Rudyard Kipling loved Sussex, adopting the county as his own when he moved to Rottingdean in 1897. Loving it so much that he went on to spend the rest of his life in Sussex; most famously at Batemans near the rural village of Burwash.
Kipling faced the same dilemma that all visitors to Sussex have: with such a diverse landscape how do you decide where to visit and once you’ve visited Sussex which area is your favourite? This dilemma was played out in Kipling’s 1906 poem ‘A Three-Part Song’ which begins:
I’M JUST in love with all these three,
The Weald and the Marsh and the Down countree.
Nor I don’t know which I love the most,
The Weald or the Marsh or the white Chalk coast!
To help you plan your visit to Sussex, take a look at our holiday cottages and vacation rentals, located amongst Kipling’s favourite Sussex places.
The Weald is the woodland area between the North and South Downs and holiday cottages here are located in secluded rural areas as well as in villages such as Danehill and Cuckfield or in market towns including East Grinstead and Hailsham.
'The Marsh' in Kipling’s poem refers to Romney Marsh, the coastal wetlands area just east of Sussex and easily accessible from the pretty holiday destinations of Rye, Camber Sands and Winchelsea.
'The Down Countree' is of course the South Downs, the range of chalky hills, now a national park, stretching one hundred miles from Winchester to the white cliffs at Beachy Head.
And whilst you are on your holiday in Sussex there are a host of places you can visit to get closer to Kipling, including the Museum of the Rottingdean Preservation Society, at The Grange in Rottingdean, where the Kipling Room and Kipling Gardens celebrate his work and life in the area.
Or take a local brew in one of the two village pubs in Burwash, perhaps sitting where Kipling sat composing one of the many works he completed during his time in Sussex. Whilst in Burwash pay a visit to the memorial to the fallen of the First World War in the centre of the village, where Kipling’s son, John, is remembered.
And no visit to Sussex would be complete without a visit to Kipling’s beloved Batemans, a lovely seventeenth century house, now looked after by The National Trust and which remains much as it was when Rudyard Kipling and his family called it home.
For a weekend or longer break, with a poetic twist, a holiday cottage or vacation rental in Kipling’s Sussex is hard to beat.