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Walk 199: Knebworth North-West Long Loop

7.6 miles (12.3km) with 469ft of ascent
or
5.4 miles (8.7 km) with 272 ft of ascent


Knebworth footpath 10 between points 4 and 5
Knebworth footpath 10 between points 4 and 5
This is a lovely walk across the rolling countryside NW of Knebworth. The route follows well-defined paths crossing open farmland and passes through woodland. It starts and finishes at Knebworth train station and has been added for those who want to access walks via public transport rather than taking a car.

Because the route starts at Knebworth train station it involves 1.4 km of road walking at the start and 1.5 km at the end. However, once you are west of the A1(M) the route mostly follows footpaths and bridleways.

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 (see notice about point 10 in these directions).

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.

At one point, soon after you leave the estate, you will pass through woodland with ancient burial mounds from the Bronze Age and Roman period - all listed by Historic England.

You will pass close to two pubs along the route, The Lytton Arms in Old Knebworth and The Robin Hood & Little John in Rabley Heath. The walk starts and finishes at The Station pub/restaurant opposite Knebworth station. All serve tea and coffee. There are several cafes in Knebworth.

There are signs along the route advising dog walkers to keep their petsw on a lead.

Directions


Those familiar with our walks will notice that this route follows paths that feature in the following walks: The main route is 7.6 miles. You can download the GPX navigation file for that route. However, we also have a shortcut (shown with an orange line on the map below between points 11 and 18) which reduces the distance to 5.4 miles. The GPX navigation file doesn't include that shortcut. Please follow the text, images and What3Word references if you want to take the shortcut.

Map for Walk 199: Knebworth North-West Long Loop
Map for Walk 199: Knebworth North-West Long Loop
Click here or on the map above for a larger version
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.

The Station free house at the start/finish of the walk
The Station free house at the start/finish of the walk
1: With your back to Knebworth station (location - https://w3w.co/rock.oddly.system) and facing The Station free house, turn left then head S along Station Approach for 50m until you reach Gun Lane (location - https://w3w.co/ally.noise.driver), see image below.

Head S on Gun Lane, with the railway on your left
Head S on Gun Lane, with the railway on your left
Head S on Gun Lane, with the railway on your left, for 100m until you reach the British Legion social club on your right. Immediately after the club is a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/tunnel.spark.critic), see image below.

Turn right on Knebworth footpath 8 then head SW
Turn right on Knebworth footpath 8 then head SW
2: Turn right on Knebworth footpath 8 then head SW for 120m walking between houses until you reach a road called Lytton Fields (location - https://w3w.co/locate.pines.reform). Cross Lytton Fields and continue along Knebworth footpath 8 for 95m with a play area on your right until you reach a road called Stockens Dell (location - https://w3w.co/loving.label.urgent). Continue heading SW along Stockens Dell, still on Knebworth footpath 8, for 240m until you reach the end of the road and a footpath on the right which cuts between houses to reach Gypsy Lane (location - https://w3w.co/reward.ants.member), see image below.

Heads SW on Gypsy Lane for 400m
Heads SW on Gypsy Lane for 400m
3: Heads SW on Gypsy Lane for 400m until the lane bends left as it meets the A1(M) (location - https://w3w.co/never.scared.cotton), then heads S with the A1(M) on the right. After 290m you will reach a junction on the right (location - https://w3w.co/serves.detail.swung) and a bridge over the A1(M) (location - https://w3w.co/privately.cycles.decks), see image below.
* There isn't a pedestrian pavement along the first part of Gypsy Lane but there are options to stand aside on the verge if traffic approaches.
Wych Elm Lane turning off Gypsy Lane
Wych Elm Lane turning off Gypsy Lane
4: Turn right at the junction then head W along Wych Elm Lane for 200m, crossing the A1(M) and continuing to the point where the lane bends left and you reach a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/luck.shiny.sticks), see image below.

Knebworth footpath 10 heading off Wych Elm Lane
Knebworth footpath 10 heading off Wych Elm Lane
Turn right on Knebworth footpath 10 then head W for 370m until you reach a footpath junction in the hedgerow on the right (location - https://w3w.co/fact.flat.grand), see image below.

