Muddy says: Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, former home to Rudyard Kipling, provided a much needed sanctuary, and is now a fabulous place to visit for you and the whole family – both inside and outside. Plus doggies are welcome too in the grounds too if you are looking for a new place to roam.
‘That’s She! The Only She! Make an honest woman of her – quick!’ was how Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Carrie, felt the first time they saw Bateman’s. Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much needed sanctuary to this world-famous writer, and it’s still apparent now why they wanted to snap this beautiful property up.
It’s a fabulous place to visit for you and the whole family, both inside and outside. Rudyard Kipling designed his garden to be a place for family and friends; somewhere where his children could explore and use their imagination and where friends could relax and unwind. The gardens at Bateman’s feature the beautiful walled Mulberry garden, the Lily pond where you can watch a dazzling array of dragonflies and damselflies skimming over the water and the rose garden, which was designed by Kipling himself after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.
Rudyard Kipling encouraged his children to explore the natural world around Bateman’s and this has been cleverly incorporated into the grounds now with a natural play area for children to explore. The younger lot can also pick up children’s trails at the house, which will help them discover some more about the collection and, more importantly, occupy their little minds giving you more time to take it all in.
The rooms, described by Rudyard Kipling as ‘untouched and unfaked’, remain much as he left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts reflecting his strong association with the East. Kim was his first major piece of writing that he wrote from his study at Bateman’s which links him and his fond childhood memories to India, so you can soak up the literary history all around you.
Pooches are also very welcome. There are watering bowls by the picnic tables on the meadow side of the tea room for thirsty dogs, and there is plenty of room to take them for a run around across the Bateman’s estate. Just pick up a leaflet at reception or download the Kipling walk and discover a taste of the beautiful Sussex countryside that provided inspiration for some of Kipling’s works.
If you get peckish, you are in safe hands too. Grab and go from its Mulberry tea-room where you can pick up freshly baked treats and homecooked fayre. The gardening team works hard to produce some great fruit and vegetable and you will notice that each month, they focus on a different herb, flower or vegetable each month within the foodie offer. It will also be music to many mums’ ears that they offer children’s lunch boxes and half portions of some of the main meals for the littler tummies, or alternatively bring a picnic to enjoy in one of its dedicated picnic spots.
Finally, the National Trust team there are a crafty bunch (quite literally) and know how to keep enticing you back with fun events throughout the year including Half Term Crafts and visiting exhibitions. Tiger who Came to Tea was a big hit recently so make sure you keep up with our Muddy Stilettos’ Things to Do section to find out what is happening, so you don’t miss out.