Estate walks at Bateman's
The beautiful Sussex countryside around Bateman's provided the inspiration for many of Rudyard Kipling's famous characters. We have a number of different routes that you can follow to take in some of the best features of this inspiring landscape.
Walk in the footsteps of Kipling's characters
Visit Bateman's at any time of the year and you can pick up one of our estate walk leaflets at our visitor reception. We have a number of walks to take you out and about around the beautiful Sussex countryside that surrounds this former beloved home of Rudyard Kipling and his family.
This walk is inspired by Kipling's famous story, 'Puck of Pook's Hill. Written for his children this magical tale took its inspiration from the re-enactment of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by Kipling and his children one summer in the early 1900s.
The route from the house takes you out to the Mill and then through woods and over hills towards Burwash Weald before looping back to cross the river and back to the Mill pond and through the meadow to the house gardens.
This gentle walk takes in some great views and it is easy to see how the rolling hills, woods and Dudwell river inspired Kipling's writing.
Puck's walk is about 2½ miles long and will take about 1½ hrs to complete.
Old industry and a peaceful village
The Ironmaster's walk
This walk centres on the area around Bateman's that was, for four centuries after the Norman conquest, a centre of small-scale iron production. There is a longstanding claim that Bateman's was built by a Wealden ironmaster.
The area had all the ingredients for successful iron production; a plentiful supply of iron-ore, timber for charcoal and availability of water.
There's not much left to see of this industry today but if you look carefully you could see signs of the tell-tale waste from the smelting process, called slag, the occasional mine pit and faint evidence of a forge.
The Ironmaster's walk is about 2 miles long and will take about 1 hr to complete.
Dudwell Farm walks
There are a number of routes that you can take up to Burwash village. Kipling would have walked these many times. They are worth the climb up the hill towards the village and offer some outstanding views.
There's lots to see in the village, even though it is less than it would have been in Kipling's day. Take a stroll along the attractive High Street towards St. Bartholomew's Church where there is a memorial to Kipling's son, John, who is also remembered on the village war memorial.
You can imagine the Kiplings being very much part of village life and if you take a look inside Jarvis the butchers, you'll be able to see a framed order from the Kiplings on display.
In the early 1900s, when the family came to Bateman's, there were 7 pubs in the village. The Bear, one of only 2 remaining today, played host to the Kiplings before they moved into Bateman's in 1902.
Keep your eyes open for the beautiful 17th century house called Rampydene. This was home to Kipling's great friend, Colonel Henry Wemyss Feilden.
The Dudwell Farm walks are about 2½ miles long and will take about 1½ hrs to complete.
Good walking and countryside practice
The Ironmaster's walk and Dudwell Farm walks have section where the route is on roads, sometimes with no pedestrian footpath. Please exercise extra care at these locations and walk in single file, facing the oncoming traffic.
During the summer you may find traditional French Limousin cattle grazing on the estate. We ask all visitors and walkers to keep to the footpaths and take care not to disturb the cattle, especially when they have their young with them.
Dog walkers should keep their pets under close control and on a lead when in fields with livestock. If cattle do approach then let your dog off the lead if need be.