Festive fun at Bateman's 2019

There'll be magic at Bateman's this festive season as we decorate the rooms in rich, opulent colours inspired by Kipling's travels and his Just So Stories. Enjoy wandering through the decorated house or venturing out into the garden and estate for a wintery walk.

'Just So' at Bateman's

This December Bateman's festive celebrations are based around Kipling's Just So Stories, which will cast their magic around his family home.

Wander into our 17th-century house and be met with the warm glow from the hall fire and a majestic tree to welcome you. Enjoy handmade fabric decorations in opulent colours on the trees and discover story-themed floral arrangements in almost every room. Kipling's study will remain untouched so you can imagine the writer of these fantastical tales at his work. Take a closer look at the flowers and perhaps you'll spy some of the animals from these famous tales hidden among them.

A gilt camel nestled among the handmade decorations at Bateman's Just So Christmas event
  • 'Just So' Festive event in the house is open daily from Saturday 30 November 2019 to Sunday 5 January 2020, 11.00am to 4.00pm, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Last entry to the house at 3.30pm.
  • Free event but normal admission charges apply.
  • We regret that buggies and pushchairs are not permitted in the house.

Just So storytelling for families

Find out more about Kipling's Just So Stories,  at one of our storytelling sessions. Take a seat in the old kitchen and listen as our storytellers beguile you with readings from the recently released Just So Stories as retold by Elli Woollard in rhyme. This version of Kipling's famous tales is particularly suitable for younger children, although older kids and adults are welcome.

  • Storytelling will take place over the Christmas holidays. Check our Whats On pages for updates.  
  • Free event
  • Meet in the old kitchen either at the end of your route through the house or via the servants' corridor from the Oast shop.
Wooden elephants depicting Kipling's 'How the elephant got his trunk' story at Bateman's Just So Stories Christmas event

More to see out 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 children out and about.

Pick up a trail at visitor reception and head off into the gardens to seek out the hiding places of some of the Just So characters and learn more about how they got their distinguishing features.

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.

  • Trails available from Saturday 30 November 2019to Sunday 5 January 2020, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Available from 10am to 3.30pm for start of trail. Prize collection available until 4pm.
  • £2.50 per trail.
  • Suitable for children aged 4 - 12 years.

Twilight Opening

On our twilight evenings, Bateman's will remain open until 6.00pm. Explore the house after dark (last admission 5:30pm) to see the Kipling's home completely transformed by Christmas and enjoy the atmosphere of the decorated house at twilight. 

The shop will be open and full of Christmas inspiration so you can tick everyone off your Christmas gift list. From books and sweet treats to Kipling inspired gifts there will be something for even the hardest to buy for. 

Twilight openings will take place on Sat 7 and Sat 14 December.