I really want to try and get the most out of our National Trust passes this Summer espically being on Maternity leave. So while Hubby was still on Paternity leave we headed over to Batemans in East Sussex with some friends from our first NCT class. The Jacobean mansion was home to Rudyard Kipling and is set in some lovely grounds and there is a also a working mill to explore. However our first stop was the cafe after all Kipper was only two weeks old and needed a good meal…
As did we all, like all National Trust venues it offered a selection of hot meals, drinks, cake and kids lunch boxes. Both the boys opted for a lunchbox while the adults had various different caffeine fixes. Since the weather was a little touch and go we decided to explore outside first. Theres hard standing all around apart from the meadow so there was no issues with the buggy. Although understandably you can’t take it inside the actual house.
There are some formal veritable and fruit gardens which you come to first, the boys were more interested in getting to the mill so we didn’t get a chance to look round them. Although we did see a little orchard including a sculpture made from the last apple tree planted by Rudyard Kipling. The tree is no longer producing fruit but they have replaced the branches with metal and grow climbers up them each year to mimic the tree shape.
Behind the house there is a formal pond area with some very big fish. The way it is designed means that there is a shallow area that leads into a water fountain. This is very tempting for little feet….
Out the back of the formal gardens you walk through a meadow like area with wild flowers either side, its very rustic yet beautiful. Among it are bee hives and the odd chicken walking about. Monkey thought the chickens were brilliant and they seem unfazed by the children. The Mill itself is across a little bridge which we just about managed to get the pram over and down the other side. However Hubby took Monkey into the mill and I waiting outside, after all it was nice to sit down for five minutes in the sun! The mill is still working and he got the chance to grind his own flour, which is a great learning experience.
From the mill we took a walk back to the house to have a look around. The boys came in with us and happily talked to the National Trust helpers in the rooms. One conversation that stuck in my head was about a rug made from a dead animal and how Monkey would not be afraid of said animal in the wild. I love how the volunteers are so good with kids! There was a handout which had a treasure hunt on it, so it gave us a little more time to look around without the normal ‘I’m bored’ setting in.
While we were there they were holding colouring workshops with a local artist who was launching her own adult colouring book. Both boys loved colouring in the giant pictures which we were then allowed to take home with us. They were very impressed with their medals and the free chocolate! It really made the day and meant that we could relax over looking the gardens making the most of the last of the sunshine. As the cafe is licensed it also gave Hubby the chance to wet Kippers head…
The only thing this property is missing is a play area. To be honest that would stop me going back with Monkey unless there was an activity on to keep him entertained. However I would like to go back to have a better look around the house and the vegetable gardens. It would be good for school age children who are learning about British History or similar due to the working mill.
Things you need to know:
- The garden is open 10am-5pm this time of year you can get daily opening times here on their website. The house is open from 11am and last admittance is at 4.30pm.
- Entrance is free for National Trust members if not adults cost £11.00 with gift aid, a child £5.50 and £27.50 for a family.
- Address – Bateman’s Lane, Burwash, East Sussex, TN19 7DS
Have you visited any National Trust places recently which you really enjoyed? I would love to hear about them in the comments.