Uckfield is located in the Heart of the Weald. It is a jolly town with all the amenities that local people and tourists could want. The town has the curious talent of being repeatedly flooded by the small River Uck. The last event was in October 2000, but with global warming kicking in, more frequent and powerful floods are inevitable.
The first iron cast-cannon was cast in Buxted, a nearby village, by Ralf Hogge (or Huggett). He perfected gun production in 1543 and became a weapon maker by royal appointment.
The town has the oldest working cinema in Sussex which shows big name films.
Uckfield is the last place Lord Lucan was seen and where Emma Le French was born, although neither have any real significance to the town.
Often Sheffield Park is described as 'Uckfield' it is in fact around 10 miles (16 km) away.
If you want to visit; the A22, A26 and B2102; from Heathfield run by or through Uckfield (it is well signposted).
Uckfield acts as a terminus for many bus routes (31 from Hawards Heath to Uckfield) and as a passing stop for route 29/28 (from Brighton and Lewes to Tunbridge Wells) and route 54 (from Eastbourne and Hailsham to Uckfield and East Grinstead).
From London or Surrey trains to 1 Uckfield Station from London Bridge take about an hour and a half, stopping at East Croydon and Oxted among others. £12 return, £7 single. Fare and timetable information is available from Southern Trains, +44 8457 484950. The line does not continue on to Lewes.
Walking is the only way to really see the town, since it is fairly small, but for travelling further afield, cars, buses and trains could be necessary. There is a town bus, but since it mainly tours the housing estates around the town, it will be of little use to visitors.
The town has little to distract for more than a morning.
Bridge Cottage is worth a look, but other than that the town is fairly bland. It is cloaked by housing developments, of which more seem to be inevitable. However the surrounding villages of Blackboys, Framfield, and Ashdown Forest are popular with walkers. Parking is free throughout the town.
- 1 Bridge Cottage, High St, TN22 1AZ, ☎ . A thatched cottage built around 1436. It is used for educational trips and as an events venue.
It’s quite difficult to dress a fairly unexciting town as something that it isn’t. Lewes is probably a better attraction if you wish to visit this delightful area. You are probably better off having a look at the local area including Ashdown Forest or the Cuckoo Trail from Heathfield to Eastbourne. Still, the local area does contain some hidden gems.
- 1 Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum, Harveys Lane, BN8 5AF (It is signposted off the A26 towards Lewes), ☎ . 10AM-5PM. A short drive away is this county-wide famous museum featuring a whole host of classic cars, wildfowl, craft shops, an area of forest and laid out gardens, and a small narrow gauge railway (weekends in summer). Adult £9, Senior £7, Child £6, Family £28.
- 2 The Lavender Line. A 1-mile long preservation railway a short distance from Uckfield in Isfield. It runs various specials throughout the year, such as Santa specials during the winter. The railway follows the A26 road and is on bus route 29 not 29A. Isfield is a small and attractive village.
- 3 Sheffield Park Gardens, Sheffield Park, TN22 3QX, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A short drive from Uckfield - head towards Hawards Heath and follow the signs. There is a bus, number 246, but it is so infrequent that it's not worth the bother. The park features
- magnificent garden landscaped by Capability Brown
- waterfalls, cascades and four large lakes
- a profusion of colour all year, including bluebells, rhododendrons and trees with spectacular autumnal colors
- the National Collection of Ghent azaleas
- the site of the first England v. Australia cricket match
- 4 Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park Station, TN22 3QL (literally across the road from Sheffield Park Gardens), ☎ . Has the most steam railway locomotives outside York. It has been used for various films. It is open year round and popular with tourists and locals.
- 5 Picture House, 5AS High St, TN22 1AS, ☎ . A small cinema in the High Street. It has three screens and is cheaper and less soul-destroying than the big multiplexes.
The outlying villages generally have better food and more character than the town pubs.
- 1 The Station Inn, 43 High St, TN22 1AJ (opposite the train station), ☎ . Owned by Green King, can get pretty rowdy on Friday and Saturday nights, but serves cheap, good quality food, and local (and national) beers.
- 2 The Brickmakers Arms (the Brickies), New Rd, Ridgewood, TN22 5TG, ☎ . Pub. Local beers aplenty, but they don't have a lot of time for imported stuff (don't expect any lime in your Corona). Sausage and chips £3. You may also stumble across the old war hero (otherwise known as Jolley) who's always there enjoying a drink or 5 and will be sure to entertain with amazing stories of his youth. it is not in the centre, but if you get lost in Ridgewood and need a pint, it's not too bad.
