Monday 13 January 2020

Christmas at Bateman's National Trust, East Sussex

Christmas tree at Bateman's

Bateman's is the former home of the renowned author Rudyard Kipling. It is a beautiful sandstone house surrounded by gardens, farmland and the beautiful rolling East Sussex countryside. I love that you can acess most of the house and get a real feel for how Rudyard must have lived. Walking through his study is particularly special. 

Bateman's house

Christmas Theme 2019

The theme for Christmas 2019 was Rudyards book series, the 'Just So Stories' which were aimed at younger children. Each room was themed around a particular story and this worked really well. I have visited Bateman's a couple of times before and this special theming added an extra something for this visit.

Just so stories display at Bateman's

Rooms staged as Just so stories, at Bateman's

Dining room at Bateman's

This was some great voluteers dotted around the house, and they were knowledgable and wanting to engage and chat with you. I think the volunteers are often one of the best things about NT sites. It is suggested that it takes around 45 minute to look around the house. Some of the people I was there with, were in there for long in excess of an hour as they were enjoying chatting and learning about Rudyard's life and works.

Rudyard Kipling's study at Bateman's

Bedroom at Bateman's


There is a very nice second hand bookshop at the end of the house and there are lots of Rudyard Kipling's works in there (both new and second hand), that can be bought for a reasonable price.

The Oast shop is light, well stocked and a delight to have a look around. As it was early January that we visited, there was also some great reductions.

Oust shop
The formal gardens were very bare and without colour on this visit, but when we have been in the Spring and Summer they have been glorious. It didn't actually matter though, as it was still a nice to wander around and see the kitchen garden, pet grave yard and working water mill.

Exploring Outdoors

Mill walk at Bateman's

Water mill

There was hard paths all around the garden areas and leading to the mill, so we were fine in this boggy winter weather to have an explore, without getting filthy.

House at Bateman's

As well as the immediate gardens there is a total of 300 acres to the estate, and you can head out to explore one of the marked walks. The suggested walks are all around 2 - 2.5 miles and will take an hour or two. There are also a couple of wild play areas pretty close to the parking and house, but as my kids are older now we haven't explored those before.

Eating & Drinking

The Mulberry tea room is very quaint and for the wamer months there is loads of good seating outside in the courtyard. We got to the tea room about 3.15pm and I have to admit it was quite a mess, with all the tables needing clearning and wiping. They did come out to clear it after about 15 minutes of us being there, I think we arrived at the end of a rish time.

The drinks and food we had were very nice and I'd happily eat there again. At lunchtime they also do hot lunches, but we were too late to see those. The kind of prices we paid were Coke £2.25, capuccino £2.70, shortbread £2.25 and luxury hot chocolate £3.05.

If you want to bring your own refreshments or a picnic, you are welcome to have them on the lawns in  the grounds, or there is a picnic area (where you cna keep your dog with you) right by the natural play area/ car park.

Useful Information

Opening Times: Bateman's is open all year round, generally from 10am and closing at 4pm in the Winter and 5pm in the summer. Best to check online before visiting to be sure for your date.
Cost: £12.40 adult, £6.20 child and £31.00 for a family, car parking is £3 for non-members
Address: Bateman's Lane, Burwash, East Sussex, TN19 7DS
Travel Tip: Do not follow your SatNav once you get close as it will send you down a very narrow lane. Keep an eye on the brown directional signs and you'll get there just fine.
Email Enquiries:
Telephone: 01435882302
Dogs: Dogs on short leads are allowed on paved areas in the garden with the exception of the Mulberry garden area by the tea room. Dogs are not permitted on the lawns, in the house, shop or tea room, except for assistance dogs.
Acessibilty: The gardens are partly accessible and the ground floor of the house is. There is also a virtual house tour. A limited number of wheelchairs are available to borrow from the visitor reception.

We also visited Bateman's in May 2014 and I wrote about it over here. On that day they had the mill working and the staff were excellent chatting to the kids and helping them understand how it all works.

Then in August 2017 we visited the special WWI weekend that was held there, and boy was that an amazing event, that I would highly recommend if they are running it this year.

Why not pin this post for later?

Bateman's pin