We finally left Brighton and bought ourselves a home in Burgess Hill and we couldn’t be happier! The people are incredibly friendly, the area is stunning and it’s really calm in a way we were hoping to find, exhausted by the drunk people walking home at 5am past our maisonette when we lived in Brighton.
With each passing month, I’m trying to see new sights, try new activities and embrace new experiences, so I will most certainly add to this list over time, but below are the best things to do in Burgess Hill that I’ve found.
1) The Mill Pond Waterfall At Valebridge
We arguably peaked too quickly, as this was the first place we checked out when we moved to Burgess Hill.
The waterfall, despite all its beauty, is often empty, except for the occasional other dog walker, meaning you can relax here with some peace and quiet and enjoy the views.
Forget walking along the road side, if you head to Wivelsfield station, from there you can walk North through fields until you reach the Mill Pond.
The pond itself is wide and I noticed a couple of fishermen at the side, which apparently you need a set license for. There are a number of different types of fish you may spot here, such as carp, ghost carp, and a tench. You even might spot an eel, something I’d prefer to avoid!
You can easily access Valebridge Mill Pond via foot, however a few of the paths get a bit confusing, so make sure to keep Google Maps open.
2) Bedelands Nature Reserve
The Bedelands nature reserve is incredible for dog walkers and a nice area to get away from it all. We’re lucky to live close by, so this has become a common dog walk for us, while everyone is incredibly friendly as you walk through.
I do have a habit of taking a wrong turn and ending up back at the entrance, but that’s more of a reflection of my bad sense of direction.
Heads up, there are often lots of puddles, so you may need some wellies or thick boots, a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
You can enter the Bedelands from near Wivelsfield station, so if you’re travelling by train then this is your nearest stop. Also, if anyone knows the proper way to say Bedelands, please do let me know, every time I hear the name it seems to be pronounced differently.
The local nature reserve covers an astonishing 80 acres of land, so this might take several visits in order to fully tick it all off. I do enjoy taking slightly different routes each time and getting completely lost.
One of the easiest ways in which a lot of people access the Bedelands is via Leylands park, just off Maple drive.
3) The Triangle
As soon as I moved to Burgess Hill, everyone asked me about how many times I had been to the Triangle. I’ll be honest, I had never heard of it, but I grew up in London, whereas everyone in Sussex would head to Burgess Hill predominantly for the swimming pool.
Whenever a water slide is involved, it always has to sneak onto a list of the best things to do! You can head there for a casual swim, to use the gym, to climb the climbing wall or to have a go at the many sports that take place here, such as badminton and squash.
The main pool has the lane swim sessions, while the leisure pool has ‘fun splash and slide’ times which are pretty self explanatory. The fun leisure zone doesn’t seem to have max numbers, however if you’re hoping to swim in the lanes then you should check the timetable and work out when’s best to visit. It appears like they allow up to 48 places in the lanes.
They also occasionally have aquafit, as well as a beach area setup for babies and toddlers. The outdoor pool has also now reopened, if you can handle the colder weather! Children under 8 will need to be supervised in the swimming pool.
The gym has all the main equipment you would hope for, while their personal trainers charge £30 for 30 minutes, or £40 for 60 minutes.
4) Burgess Hill Town FC
If you’re a footie fan, then a chance to watch the local team on a Saturday is a must. The games attract around 400 people (not always, it depends on the weather).
Since I’ve moved here, I’ve made it an aim to start going to the games regularly, so hopefully see a few of you down there!
Placed in the Isthmian League South East Division, we have to hope for an investment from a Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElhenney type so we can shoot up to the Premier League!
I spent 15 years living in Brighton and saw them transform from a lower league team to a side competing for European spots, so I would love to see the same for Burgess Hill, even if it’s a pipe dream for now.
The stadium has a great bar area, while the staff are very friendly and always happy to answer any questions you have. They’re also very active on Instagram, so you can keep up with all the scores in case you don’t manage to get to a game.
5) Pub Crawl Through Town
Following on from this, you have Quench Bar with an unbelievable cheese board with a twist. Further along is Block & Gasket, which plays all the big football matches, plus it has some great drinks on tap.
The final stop on the list is Wetherspoons, so you could either start or finish here depending on what you’d prefer. We often start at Spoons, so people are near the station at the end of the night when they need to head off.
Of course, you have other really nice pubs, including the Woolpack and Oak Barn, however they’re very much on their own a bit further out, so they would be a separate trip on there own.
Most of the pubs on this list are dog friendly, especially the Woolpack, where they were really kind and welcoming to little Ruby, but the Oak Barn doesn’t allow dogs annoyingly.
The food is also a little pricey at the Oak Barn, but I guess you’re paying for the setting, as it truly is the most stunning building in Burgess Hill. With the log fire burning, it feels just perfect in the winter time.
6) The Martlets Shopping Centre
The shopping centre doesn’t have much going for it anymore, nor does any retail area really, but you can pick up just about anything at Wilko’s, a top from New Look, something for the pooch from Pets Corner or your weekly food shop from Waitrose.
The council applied for further funding to do up the area, to be honest I would rather it was spent on improving the broadband speed, but either way the bid failed, so the area isn’t the greatest and really needs some investment.
The Costa makes for a decent place to stop off for a coffee or a little nibble to eat. It’s nothing amazing, but you know what you’re getting.
7) Orion Cinema
One of the last cinemas fighting the big chains, Orion (or Onion as I was stupidly calling it when I first moved here accidentally) is a cinema with two decent screens and regular new movies to show.
They also occasionally live screen events and productions, such as opera. This is a favourite with locals and I hope it never goes, my childhood weekends were spent in the cinema watching the latest flicks and I love the fact this town has a cinema.
The seats are nice and spacious, while they make sure to completely clean up the room before each screening. Nothing beats a bit of popcorn and watching a movie on the big screen, plus you can feel good about supporting an independent cinema.
They list ‘what’s on‘ on their website, so you can make sure your favourite film is available. If you can’t spot it, don’t hesitate to reach out, I emailed them about Oppenheimer, as it wasn’t showing on the list, to which they informed me it would be shown in 2 weeks time, so it stopped me booking a trip down to Brighton.
Due to the limited number of screens, you can’t expect every movie to be playing, normally with three options per day.
8) A Game Of Pool Or Sit In The Beer Garden At The Watermill Inn
I do love a game of pool, even if I’m absolutely useless at it. On the left hand side of the Watermill Inn, you have a pool table setup, as well as a dartboard.
The beer garden itself is really quite expansive and normally you can find yourself a table without too many issues.
Away from the main street, this is our local pub and one we visit quite often, while the staff are incredibly friendly. The plasma screens are setup inside so you can watch the football or whatever big sporting event is on (I purely watch football, so the rest is a mystery to me).
They also serve Blue Moon, my favourite beer, which is probably the reason this pub became my go-to place very quickly.
The location is also right alongside Wivelsfield station, so if you’re not from the area, this is ideal for a quick stop before heading on. You’re also not too far from the Bedelands in case you want to go on a long walking trip and finish it off with a pint.
The tables in the garden have built-in parasols so you can shade yourself from the sun.
So do you think I’ve left anything off the list? Is there a key activity I have to try out? Please do let me know and I’ll do my best to give it a try and update the article.