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Walk 156: Old Knebworth North Long Loop

5.3 miles (8.4 km) with 119m of total ascent

Footpath leaving Burleigh Farm
This is a longer version of Walk 76: Old Knebworth N Loop (3.1 miles). The first six sections and the final three sections are the same. But this walk includes another eight sections crossing an interesting area of farmland to the north and west where the farmer has taken the trouble to erect information boards alongside the footpaths explaining what is growing or grazing in the fields and why the land is being used for each particular farming activity. It's worth doing these extra few miles just to read the signs.

You will walk through the grounds of the Knebworth House estate on public rights of way. You do not have to pay an admission charge to use the public footpaths that cross the estate so long as you don't stray from them and don't visit any of the estate facilities, which includes the cafe and toilets.

The Knebworth House Estate stages concerts and other events, and, in some cases, the public rights of way will be closed while events take place. Please check on the estate's website before you set off to avoid disappointment.

Several fields along the route have been left uncultivated, resulting in an abundance of wild flowers, bees, and butterflies. We saw several Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown butterflies along this stretch. You will also pass through woodland with three ancient burial barrows from the Bronze Age and Roman period - all listed by Historic England. As with Walk 76, this walk starts and finishes at the Lytton Arms.


Map for Walk 156: Old Knebworth N Long Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map below these directions
Those with GPS devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk. We've added What3Words location references for those who use that system. If you print these walks you might want to use the green PrintFriendly icon at the bottom of these directions to delete elements such as photographs.

1: As you face the Lytton Arms take the footpath that runs down the left (NE) side of the pub (location - https://w3w.co/never.aspect.artist). This is Knebworth footpath 14 which you follow ESE for 130m to a footpath crossing (location - https://w3w.co/translated.basis.mouth).

Continue heading straight ESE, still on Knebworth footpath 14, through the crop until you reach a footpath T-junction (location - https://w3w.co/window.noted.count) in the middle of the field.

2: Turn left on Knebworth footpath 13, then head N for 390m until you reach Park Lane (location - https://w3w.co/deeper.waters.scam).

3: Turn right on Park Lane then walk ESE for 150m until you reach the point where the lane narrows just before the houses on your left. Cross the lane then take the footpath just before the first house (location - https://w3w.co/feared.cube.lung).

4: Head NNE along Knebworth footpath 16 for 530m first passing a play area on your right. Go through a gate then continue through the next field with the hedgerow on your left and the field on your right. Continue with Cowpasture Wood on your left and a field on your right until you reach the corner of the field where you go through a gate (location - https://w3w.co/forced.full.lifted).

Turn left, still on Knebworth footpath 16, and, keeping the woodland on your left and field on your right, head NW. When you reach the corner of the field continue straight and uphill ignoring the path on your right until you reach Old Knebworth Lane (location - https://w3w.co/maps.recent.shared).

5: Across the lane and almost opposite to your left, you will see a gate leading to the Knebworth House estate.

Please read the sign on the gate which contains a number of rules and requests for walkers using the public footpaths that cross the estate. A photograph of the sign is below, but I have copied it for those who want to print these directions without the images.

Notice to Footpath Walkers

You are most welcome to enjoy the Footpaths, we simply asked that you stay on them, and keep all dogs on leads. If you are tempted to use our facilities, further explore the park, gardens, special events, and playground, please be honest and buy a ticket. We do check tickets. Not only will this help support the future of the park, but it enables us to insure your safety. Have a good day!
The notice to walkers on Knebworth House estate Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The notice to walkers on Knebworth House estate
5: Take this path, Knebworth footpath 18, then walk NW for 260m through the estate heading in the direction of the church.
* At some point along this path you might meet a member of staff checking for tickets. If you are a legitimate walker passing through you do not need one, but staff are employed to check that people are in fact passing through the estate on the public rights of way rather than visiting the house and grounds.
6: The path enters the churchyard via a gate and emerges the other side to the left of the church, also via a gate (location - https://w3w.co/digits.hook.rocky).

Continue heading W, now on Knebworth footpath 19, for 140m with Knebworth House on your left, until you reach the estate road (location - https://w3w.co/dollar.things.locked). At the crossroads head NNE on Knebworth footpath 21 down an avenue of trees for 350m in the direction of the distant woodland.

Knebworth House viewed from point 5 above Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Knebworth House viewed from point 5 above
7: On reaching the woodland turn left on Knebworth footpath 22 (location - https://w3w.co/times.mess.worry).

Follow Knebworth footpath 22 as it heads WSW with the woodland on your right and the fields on your left for 120m. At the point where the path forks, take the right-hand fork (location - https://w3w.co/bids.scarcely.paused), see image below.

Knebworth footpath 24 heading into woodland
Knebworth footpath 24 heading into woodland
Follow Knebworth footpath 24, as it weaves NNW through woodland for 290m until you reach a field (location - https://w3w.co/driver.closet.dangerously). Continue heading NW, still on Knebworth footpath 24, for 350m until you reach Burleigh Farm.

Alongside the footpath you will see the first of several noticeboards that explain how the fields you are passing are being used.

The first sign alongside Knebworth footpath 24
The first sign alongside Knebworth footpath 24

The second sign alongside Knebworth footpath 24
8: After passing through Burleigh Farm you will reach a gate (location - https://w3w.co/half.stuff.rats) with three footpath options, see image below and another information board.