Turn left on Codicote footpath 29
Turn left on Codicote footpath 29
5: Once through the hedgerow turn left at the metal gate on Codicote footpath 29 then head SW for 160m until you reach Slip Lane (location - https://w3w.co/across.wheels.salad).
* At this point you could head SW for 65m to visit The Robin Hood & Little John.
The Robin Hood & Little John at Rabley Heath
The Robin Hood & Little John at Rabley Heath
If you don't want to visit the pub, turn right when you reach Slip Lane then head NW. After 140m you will pass a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/charmingly.rots.zips). Ignore this path and continue along Slip Lane for another 230m until you reach a footpath on the right heading into New Wood (location - https://w3w.co/else.comical.sunk), see image below.

Turn right on Knebworth footpath 13
Turn right on Knebworth footpath 13
6: Turn right on Knebworth footpath 13 then head NNW through woodland for 300m, ignoring paths to your left and right, until you reach a field (location - https://w3w.co/else.codes.rise), see image below.

When you reach the field head N on Knebworth footpath 13
When you reach the field head N on Knebworth footpath 13
When you reach the field head N on Knebworth footpath 13 for 430m, ignoring a footpath crossing from left to right, and continuing until you reach a footpath on the left in the middle of the field (location - https://w3w.co/window.noted.count), see image below.

Turn left on Knebworth footpath 14, then head NW
Turn left on Knebworth footpath 14, then head NW
7: Turn left on Knebworth footpath 14, then head NW for 220m until you reach a footpath junction at the edge of a garden on your right (location - https://w3w.co/translated.basis.mouth). Continue heading NW, on Knebworth footpath 14, for 130m until you reach Park Lane (location - https://w3w.co/racing.tidy.congratulations).

8: Turn left on Park Lane then pass The Lytton Arms on the left (location - https://w3w.co/oval.sake.vivid), see image below.

The Lytton Arms in Old Knebworth
The Lytton Arms in Old Knebworth
Continue heading SW along the pedestian pavement that runs along the northern side of Park Lane for 340m until you reach a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/desks.define.search), see image below.

Turn right on Knebworth footpath 20
Turn right on Knebworth footpath 20
9: Turn right on Knebworth footpath 20 then head NW, with the hedgerow on the right and field on the left for 190m until you reach a footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/damage.stored.drag), see image below.
Cross the footbridge then go through a gate into the Knebworth Estate
Cross the footbridge then continue heading NW for 600m through the Knebworth Estate with the hedgerow on the left and field on the right. As you enter the estate you will see warning signs advising dog owners to keep their pets on the lead.

The signs are not ornamental, we met a large herd of deer just beyond the gate
The signs are not ornamental, we met a large herd of deer
The signs are not ornamental, we saw a large herd of deer about 400m to the NW immediately after passing through the gate. Whenever we have walked any of our routes that cross the estate we have encountered deer.

Continue heading NW until you reach a high fence (location - https://w3w.co/buddy.copies.handle), see image below.

The gate along Knebworth footpath 20 signifying the restricted area
The gate along Knebworth footpath 20 signifying the restricted area
To the right of the gate is a notice informing walkers that they are welcome to enjoy the footpaths (which are public rights of way, but that they must stay on them and keep all dogs on leads. It goes on...
"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."
Notice to footpath walkers
Notice to footpath walkers
10: Continue heading NW, still on Knebworth footpath 20, with the fence on the left and field on the right for 260m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/tracks.tolls.nodded), see image below.

Keep left on Knebworth footpath 19
Keep left on Knebworth footpath 19
Keep left at the junction, now on Knebworth footpath 19, then head NW for 80m until you reach the B656 (location - https://w3w.co/jabs.roses.comical).
* If you want to do the shorter version of this route, which is 5.4 miles long (8.7 km) with 272 ft of ascent, then turn right here at the junction on Knebworth footpath 22 then head ENE for 710m to rejoin the route soon after point 18. See orange line on map below.
The shortcut between points 11 & 18 marked in orange
The shortcut between points 11 & 18 marked in orange
11: If you don't take the shortcut, cross the B656 to enter Graffidge Wood (location - https://w3w.co/fallen.bubble.mile), see image below.

Knebworth footpath 38 heading into Graffidge Wood off the B656
Knebworth footpath 38 heading into Graffidge Wood off the B656
Head W through Graffidge Wood on Knebworth footpath 38 for 800m until you reach a lane (location - https://w3w.co/value.remove.boil). This is a particularly pleasant stretch of woodland which is rich in history. Be sure to keep following the waymark signs when you reach paths criss-crossing Knebworth footpath 38.

