Europe, London, Travel

Day trips from London: Knebworth House

I finally crossed Knebworth House off my Historic Houses Association bucket list on their last open day of 2017. Located near Stevenage in Hertfordshire, this stately home is just over an hour away from London, making it ideal for a day trip.

On the day I visited, access to the house was via guided tour only. The first tour had already filled up when I arrived so spent some time checking out the house exterior while I waited for the next tour.

Unfortunately they don’t allow photos to be taken inside the house so I can’t show you what the interiors look like. However, if you watched the film Victoria & Abdul which was released a few months ago, you would have seen some of the rooms from Knebworth House. It doubled as Balmoral and bits of Windsor in the film, and has also been filmed as Balmoral in the Netflix series The Crown.

The Knebworth House Wikipedia page claims that the Yule Ball Staircase Scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was filmed there but I was disappointed to learn this wasn’t the case. The staircase in Knebworth House looks nothing like the one in the film, and our tour guide told us that no filming for Harry Potter took place at the house. However, the cast have visited the house as they held interviews with the press here ahead of the premiere of the first film.

At the conclusion of the house tour you are invited to see the British Raj exhibition in the Courtyard. The Lytton family (who own Knebworth House) have a connection with India which is presented in this exhibition. I had a brief look inside but didn’t find it very interesting so I went back outside to explore the gardens.

There’s a walled vegetable garden where some baby pumpkins were starting to pop up.

Unfortunately the sunflowers were starting to look a little worse for wear.

There was an abundance of fruit trees.

And still some roses to be found in the Rose Garden.

There’s plenty going on at Knebworth House which is geared towards young families. There’s a maze (which was not as easy as I thought it would be considering I could see over the hedges), as well as a Dinosaur Trail & Wilderness Walk. Within Knebworth Park there’s also an Adventure Playground with slides, a bouncy castle and zip wires.

Unfortunately the house is now closed for the winter, along with most other stately homes. If you can recommend any others that are open during the winter months and are reasonably close to London then please let me know!

Visitor information

  • Knebworth House will re-open on 24th March 2018.
  • Adult entry to the house and gardens is £13. Art Fund members get half price entry and Historic Houses Association members get free entry, although these discounts do not apply on event days.
  • If you are travelling by car there is plenty of free parking at Knebworth House. If you are using a GPS it’s best to use the post code of the Stevenage Novotel – SG1 2AX. From the Novotel just keep following along the same road until you reach the Knebworth House.
  • The nearest train station is Stevenage which is about 2 miles away. Fast trains to Stevenage run from London’s Kings Cross and there is a taxi rank at Stevenage station.
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