Muddy says: Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, former home to Rudyard Kipling, is now a fabulous place to visit both inside and out.
‘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 today why they wanted to snap this beautiful property up.
It’s a fabulous place to visit, 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. There grounds include the 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.
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. They can also pick up trails at the house.
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, linking him and his fond childhood memories to India.
Pooches are also very welcome. There are watering bowls by the picnic tables and plenty of room to take dogs for a run around the estate. Just pick up a leaflet at reception or download the Kipling walk and discover the countryside that provided inspiration for some of the writer’s works.
In the Mulberry tea-room you can pick up freshly baked treats and homecooked fayre. The gardening team works hard and you will notice that each month, they focus on a different herb, flower or vegetable within the foodie offer. It’s good for parents to know they also offer children’s lunch boxes and half portions of some of the main meals you can also bring your own food to eat 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. Keep an eye on our Muddy Stilettos’ Things to Do section so you don’t miss out.