Knebworth House, a perfect UK day Trip

Whether you live in England or you’re visiting from abroad, if you want to explore beyond the obvious in London, then there are lots of amazing day trips from the capital. One such great day trip, which can actually be done from London, Cambridge or Oxford, is Knebworth House.


History of Knebworth House

Knebworth House is special because it’s been in the same family, the Lytton family, since 1490! That has got to be some sort of record. The estate you see today was remodelled in the 1800s to the current Tudor Gothic style overlooking the acres of parkland and formal gardens all around.

The front of Knebworth House

As of 2019, its residents are Henry Lytton and his family. He had a career in the film industry, living for some years in Los Angeles, and so the house and gardens are frequently used for filming. It was used as a location in The King’s Speech and was even the location for Little Mix’s “Woman Like Me” music video. The house and gardens are also open to the public, and are a wonderful option for a visit.


What to do at Knebworth House

A. The formal gardens

Without a doubt the highlight for me was the formal gardens. They are beautifully done, and include little nooks to sit with benches, rose gardens, a walled garden, little water features and pools, plus many tree lined avenues and areas of woodland which are particularly beautiful in the spring with the bluebells out. The gardens are also full of lots of unique sculptures – I found some giraffes, horses and even some wooden dwarves!

Views of the house from the gardens
Sculptures and bluebells in the gardens

B. Tour the House

The House itself is open for tours. Inside the house is gorgeous, full of wonderful Victorian decor and antique furniture. Picture huge suits of armour, four poster beds, lots of grand staircases, and more chandeliers than anyone could ever possibly need and that’s what you can expect to find inside.

C. Get lost in the maze

For a maze that is only waist height, this was surprisingly hard!!! Or perhaps I’m just an idiot. It’s quite fun though and a decent size so children will love it – and in the middle is a fun little gorilla statue so win-win!

D. Go on a dinosaur hunt or visit Fort Knebworth

Now don’t just think dinosaur trails are for children. Yes, Knebworth has really catered for its smallest visitors, but I visited on my own as a 30-something and even I enjoyed the dinosaur trail. The models are huge and it’s quite fun going and trying to find them all. I drew the line at ticking them off in the dinosaur book, but I was tempted!

Also on site, which I refrained from visiting, is a giant area called Fort Knebworth which is an adventure playground, perfect for kids.

E. Visit St Mary’s Church

Finish off your visit to Knebworth House by popping in to St Mary’s Church. The nave and chancel are the oldest parts of the church, dating from 1120 (the reign of Henry I, son of William the Conqueror), though most other parts of the church were rebuilt in the 1700-1800s. It’s a lovely peaceful spot with nice views out to the house.

The grounds of the house are also often home to festivals, and during the summer run drive in cinemas which you can book tickets to.


Getting to Knebworth House

Getting to Knebworth is easy by car. The site is accessed directly from the Junction 7 roundabout of the A1M motorway at Stevenage South, 29 miles north of London, and there is plenty of free parking on site. You can use the postcode SG12AX and it should get you there. This journey by car will take 1 hour from London, 45 minutes from Cambridge and about 1hr 30 minutes from Oxford.

If you want to arrive by train, then the nearest rail station is Stevenage, two miles from Knebworth Park. There is a taxi rank at the station. Non-stop services run to Stevenage station from London Kings Cross station around every 30 minutes and take around 30 minutes. There are also frequent connections on the East Coast main line from Cambridge which take around 45 minutes.


Other site information

As of 2021 (I visited in May), you have to book tickets in advance to visit Knebworth House. You can purchase garden tickets only in slots starting from 10am-2pm and running throughout the day in 4 hour intervals until 5pm. The cost of this is Β£11.50.

You can also then purchase an all day ticket which includes the house from 11am-5pm, which costs Β£16.50. The house itself doesn’t open until 12pm which is quite late and is a bit annoying, but as it’s a residential home visitors need to be respectful of that.

The lovely gardens

So, what do you think of Knebworth House? Have you ever been, or would you like to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you’re looking to visit you could also tie it in with a visit to St Albans and Hatfield House, to make a weekend break of it.

Thanks for reading; stay safe and happy travelling everyone!

34 Comments

  1. Never visited this place, but it’s really lovely (would love to see it!) And in the same family since 1490 … that’s extraordinary!
    Your pictures of the gardens are beautiful – it seems it’s bluebells-time in the UK 😊.

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    1. Ahh I’m so glad to show you somewhere new -I’m so pleased you like it. I know, it’s mindblowing to think it’s been in the same family for all of that time! And thank you so much – bluebells are gorgeous πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You rock, Hannah ~ another amazing location!! The castle (“house”) is awesome. I suspect it takes most of the morning to walk from end to end πŸ˜‚ Magnificent architecture, and the gardens appear exquisite, well groomed. It’s alway impressive when learning of such old structures still standing, in the present. And, the same family in the house since 1490…thanks so much for sharing your wonderful post, my friend 😊🌹

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    1. Aww thanks so much Phil, I hugely appreciate that. Haha it probably does!!! It’s so special it’a been in the same family for that long, what an amazing house it is and we’re so lucky we can visit it!!! Thanks for your lovely comments and have a wonderful evening πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am always interested in these big houses that have survived the centuries, the fact that they are still inhabited gives them a little extra soul that an administration is not capable of.

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    1. It’s amazing how many have survived isn’t it, it never ceases to amaze me! And yes it’s just so unique that it’s been in the same family for so many hundreds of years – I bet it could tell a lot of stories! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The photo filter you took of the estate really brings out that slight, antique atmosphere to the place– I love it! To take a stroll through the gardens and domain for a day in the springtime would be that “countryside dream.” And being close to London certainly doesn’t hurt, either!

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  5. That’s pretty neat that the Knebworth House has stayed within the family since 1490. The gardens look beautiful. I love that they’ve opened up their house and allow for tours. I really want to re-watch The King’s Speech now.

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  6. I actually used to live in Knebworth and Martha Lytton Cobbold is my youngest son’s Godmother; and our daughters were great friends so I know all the house including the private quarters very well. Martha and Henry are lovely.
    I got married in the church, all my children were christened there and we visited many many times and have great memories of the house and grounds.
    I also used to work in the house and know a huge amount about the history.

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    1. Hi Kerry, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Your connection with the house and the family is amazing – how special to have been married in the church there and to spend so much time in the house with your family. It’s so beautiful and I felt incredibly lucky to be able to visit to see just a little bit of what Knebworth House has to offer. Have a lovely weekend.

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