We wondered why, but it turns out that there is a bit of an incline that isn’t noticeable to the naked eye.  I found it necessary to pause for a minute every now and then until we finally made it to Heathfield.  Apart from the Cuckoos Rest there really isn’t anywhere to stop for a comfort break on the trail.  Once we got to Heathfield, we went right on the main road out of the car park and found a pub around 150 meters up the road.

Although it was nice to have a break once we made it to Heathfield, sitting down really didn’t do us any favours. We were quite stiff and a wee bit sore in tender areas when we set off back to Eastbourne.  Most of the journey back was a breeze!  We barely had to pedal the first 5 miles! (That is how we know about the incline!)  We were going so fast, that I missed the spot where we had our picnic.

We did stop two more times, once again at The Cuckoos Rest for a pit stop, and at the pond in Hailsham for cheese and wine.  By the time we sat down for some cheese and wine, the weather turned.  What had been a glorious day turned into a chilly and windy afternoon.  It was a good thing we brought our waterproofs.  Although we didn’t get any rain, the wind was up and our waterproof jackets kept us warm.  By the time we finished our cheese and wine, we were quite stiff.  My butt was pretty sore.  I could also see Bob struggling.  It seems that we may have bitten off a bit more than we could chew, but we still had about another hour to get home.

Although we no longer had any more hills to worry about, I found it necessary to stop every so often, partly because my legs were tired and partly because my ass was sore.  We were going along quite steady until we got to Morrisons .  The wind had really kicked up by now and it was a struggle to keep going.  I thought I might just hide in the trolly shelter and wait for Bob to go home and get the car to collect me.  However, the thought of my bed and a hot cup of tea kept me going.  It really wasn’t that much further, maybe a few miles.  It seemed like more.

When we finally made it home Bob put the bikes away while I made the tea and kicked back a couple of Ibruprofen.  I don’t think either of us moved out of the bed until the next morning.  My ass was sore for three days!

So, would I cycle the Cuckoo Trail again?  Yes.  The trail is lovely and there are some lovely views.  If you are not used to cycling long distances, then I would recommend only doing a bit of it at a time and build yourself up to a round trip.  Bob and I hadn’t cycled for ages, so we paid for it that day.  I also need to get some proper cycling shorts and get my seat adjusted!

We have since walked along part of the trail from Hailsham to The Cuckoos Rest in Hellingly.  We noticed more by walking as we weren’t speeding along.  I think both methods of doing the trail has its merits though.  We found out there are other cycle routes off of the Cuckoo Trail.  Might have to try some of those out too!

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