The market town of Hailsham, located in the Wealden district of East Sussex, was originally known as an agricultural centre. The population today (2010) is just over 20,000.
Almost everything in Hailsham (with the possible exception of Arlington Stadium and Knockhatch Adventure Park, which are on the opposite side of the dual carriageway), is within walking distance.
The Knockhatch Adventure Park is set in 80 acres of Sussex countryside and offers a range of outdoor and indoor activities including a large adventure playground, a reptile house, go-karting, laser games and an indoor soft play area. Other attractions include the Bungee Trampolines, the Demon Drop Slide and the Tractor Rides which provide a great way to see all the many different animals around the park, from deer to llamas. Another popular attraction is the children’s farm and the Birds of Prey Centre, which offers the exciting chance to view these impressive creatures either up close or in their daily flying displays. There are also refreshments available on site, if you feel peckish.
Arlington Stadium in Hailsham features a raceway offering short circuit motor racing at its best. Speeding of hot rods and stock cars. Great family entertainment. The stadium is situated in open countryside along with catering and licensed bar facilities. The season runs from Easter to September.
Hailsham Town Football Club play at The Beaconsfield, just off the Recreation Ground in Western Road. Matches are played on Saturdays and, often, Tuesdays under floodlights during the season (August–April). Afternoon games kickoff at 3pm, and evening games at 7.30 - the club website at http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/hailshamtownfc offers fixture information. Hot and Cold drinks, including alcohol, are available at all games, with hot food (Burgers, Hot dogs etc.) for First Team matches. Most locals stand, although the club have recently opened a 100 seater stand for those who prefer to sit. The four courts of Hailsham Tennis Club are visible from within the ground, and often, at the immediate start and end of the season, you can watch three sports at the same time, as the various teams of Hailsham Cricket Club play on the Recreation Ground.
The Cuckoo Trail is an acclaimed route through the Wealden countryside. It follows the route of the former railway line, formerly known as the Cuckoo Line linking Polegate, Hailsham, Horam and Heathfield. Excellent for walking, cycling, horse riding and people with disabilities. This 13 mile surfaced path through the Sussex countryside is mostly traffic free and a safe route for walkers and cyclists of all ages, with bridle sections of the Cuckoo Trail accessible for horse-riders. There are a number of benches and picnic tables en route providing visitors with places to rest.
Hailsham has a wide range of shops and is the centre for many of the surrounding villages. Visit the High Street and the precincts of Vicarage Field and The Quintins, which provide all of Hailsham's needs.
Hailsham offers plentiful options for eating, from sit-down to takeaway venues. Callenders, at the top end of the High Street, opposite the Grenadier Pub, is a very highly regarded restaurant serving modern British food, whilst the town centre boasts several takeaways, coffee shops and three Bakeries.
A true Hailsham institution is the Diplocks Cafe on the Diplocks Industrial estate, serving traditional fried breakfasts (7am-2pm Mon-Fri, 7-12 Sat, Closed Sundays.
There are three pubs within the centre of Hailsham - the Grenadier, owned by local brewers Harveys, the Railway Tavern and a branch of the Wetherspoons chain, The George Hotel, which is the most popular for many. There also two bars - the recently opened Chapter 12, and The Corn Exchange, with also doubles as a nightclub of rather dubious reputation on Friday and Saturday evenings.