The bear necessities of life….

Rudyard Kipling 1st editions

“So Mowgli went away and hunted with the four cubs in the jungle from that day on. But he was not always alone, because years afterward he became a man and married.

But that is a story for grown-ups.”




Rudyard Kipling published The Jungle Book in 1849 and to this day it remains a hit with the young and the older. A collection of stories about Mowgli, a human boy raised in jungle by wild animals; some became friends like Baloo the bear or Bagheera the panther, others foes like Shere Khan the tiger and Kaa the python. All of them became legends not only in children’s literature but also as film characters.

Jungle book Disney


The first Jungle Book movie was produced way back in 1942, an American Technicolor Film, based on a screenplay adaptation by Laurence Stallings. But it was the 1967 Walt Disney Pictures production that captured our hearts. A beautifully animated musical comedy whose songs turned into popular sing-alongs and even Oscar nominations for Baloo’s ‘The Bear Necessities’.



Jungle book Film
courtsey of Disney

If the new hyper-real digital animation, which has recently hit the cinema screens across the country, can compete with the charm and visual pleasure of the hand drawn cartoon characters brought to live by Disney Productions is a down to personal perception and probably a generational matter.


A visit to Batemans, Rudyard Kipling’s home in Burwash, East Sussex however is a must for all Jungle Book fans. As you explore the house at Bateman’s you will not only get to know the man behind your favourite children’s stories but also the life of his wife Carrie and their three children.

courtesy of N.T. image library

batemans study

Full of unusual objects, his daughter’s original alphabet necklace that inspired a Just So story, Kipling’s vintage Rolls Royce, original paintings from the Jungle Book by his father John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard’s voice playing on an IPad in his magnificent book lined study plus much more, Batemans will transfer you right back to Kipling family’s life.

By far my favourite stately home in East Sussex – perfectly sized, beautiful and in a stunning location – I wish I could live there.

For further information, opening times and special events please visit

Places to stay (also for grown-ups)


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