- 3 The Highlands Inn, Eastbourne Rd, TN22 5SP, ☎ . Slightly pricier, but a nice atmosphere. If ordering food, stick to the menu and don't go for the specials.
Starting at the top of the town (north) and moving down:
- 4 Maximum Diner, 228 High St, TN22 1RE, ☎ . The former owner Christopher Nye wrote a book on it. It serves burgers, pizzas, kebabs, and drinks in a sit down diner-like atmosphere. Friendly and the food is of good quality.
- 5 The Picture House Restaurant (Luna), 184 High St, TN22 1AS, ☎ . Popular pizza restaurant that is now part of Picture House. You may need to book on Friday and Saturday nights. Boasts a full selection of Italian foods and wines.
- 6 Pizza Express, 77 High St, TN22 1AP, ☎ . Italian restaurant specialising in pizzas, part of a popular Italian restaurant chain.
- 7 Star of Bengal, 55 High St, TN22 1AP, ☎ . Indian.
- 8 Blue Asia, 1 London Rd, TN22 1HU, ☎ . noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11:30PM. Indian. Also has a take-away menu.
The town has the normal smattering of bars, pubs and a club for evening entertainment. During the day the town is well stocked with cafes. Among the best are The Hop Barn (opposite WHSmiths) and Corbins on the high street.
- 1 Hop Barn, Worth Ln, Little Horsted, TN22 5TT. Coffee shop that is open 7 days a week, has a breakfast menu and serves food during the day. More character than Costa and is situated just behind it; popular almost all the time.
- 2 Corbins Deli, 23 High St, TN22 1AG, ☎ . Acts as a deli, with a wide selection of meats, cheeses and chocolates and an adorable smell. Few tables. Also serves sandwiches, take away or eat in.
- 3 The Broadway, 117-119 High St, TN22 1RN, ☎ . The town's local club, open Friday and Saturday nights. Not a nice place.
- 4 The Smokehouse & Lodge (formerly Maiden's Head), 91 High St, TN22 1RG, ☎ . Popular bar at the top of the town.
Pubs such as The Station stay open well into the night, catering for anyone's thirst.
The town has pretty much anything you could need as a tourist, with facilities including a leisure centre, camping shop, a petrol station and several supermarkets.
- 1 Esso, Bell Ln, TN22 1BA. 6AM-11PM. A petrol station.
- 2 Leisure Centre, Downsview Cres, TN22 1UB, ☎ . Has a café.
- 3 Tesco, Bell Farm Rd, TN22 1BA, ☎ . Supermarket with a pharmacy.
- 4 Waitrose, 96-98 High St, TN22 1PU, ☎ .
- 5 Chichester Caravans, London Rd, TN22 2EA, ☎ . A camping and caravaning shop out of the town to the north.
There is nowhere to stay in Uckfield (the last Hotel became a nunnery). However some of the local villages have camping sites or hotels.
- 1 East Sussex National, Little Horsted, TN22 5ES, ☎ . A golf course and hotel; set in the Sussex countryside with views over the Downs, its adjoining golf course is up to worldwide level. The hotel is about 10 minutes drive (car is the only method to get in). It also features a spa; expect high prices coupled with high luxury.
- 2 Horsted Place Hotel, Little Horsted, TN22 5TS, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. A late-Victorian countryhouse set in the Sussex countryside near to Little Horsted - and is in the top 200 hotels in UK and Ireland; it is on the A26; south of Uckfield; it is not cheap, but service is good and the restaurant too has won awards. Queen Elizabeth II used to stay there in her youth and visit the church over the road.
- 3 Buxted Park Hotel, Buxted, TN22 4AY (To the north of Uckfield, near Buxted), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This acts as a spa and is set in beautiful countryside (it also was an old house); deer can often be seen. During summer months the hotel is popular location for weddings, thus it can be difficult to find accommodation on those nights.
- 4 Honeys Green Farm, Framfield, Easons Green, Halland, TN22 5GJ, ☎ . To the south of Uckfield in Halland (about 3–4 miles out a car is recommended, although there is an infrequent bus route buses up to every hour timetable, opens in PDF ) The campsite also has a fishing lake.
- 5 Heaven Farm, Furner's Green, TN22 3RG, ☎ . The farm where time stood still. This camping site incorporates 170 years of farming life in the heart of the Sussex Weald Heaven Farm, its at Furners Green near Uckfield.