Christmas at Bateman's

Fairy book houses and decorations on the mantelshelf at Bateman's in East Sussex

There'll be magic at Bateman's this festive season as we decorate the rooms in a woodland theme, inspired by Kipling's Sussex fairy tales. Enjoy wandering through the decorated house, join in wreath making or tackle a family trail.

'Rewards and Fairies' woodland Christmas

This December Bateman's Christmas celebrations are based around Kipling's enchanting Sussex fairy tales.  Two of his much-loved books, 'Rewards and Fairies' and 'Puck of Pook's Hill', will cast their magic around his family home.

Come and wander around our 17th-century house, with a roaring fire and majestic tree to welcome you. Spy natural handmade decorations and glowing doors to the homes of fairies who live among the books on Kipling's bookshelves. Extra eager eyes will spot miniature novels and more hidden entries to their secret world.

Bateman's Christmas
A selection of Christmas decorations made from old book pages and natural foliage for Christmas at Bateman's in East Sussex
  • 'Rewards and Fairies' Christmas event in the house is open daily from 2 December to 1 January, 11.00am to 3.30pm, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Last entry to the house at 3.00pm.
  • Free event but normal admission charges apply.
  • We regret that buggies and pushchairs are not permitted in the house.

More fairies in the garden

Even though it's wintertime, there's still plenty to see in the garden and our winter garden trail is perfect to get the kids out and about.

Pick up a trail at visitor reception and head off into the gardens to seek out the cosy little homes of some of Kipling's fairytale creatures that are tucked away on the estate. You'll need to look carefully as these little characters are very shy and so tread quietly and gently when you find their tiny stone houses.

During your search don't forget to stop and admire the amazing framework of branches created by the pleached limes in the formal garden or stop for a while and watch the River Dudwell rushing under the bridge in the wild garden.

Bateman's
A stone fairy house beneath a twisted tree in the grounds of Bateman's in East Sussex
  • Trails available from Saturday 2 December to Monday 1 January, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Available from 10am to 3.30pm for start of trail. Prize collection available until 5pm (or dusk if earlier).
  • £2.50 per trail.
  • Suitable for children aged 4 - 12 years.

Make your own pixie or fairy decoration

On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December, families can join us down at the watermill to have a go at making their own natural pixie or fairy.

We've gathered lots and lots of acorns, pine cones and other items from around the garden and estate and they are all waiting to be made into the beautiful pixies or fairies like the ones created by Kipling in his fairy tale books.

Our craft volunteers will be on hand to help you create your own magical decoration to take home with you to decorate your Christmas tree.

  • Make a pixie or fairy craft sessions will be from 11am to 1pm and then again from 2pm - 3pm.
  • £2 per child.
  • Sessions will be in the watermill at the far end of the wild garden.
Bateman's Christmas
A natural Christmas fairy made by volunteers at Bateman's in East Sussex