Go through the gate then turn right heading to the left of the building
Go through the gate then turn right heading to the left of the building
Go through the gate then take the right-hand path, Knebworth footpath 25, which cuts across a field to the left of a farm building. Continue heading NNE for 270m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/juices.sunset.green).

9: Turn left on Knebworth footpath 27, then head NW across a field for 270m until you reach the hedgerow and a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/fakes.blur.skips).

10: Turn right at the hedgerow then head NE for 40m, now on Knebworth footpath 28, until the path swings to the left (location - https://w3w.co/skins.proper.wing). At this point the path becomes Langley footpath 13 and heads NW for 380m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/hardly.zooms.sleepy).

When we walked this route in late August 2021 the field was ablaze with wildflowers which were attracting various butterflies, including a Speckled Wood butterfly, see image below, and a Meadow Brown.

Speckled Wood butterfly alongside Langley footpath 13
Speckled Wood butterfly alongside Langley footpath 13
11: At the junction turn left on Langley footpath 20 then head WSW for 170m until you reach another junction (location - https://w3w.co/cases.inform.left). Keep left and head SW for 120m, now on Langley footpath 15, until you reach London Road, the B656 (location - https://w3w.co/needed.feared.lovely).

12: Cross the road then take Langley footpath 8 heading SW for 430m until you cross the parish boundary (location - https://w3w.co/zone.calls.asset) at which point the path you are on becomes Knebworth footpath 34 and continues heading SW for another 730m until it reaches a lane (location - https://w3w.co/draw.luxury.silent).

Along the way you will see another sign explaining how the field you are passing through is being used, see image below.

Information sign alongside Knebworth footpath 34
Information sign alongside Knebworth footpath 34
13: Turn left on the lane then head SE for 380m until you reach woodland and a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/dozen.vast.transmitted). This is a quiet lane with verges where you can step aside if a vehicles approaches. We didn't encounter any traffic along this stretch.

14: Turn left and enter Graffidge Wood on Knebworth footpath 38 then head E through woodland for 800m until you reach the B656 (location - https://w3w.co/quite.eagles.salad). This is a particularly pleasant stretch of woodland rich in history.

Knebworth footpath 38 heading east through Graffidge Wood
Knebworth footpath 38 heading east through Graffidge Wood

The Roman burial mound just north of the footpath through the woods
The Roman burial mound just north of the footpath through the woods
There are three barrows (burial chambers) in this wood. There are two Bronze Age bell barrows and one dating from Roman times. All are listed monuments recorded on the Historic England site.

The footpath goes to the north of the first Bronze Age bell barrow which is a funerary monument belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC (location - https://w3w.co/atoms.beside.regard).

The route then passes close to a Roman barrow and another Bronze Age bowl barrow (location - https://w3w.co/decide.jumped.amuse). According to Historic England, "earthen barrows are the most visually spectacular survivals of a wide variety of funerary monuments in Britain dating to the Roman period. Constructed as steep-sided conical mounds, usually of considerable size and occasionally with an encircling bank or ditch, they covered one or more burials, generally believed to be those of high-ranking individuals".

15: When you reach the B656, cross the road and walk down the track on the opposite side for 10m before taking the footpath leading off to the right (location - https://w3w.co/target.defend.juror), see image below.

Knebworth footpath 19 heading SE off the track
Knebworth footpath 19 heading SE off the track
Follow Knebworth footpath 19 as it enters the grounds of Knebworth House estate then heads SE for 60m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/tracks.tolls.nodded).

Ignore the path on the left and continue heading SE, now on Knebworth footpath 20, with the field on your left and the boundary fence on your right.

You will pass through a number of gates then reach a footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/slug.wipes.bleat). Continue with the hedgerow on your left and field on your right until you reach the Park Lane (location - https://w3w.co/scouts.mini.refuse).

16: Turn left on Park Lane and head NE for 10m then turn right down Slip Lane heading SE for 300m looking out for a footpath on your left (location - https://w3w.co/scouts.mini.refuse).

17: Take this path, Knebworth footpath 19, as it heads NE for 250m across the fields to meet the path on your left, Knebworth footpath 14 (location - https://w3w.co/scouts.mini.refuse), which you walked earlier. Turn left and follow this footpath back to the Lytton Arms.

Interactive map


  1. Have done the shorter walk 76 quite a few times but tried this longer loop yesterday and we thought it was a great addition to the original - very open countryside with lovely views. We took the wrong path between points 8 and 9 around Burleigh Farm partly because we were distracted but two very friendly donkeys coming to say hallo to us as we walked through their field! But we got back on track again and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the walk. Would certainly do it again. Thanks for another excellent walk.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I am glad you enjoyed the extra loop, we enjoyed adding it. Nice to hear that you met friendly donkeys and were able to get back on track.

  3. This is a very nice walk, with carpets of bluebells in the woods in April.
    Thank you for taking the time to share it, and all the others on here.

    1. Yes, we love that walk. Might do it again to see the bluebells you mention.

  4. Stunning walk, great variety of field and woodland paths and points of interest, adding it to our favourites list 👍🏻

    1. We love this walk. A favourite of ours. And the Lytton Arms is a great pub. Thanks for the feedback. David


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