Festive fun at Bateman's 2019

Camels infront of a christmas tree

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

Saturday 30 November 2019 - Sunday 5 January 2020

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 the 17th-century house and be met with the warm glow from the hall fire and a majestic tree to welcome you. This year the houses magical decorations are based around Kipling's 'Just So' Stories, with handmade decorations in opulent colours and story-themed floral arrangements.  Kipling’s 'Just So' Stories famously describe how different animals acquired their most distinctive features, such as how the camel got his hump or how the elephant got his trunk. 

A gilt camel nestled among the handmade decorations at Bateman's Just So Christmas event
  • The 'Just So' Christmas in the house is open daily from Saturday 30 November 2019 - Sunday 5 January 2020, 11am to 4pm, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Last entry to the house at 3.30pm.
  • Free event but normal admission charges apply.

'Just So' storytelling for families

Find out more about Kipling's Just So Stories,  at a storytelling session in the old kitchen. Take a seat and listen to a reading 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.

  • Sat 30 Nov & Sun 1 Dec
  • Sat 7 Dec & Sun 8 Dec
  • Sat 14 & Sun 15 Dec
  • Thu 19 - Sun 22 Dec
  • Thu 26 Dec - Sat 4 Jan

Timings: 12 midday, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm

This is a free event.  Meet in the old kitchen, either at the end of your visit to the house or via the servants' corridor from the Oast-house shop.

Wooden elephants depicting Kipling's 'How the elephant got his trunk' story at Bateman's Just So Stories Christmas event

Children's elephant trail fun

Even though it's wintertime, there's still plenty to see in the garden and our elephant themed garden trail, inspired by the Just So stories, 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 elephants  hiding in the garden, learning lots of elephant inspired facts along the way. 

Just So Stories Elephant trail at Bateman's
Just So Stories elephant trail identity visual
Just So Stories Elephant trail at Bateman's

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 2019 - Sunday 5 January 2020, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Available from 10am to 3.30pm. Prize collection available until 4pm.
  • £2.50 per trail.
  • Suitable for children aged 4 - 12 years.
Children enjoying the garden at Bateman's
Children running in the garden
Children enjoying the garden at Bateman's

Twilight Openings

On Sat 7 and Sat 14 December

On our twilight evenings, Bateman's will remain open until 6pm. 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. Also especially for our Twilight openings we will be offering a gift wrapping service to make your christmas even more hassle free.

The Mulberry tea-room will be open and welcoming you to get into the Christmas spirit, with a selection of festive treats and warming drinks - mulled wine and mulled apple juice along with mince pies & Christmas cake.

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

View across the lily pond
Bateman's House and Lily pond
View across the lily pond