Area Guide: The popular Hertfordshire village of Knebworth
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
An unassuming Hertfordshire village that just happens to be home to one of Britain's most celebrated live music venues/movie locations, there's more to Knebworth than meets the eye...
South of Stevenage and just a stone’s throw from the A1(M) is Knebworth, which is just a short drive east of the smaller village of Old Knebworth.
The Grade II* listed Knebworth House is the area's best-known attraction, an imposing turreted, gargoyle-clad building, amalgamating Tudor, Gothic and Victorian styles.
Owned by the Lytton family, its most famous resident was Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, a Victorian novelist and playwright who famously coined the phrase 'the pen is mightier than the sword'. Charles Dickens visited the Lyttons and wrote many letters to Edward.
The house has featured in countless Hollywood movies, including 2010 Oscar-winner The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth as Prince Albert, and Paddington 2, starring Hugh Grant. It also doubled as Wayne Manor for 1989's Batman.
Knebworth House has also hosted many of the world's most famous music acts, from Queen and The Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin and Oasis.
It’s worth a visit for its 250-acre deer park and beautiful gardens, too, and kids will love the dinosaur trail and Fort Knebworth adventure playground.
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Shops and restaurants
The village has a bustling high street, with a Co-op shop, post office, florist, several estate agents' offices and a handful of takeaways, among other amenities.
On Park Lane in Old Knebworth is the popular family run pub, The Lytton Arms. The original venue was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the brother-in-law of Lord Lytton.
This building has since been converted to a private residence, next door to the current Lytton Arms, which was constructed in 1877. Boasting real ales, an extensive food menu and a beer garden with beautiful views, it's a popular spot.
According to Rightmove, the average sale price for property in Knebworth last year was £517,117, a 4 per cent increase on the 2019 peak of £497,965.
Homes currently on the market locally include a five-bed detached house on Stevenage Road for £1.1m, a two-bed semi on Broom Grove for £400,000 and a one-bed end terrace on Kerr Close for £275,000.
There has been a school at the heart of the village for over 100 years. While there are more than 400 children on roll at Knebworth Primary and Nursery School, it prides itself on having a "small school feel". Rated 'good' by Ofsted at its last inspection, it has a breakfast club each school day from 7.45pm and an after school club until 6pm.
Nearby options for older children include Barnwell middle and upper school and Marriotts School, which are 'good' co-ed state schools in nearby Stevenage.
Travelling to the heart of London is easy, with a direct train from Knebworth to King's Cross taking just over half an hour.
With convenient access to the A1(M) and regular bus routes connecting the village to neighbouring towns of Hatfield, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City, it's easy for residents to travel in and out.
Sports and leisure
Knebworth is bursting with activities and recreational opportunities.
Just a short stroll from the high street is Knebworth Recreation Grounds, which is great for letting the little ones run wild.
Knebworth Youth FC is also based here, and offers teams for boys and girls from age three upwards. They also have two senior men’s teams and a team of veterans.
In addition, the park has cricket pitches for its junior and senior teams, including a girls' section, while tennis courts offer those with a good hand the opportunity to participate in a choice of sessions for all ages.
Lytton Fields and King George V Park also offer playgrounds for younger children amid their vast open spaces - perfect for picnics in the summer months and walks with the dog.