Area Guide: The Hertfordshire village of Knebworth
- Credit: Supplied by Knebworth House
With beautiful views and an abundance of history, Knebworth is a location with unlimited possibilities. Madeline James found out more
South of Stevenage and just a stone’s throw from the A1(M) is Knebworth, a short drive east of the smaller village of Old Knebworth.
Both are surrounded by nearby villages such as Whitwell, Codicote, Tewin and Kimpton which offer beautiful scenery, adventurous walks and quaint cafés very appropriate for family days out.
Knebworth’s high street is lined with local businesses such as takeaway restaurants, a Co-op store, post office, beauty salon, pharmacy, cafe and bakery.
With everything at your own convenience there’s little reason to travel outside of Knebworth although, if needed, restaurants, bars and high street fashion stores are a short drive away.
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Knebworth offers a wide range of property options, with homes currently on the market including a six-bed house with pool on Old Lane for £2.25m and a one-bed semi on Woodstock for £225,000. According to Rightmove, the overall average property price in Knebworth last year was £436,276.
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Its proximity to nearby towns and cities makes Knebworth a great place for affluent professionals settling in the area. There’s a direct link from Knebworth station to London King’s Cross, with a commute of around 45 minutes. There are also brilliant commutes for those working in neighbouring towns such as Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City, which are accessible in around 10 minutes by train. With the addition of a regular bus service from the village to the popular towns of Hemel Hempstead, Luton, Harpenden and Hertford, Knebworth is a well connected and well established village.
Knebworth’s rich history is centred on Knebworth House, a stately home with its own tourist-friendly dinosaur trail and adventure playground. Owned by the Lytton family, the spectacular landmark’s 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.
Audio tours of the house are available courtesy of Henry Lytton Cobbold, offering insight into the tales of his ancestors from as early as 1490.
The 28 acres of land surrounding the house have been host to many open air concerts and festivals where famous rock bands such as Queen and the Rolling Stones have made an appearance.
The house has been the backdrop of many famous films such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The King’s Speech.
Food and drink
There are many family friendly, well liked pubs and restaurants nearby, such as The Red Lion on London Road, Woolmer Green. It caters for both adults and children with a kids’ play area in the garden and the offer of children eating for free on Sundays.
The Lytton Arms in Old Knebworth is also a stomping ground for beer connoisseurs, with the bonus of locally sourced produce for made-to-order meals. The original Lytton Arms was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the brother-in-law of Lord Lytton. This historic building has since been converted to a private home, right next door to The Lytton Arms.
Community, clubs and leisure
Knebworth has a range of different clubs created by the community, including needlecraft, acting, art and dance. Finding opportunities to get active is not an issue either with sports clubs, a cricket green, football pitch and tennis courts all used for training and hosting popular games and matches. Nature lovers will thrive with plenty of walking routes and grassland areas for picnics.
With Knebworth Primary & Nursery School rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, this welcoming village is the perfect setting for young families. Marriotts School in nearby Stevenage was also rated ‘good’ at its last inspection.