There are a number of high performing schools in the local area that cater for children of all ages. Parkside Community Primary School, Grovelands Community Primary School and Hellingly Community Primary School welcome younger children, while Hailsham Community College Academy Trust and Heathfield Community College cater for pupils aged 11 – 18 years old. A new primary school is also to be built as part of Magnolia Gardens.
High Street, George Street and Market Square are the places to go when shopping in Hailsham. St Mary’s Walk, just off High Street, is home to a range of niche and specialist retailers, while the pedestrianised Vicarage Field provides a space for town events – including the annual firework display – as well as hosting the regular street market. A weekly produce market and monthly farmer’s market also take place in the town centre.
For more intensive retail therapy residents can head to the shopping malls of Eastbourne (Arndale Centre), Hastings (Priory Meadow), Brighton (Churchill Square) and Royal Tunbridge Wells (Royal Victoria Place). All offer a vibrant selection of big brand names, chain and department stores. Visit The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, or The Lanes in Brighton for a delightful mix of boutique and independent retailers set against a backdrop of historic buildings and winding roads, and not to forget the antique shops of Hastings, dotted among the narrow streets of this medieval town.
Hailsham boasts a number of restaurants, cafés and bars, offering a variety of menu choices. As well as branches of popular chains, residents will also find gems such as The Homely Maid, which serves afternoon tea, in addition to breakfast, lunch, freshly baked cakes and bread, and The Snug, an independent coffee shop on High Street. Callenders, also on High Street, presents a lunch and dinner menu, with ingredients sourced from local farms where possible.
For fine dining, The Olde Forge Hotel, just a mile from the development and The Sundial, three miles away, offer tempting menus. Crossways Hotel, 15 minutes’ drive away, boasts two AA rosettes, while 30 minutes’ drive brings you to The Curlew in Bodiam, twice winner of Sussex Eating Experience of the Year in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find much to occupy their time in and around Hailsham. As well as the traditional country pursuits of horse riding, hiking and rambling, the area offers a wealth of outdoor sports, such as skiing and snowboarding at Knockhatch Ski Centre, kayaking and paddle boarding in Bodiam and canoeing and diving in Eastbourne. Pevensey Bay Sailing Club and Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club are both within 12 miles of the development, with the former also welcoming windsurfers.
Hailsham Leisure Centre on Vicarage Lane has two swimming pools, a gym, exercise studios and an eight-lane bowling alley; the town also has cricket, football, hockey, tennis and running clubs.
Local cultural highlights include Gallery North, which hosts art exhibitions and workshops, and Hailsham Pavilion – a cinema, theatre and music venue that not only screens the latest movies, classic and arthouse films, but presents a programme of concerts, drama and family entertainment.
The 15th century Herstmonceux Castle is six miles from Magnolia Gardens and while the buildings are not usually open to the public – special events excepted – visitors are welcomed to the 600 acres of gardens and grounds for most of the year. On the same site, the Observatory Science Centre is popular with adults and children interested in astronomy and offers hands-on exhibits, shows and workshops.
Commuters travelling to work in London, Eastbourne or Brighton will benefit from fast and frequent train services from Polegate Railway Station, which is less than six miles from the development. Local buses also connect the development with surrounding towns and villages. The A22 Hailsham Bypass for Eastbourne to the south and Gatwick Airport and south London to the north, is two miles away, while the A27 for Brighton, Worthing, Portsmouth, Southampton and Salisbury is five miles away by car. The A259, which is nine miles from Magnolia Gardens, links Hailsham with Hastings, Folkestone, Eastbourne, Brighton, Worthing and Chichester. Gatwick Airport is around an hour’s drive away via the A22.