A handy guide to living in Haywards Heath
Haywards Heath is a popular commuter town that grew from modest beginnings into the vibrant and popular destination that it is today. There have been dwellings dotted around since medieval times, but it was only with the arrival of the railway station in the mid 19th century that it started to really begin appealing to people as a prime living destination.
Many south London families are attracted to Haywards Heath by the beautiful South Downs countryside, particularly as much of it has now been awarded with protected status by the National Parks. London is an easy commute by road or rail and Brighton beach is only 12 miles to the south.
Much of the property in Haywards Heath consists of fine Edwardian and Victoria detached houses, as well as post-Second World War properties. It’s the surrounding villages that feature the grand, sought-after properties that would go for a substantial amount more if they were located in the big cities though.
To the south west of the towns lies the self-contained Bolnore Village, with around 1,200 new homes ranging from a two-bed flat to a four-bed house.
Haywards Heath Transport Links
One of the best things about living in Haywards Heath it’s away from the hustle and bustle and the city, yet you can easily reach it when you want to.
Haywards Heath is around 30 minutes by car to Crawley and Gatwick, making it easy to commute to work or to use a base from which to travel. The A24, A29 and M23 link Haywards Heath to London and the south coast and there are many bus services that run from the centre of town and around the surrounding areas. If the roads are clear it is possible to be walking along Brighton beach in under 20 minutes.
Haywards Heath train station offers a direct link into London Bridge in a little over 45 minutes. Trains run throughout the week and at weekends. An annual season ticket from Haywards Heath to London Bridge currently costs £4,052, or £4,336 to cover zones 1-6.
Haywards Heath is just 15 miles from Gatwick Airport and takes around 25 minutes by car and 15 minutes by train. It’s a little over 50 miles from London Heathrow Airport, taking around an hour by car and an hour and half by train. Trains and buses to both airports run regularly throughout the year.
Haywards Heath Schools
Haywards Heath boasts some great primary, secondary and independent schools that receive excellent OFSTED reports year-on-year. Many of the Brock Taylor staff either went to school in the area themselves or have children that are currently being educated in Haywards Heath. We are happy to offer our own personal advice regarding schools in the local area if you would like to discuss this.
Green places and open spaces
Haywards Heath is a stone’s throw from some of the region’s best nature reserves, parks and national houses including Nymans Gardens and House, Borde Hill Garden and Wakehurst, which is owned by the National Trust but managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Other key locations near to Haywards Heath include Ashdown forest and High Weald, and walkers will be in their element with the public footpaths and trails around the nearby villages of Slaugham, Cuckfield and Lingfield.
Where to eat in Haywards Heath
The majority of Haywards Heath’s eateries are found on the same street as the Brock Taylor office - the Broadway. There are popular chains including Pizza Express, Cote and Café Rouge, as well as Thai and Spanish offerings and a collection of cafes and sandwich shops.
Steak lovers will be delighted to find many tasty options from the well-known and respected chain Miller and Carter, which is located just a few minutes’ drive out of the town centre on Butler’s Green Road.
For fine dining, Jeremy’s at Borde Hill Gardens is an award-winning eatery providing the perfect combination of a country idyll matched by creative cuisine and warm friendly service.
Hot drinks and snacks are served in the dozens of coffee shops throughout the town. There are both independently operated and well-known chains, including Costa and Café Nero.
If you prefer to eat at home, there are plenty of takeaways serving all of the usual pizza, curry and Chinese options.
Places to drink in Haywards Heath
Haywards Heath really comes alive at night and there are fantastic options for a quiet drink out or something with a bit more of a party vibe. There are two pubs on The Broadway; The Star and The Lockhart Tavern – you might want to pop in after a visit to see us! Also on The Broadway is Savannah, a popular cocktail bar open throughout the week and at weekends. Perhaps the most well-known bar though, is Orange Square, which opened in 2001 and kickstarted the trend of bars and restaurants on The Broadway.
The outskirts of Haywards Heath boast many more pubs to suit everybody from young families with children right through to retired couples. A few of note are the Bent Arms in Lindfield, which was once a haven for rockers and metal-heads but is now a more family-friendly establishment with an excellent menu, and The Burrell, which is located near the station and is very popular with commuters.
Leisure and entertainment
There is plenty to do in Haywards Heath. Many self-employed workers run businesses from their homes and it’s always relatively easy to find a massage therapist, yoga teacher or reading club. Closer to the town centre is where the real action happens though.
Haywards Heath has athletics, badminton, cricket, football, gold, rugby, running and squash clubs – to name but a few. For health and fitness lovers in general, there are a number of gyms, the biggest being The Dolphin, which is part of the Places for People leisure group that has centres at various locations throughout Sussex. Membership at one gym often entitles you to use the facilities at any, so it’s worth discussing options if you are likely to join. The Dolphin has a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and offers fitness classes through the day and evening.
The Orchards Shopping Centre
This semi-covered shopping centre is home to many well-known brands including Marks & Spencer’s, Superdrug and Next. There’s free WIFI throughout and a choice of cafes and restaurants to grab a bite to eat in.
A five-minute walk from The Orchards is The Broadway, which is where you will find out offices, along with many more places to eat, drink or grab a few small shopping items.
For one-of-a kind and bespoke items, the boutique of Lindfield and Cuckfield are the places to go.
Haywards Heath markets
There’s a Farmer’s Market at The Orchards Shopping Centre from 9am -2pm every Thursday and Saturday throughout the year, offering mainly seasonal produce that features everything from freshly caught lobster to a range of locally baked breads and cakes.