Estate walks at Bateman's

Winter walking on the Batemans estate

The beautiful Sussex countryside around Bateman's provided the inspiration for many of Rudyard Kipling's famous characters. There are a number of different routes that you can follow to take in some of the best features of this inspiring landscape.

Bateman’s estate walks

The Bateman’s estate consists of 300 acres of beautiful High Weald Countryside.  Set within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this landscape is classically medieval; full of small fields, hedgerows, old trees, abandoned iron ore pits, hidden ponds and magical deserted trackways.  The River Dudwell runs through the valley and there are seemingly endless magnificent views, making the Bateman’s estate the perfect place for a walk.


Kipling's countryside - one estate, three walks

The countryside around Bateman’s has changed little since the Kiplings lived here and a view back down to the house is beautiful to behold. You can understand why Kipling described this as a 'good and peaceable place' and provided the inspiration for many of Rudyard Kipling's characters. 

A walk with a ranger across the Bateman's estate
A walk with a ranger across the Bateman's estate
A walk with a ranger across the Bateman's estate

There are a number of different walking routes that you can follow to take in some of the best features of this landscape.

Puck's walk

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 Visitor Reception takes you out to the Mill, through woods and over hills towards Burwash Weald before looping back to cross the river and back to the Mill pond. 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. For more details of this walk click here: Bateman's Estate Walks (PDF / 0.3MB) download

The Ironmaster's walk

Old industry and a peaceful village

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. 
For more details of this walk click here: Bateman's Estate Walks (PDF / 0.3MB) download .

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 seven pubs in the village. The Bear, one of only two 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.

For more details of this walk click here: Bateman's Estate Walks (PDF / 0.3MB) download .

Don't forget your wellies

As some part of each of our estate walks follow a route along the Dudwell river valley, it can be very muddy. 

Good walking and countryside practice

The walks have sections where the route is on roads, sometimes with no pedestrian footpath. Please take extra care at these locations and walk in single file, facing the oncoming traffic.

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.

Bateman's
A view across summer countryside with cattle grazing at Bateman's in East Sussex
Bateman's

A well-earned break

As you finish your walk, why not stop by the Mulberry tea-room to sample our selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks and light meals. 

Four legged friends

Don't forget your four-legged friend, who is welcome to accompany you as long as you keep them on a short lead. Our visitor reception has a ready supply if you forget and leave yours at home.