Family visit to Bateman's
Planning a day out with the family? You'll find space to play and plenty to see and do around the Bateman's garden and estate. The house is open so you can explore the Kipling family home, and there's the family friendly tea-room with children's lunch boxes and a range of sandwiches, cakes and drinks for when you need a quick pit stop.
The landscape around Bateman's was inspiration for some of Rudyard Kipling's famous stories, some of which were written for his own children. Venture out as a family, discover some of the places featured in the tales Kipling wrote and have a go at some of the '50 things to do before you're 11¾'. Ask at Visitor Reception for a free chart and see how many you can complete - watch a bird, have fun with sticks or make friends with a bug - to name just a few!
Children love to spot the golden fish in the lily pond, run on the lawns, and play pooh sticks at the bridge in the Wild Garden. Families enjoy watching Bateman's real-life water mill in action and for those of an active persuasion there are three wider estate walks through the surrounding woods and fields.
Explore inside the house
The house is open for you to see where the Kipling family lived. The house is much how the family left it, with its original trinkets and mementos. See the 120-year-old doll 'Crocus', who was given to the Kipling’s middle child Elsie. She was so well loved; her nose has rubbed off with so many kisses. While upstairs, see the necklace made by Kipling to go alongside his Just So Story, 'How the Alphabet was Made', that has intrigued children for generations. Plus don’t miss seeing the original illustrations by the Detmold Brothers for Kipling's 'The Jungle Book'.
Autumn family activities
If you’re visiting while the leaves turn orange and gold, why not pick up a free 'Under the autumn trees' spotter sheet full of things to see and do around the garden. Available at Visitor Reception 16 October – 14 November.
The Bateman's garden team have been growing a range of pumpkins, squashes and gourds this year. In late October, look out for these crops displayed near the entrance to the garden, resplendent in orange, yellow and green.
For upcoming events and activities, take a look at the What's on page.
Natural play area
Rudyard Kipling encouraged his children to explore the natural world around Bateman's. Inspired by this you will find a natural play area for your children to explore, with swings, see-saw and climbing frames. Discover this secluded space by the top of the car park where children can race and clamber around or create a den from fallen branches.
The beautiful centrepiece of the play area is a carved oak tree. The sculpture incorporates images of Sussex wildlife and is topped by an enormous owl.
"Now is the Sun, Come up from the South, with Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!"
- Rudyard Kipling
These words from 'The Tree Song' entwine with motifs of the leaves of oak, ash and thorn trees. On your visit, see how many animals you can spot wrapped around the sculpture - perhaps you will see them around the estate too.
Eating with us?
You have a choice when it comes to eating with your family at Bateman’s. Sit inside the Mulberry Tea-room or on outdoor chairs and tables in the Mulberry Garden. If it's good weather, grab and go from the tea-room or bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds.
Good to know
- Baby changing facilities can be found in the accessible toilet next to Visitor Reception, in the car park.
- High chairs are available in the Mulberry Tea-room.
- There are picnic tables in and around the Natural Play Area and next to Visitor Reception in the car park.
- On rainy days some of the paths on the estate can be muddy.
- There are buggy-friendly areas around the garden, just pick up a map from Visitor Reception so you know where to go.
Bateman’s offers a range of family friendly activities throughout the year including trails, exhibitions, workshops, storytelling and poetry readings. Follow Batemans on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date.