Knebworth House- a fantastic day out in Hertfordshire
What I loved about it:
I wasn’t expecting there to be so much to see and do at Knebworth House, I loved the fact that there really is something for everyone- stunning gardens to look around, play grounds, dinosaur trail, grand architecture and the fascinating history of the house itself and its contents.
Value for money (out of 10):
Knebworth House- a fantastic family day out in Hertfordshire
When you think of Knebworth it’s likely that the first thing that springs to mind are the incredible concerts its hosted. Over the years world renown acts such as Queen, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, and Robbie Williams have drawn thousands of fans to the grounds of this historic stately home.
What you may not have known is that the house and gardens have so much to offer as a day trip, I visited with my kids and a couple of friends to explore all there is to see and do there.
Home to the Lytton family for more than 500 years, this lavish Tudor stately home boasts a romantic exterior complete with turrets, domes and gargoyles, step inside and it’s interior is a treasure trove of historic artefacts and striking works of art.
We arrived just after lunch, the weather wasn’t on our side and it was drizzly so we headed straight to the house and joined a guided tour. These take place throughout the day and are included in the ticket price, they take an hour and you cant really drop out half way through so I was nervous as to whether my son (who’s six) would get bored. I needn’t have worried as the tour is fairly quick paced, with the guide continuously reeling off fascinating facts and pointing out hidden gems to be found. He included Josh in the tour by regularly asking him questions and including him in the narrative which he absolutely loved. (“Mummy this is great, he’s asking me all the questions!”).
The hidden doors in the library were a top favourite, with the winning anecdote being that Mick Jagger left a pair of red pants in the bed he was staying in. A barrage of “but why?” started at that point, I tried to change the conversation by pointing to the nearest door, “oooh look, is that another secret door”, but our guide rather unhelpfully interjected, “no, that’s just the bathroom” (he obviously doesn’t have a six-year-old boy!).
Suits of armour, pieces of artwork from around the world, majestic portraits, historic items relating to literature, politics music and foreign service, as well as every day items from generations past fill the house. The tour could have gone on for longer and we wouldn’t have got bored it was that fascinating.
Luckily for us the end of the tour coincided with the rain easing up so we went for a look around the gardens. The website really doesn’t do it justice as it was jaw-droppingly beautiful with trees and plants from around the world to be found in different areas spanning 28 acres.
One of the friends I was with is a keen horticulturist and was excitingly pointing out the different plants, flowers, trees, herbs, fruit and vegetables. The gardens on their own could easily take a couple of hours to wonder around. Keen photographers will be in their element here too, we went during the week but I expect on some days these gardens would be popular with influencers looking to get their perfect insta shot!
From the gardens you access the Dinosaur Trail which is fun for the kids. As well as the 72 life-size dinosaur models there’s a manual sound maker – crank the wheel to hear the dinosaurs roar- I literally had to peel the boy away from this part. There’s another one for bird noises, I’m sure it’s great but I couldn’t face the breakdown from having to get him away from it so all the distraction techniques came out and he was none the wiser of its existence!
In addition to all this there is an adventure playground, it’s in an area set away from the house and gardens and unfortunately, we didn’t have time to check it out so I would love to bring the family back some time over the summer as it has an astro slide, drop slide, zip wire, bouncy castle, interactive water play and a play fort. Maybe we’ll do this and coincide with one of the many events taking place over the next few weeks and months. They have a food festival, classic car show, outdoor theatre, a dog show and loads of kids’ events- check it out on their event page on line.
Prices for entry to the house, gardens (including dinosaur trail and adventure playground) and exhibition cost £18.50 each except for kids under three years old, who go free. Access to the park and gardens only is £12.50.