Things to do with the kids at Christmas at Bateman's

A child by the Christmas tree at Bateman's in East Sussex

Visit Bateman's during December and celebrate Christmas with a woodland theme, inspired by Kipling's Sussex fairy tales. Little eyes can spy fairy homes glowing in the house, and explore the secret places of Puck and friends on a woodland-themed trail outside.

Christmas with Kipling's woodland fairies

Rudyard Kipling's books, 'Puck of Pook's Hill' and its sequel, 'Rewards and Fairies' are set in the beautiful Sussex countryside in and around his beloved family home of Bateman's.

This Christmas we are revisiting the theme of 'Rewards and Fairies' in a continuation of our celebration of Kipling's Sussex fairy tales.

Magic in the house

Wander around the house, decorated with natural handmade decorations. There may even be some fairies hidden among the branches of the Christmas tree.

Little ones should keep eyes open for delicate little fairy book houses hidden among the bookshelves of Kipling's study. Can you spot the tiny lights shining out from the cleverly disguised windows.

Will you see a minute door quickly close as the fairies head back to their garden abodes? You might even see some fairy-sized books left lying around in the rush to hide away before you pass.

  • 'Rewards and Fairies' woodland Christmas in the house is open every day, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from Saturday 2 December to Monday 1 January, 11.30am to 3.30pm.
  • Free event but normal admission charges apply.
  • We regret that buggies and pushchairs are not permitted in the house.
Christmas at Bateman's
Christmas at Bateman's, fairy book houses and mini books
Christmas at Bateman's

Stories to enchant

Visit the house at the weekends during December and you could find Rudyard Kipling himself reading from one of the books.

He's a great orator and loves to talk about his books and how they came about. Look out for details at the entrance and on our website to find out where he'll be and settle down to listen for a while.

Secrets in the garden

The gardens at Bateman's are a great place for an adventure. Our winter garden trail begins at Puck's fairy ring of wooden toadstools. Follow the trail of sculptures to find a wise tree spirit and to search for the hidden little homes of Puck's woodland fairy friends.

  • The 'Rewards and Fairies' winter garden trail is available every day, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 10am to dusk.
  • Trails cost £2.50 each.
  • Normal admission charges apply.
  • Some steps on the garden paths, but generally suitable for buggies and pushchairs.

Explore a little more

If your children need to let off more steam, then our estate walks are great all year round.

Pull on your wellies, a hat and scarf and head off on your own adventure.  You can even take the dog.