Knebworth footpath 38 heading through Graffidge Wood
Knebworth footpath 38 heading through Graffidge Wood
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 a 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 also 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".

The Roman burial mound just north of the footpath through the woods
The Roman burial mound just north of the footpath through the woods
12: When you reach the lane turn right then head NW for 370m until you reach a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/trail.drip.jobs), see image below.
* 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.
Turn right on Knebworth footpath 34 then head NE
Turn right on Knebworth footpath 34 then head NE
13: Turn right on Knebworth footpath 34 then head NE for 730m until you cross the parish boundary (location - https://w3w.co/zone.calls.asset) at which point the path you are on becomes Langley footpath 8, see image below.

Continue on Langley footpath 8 walking to the left of the hedgerow
Continue on Langley footpath 8 walking to the left of the hedgerow
Continue on Langley footpath 8 walking to the left of the hedgerow (see image above) and heading NE for 430m until you reach London Road, the B656 (location - https://w3w.co/needed.feared.lovely).

14: Cross London Road then head NE for 120m on Langley footpath 15 until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/cases.inform.left), see image below.

Keep right at the junction on Langley footpath 20
Keep right at the junction on Langley footpath 20
Keep right at the junction on Langley footpath 20 then head ENE for 170m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/looked.misty.scuba), see image below.

Go through the gate then turn right on Langley footpath 13
Go through the gate then turn right on Langley footpath 13
15: Go through the gate then turn right on Langley footpath 13 and head SE for 170m until you reach woodland (location - https://w3w.co/keep.boats.fakes), see image below.

Continue through the woodland then downhill
Continue through the woodland then downhill
Continue through the woodland, still on Langley footpath 13, for 50m then leave the woods to walk downhill with the hedgerow on your right and field on the left for 165m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/year.react.deal) where you turn right on Knebworth footpath 28 then head SW for 45m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/blaze.films.called), see image below.

Turn right on Knebworth footpath 28 then left on Knebworth footpath 27
Turn right on Knebworth footpath 28 then left on Knebworth footpath 27
Turn left at the junction on Knebworth footpath 27, then head SE across a field for 270m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/winner.start.festivity), where you turn right for 30m to a gate in the hedgerow (location - https://w3w.co/ruins.spark.proof), see image below.

Go through the gate then turn right on Knebworth footpath 25
Go through the gate then turn right on Knebworth footpath 25
16: Go through the gate then turn right on Knebworth footpath 25 then follow it SSW for 270m across a field until you reach a gate with farm buildings beyond (location - https://w3w.co/gums.drip.glee), see image below.

Head SE between the farm buildings on Knebworth footpath 24
Head SE between the farm buildings on Knebworth footpath 24
17: Go through the gate then head SE through the farm buildings (see orange arrow on image above) on Knebworth footpath 24 for 70m to a gate leading to a field (location - https://w3w.co/copper.beside.meal). Continue heading SE on Knebworth footpath 24 for 290m until you reach woodland (location - https://w3w.co/shade.admits.yard). see image below.

Follow Knebworth footpath 24 SE through the woodland
Follow Knebworth footpath 24 SE through the woodland
Follow Knebworth footpath 24 SE through the woodland for 280m until you leave the woodland and reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/civil.foods.guilty), see image below.

Turn left then head E for 120m, now on Knebworth footpath 22
Turn left then head E for 120m, now on Knebworth footpath 22
18: Turn left then head E for 120m, now on Knebworth footpath 22, until the path turns right (location - https://w3w.co/dash.amuse.shall) then heads SSE on a paved road through an avenue of trees for 330m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/caked.jets.host).

When you reach the crossroads at the end of the line of trees ignore the road on your left and take the footpath on the left, Knebworth footpath 19, (location - https://w3w.co/upper.agree.slows) which heads diagonally across a field to the Church of St Mary and St Thomas, see the photograph and the satellite image below.

Head towards the church on Knebworth footpath 19
Head towards the church on Knebworth footpath 19

Knebworth footpath 19 heads E from the junction to the church
Knebworth footpath 19 heads E from the junction to the church
Knebworth footpath 19 heads E for 125m until you reach a gate leading into the churchyard (location - https://w3w.co/entry.venues.script), see image below.

The gate leading to the Church of St Mary and St Thomas
The gate leading to the Church of St Mary and St Thomas
19: When you reach the church turn right then head S through the churchyard on Knebworth footpath 18 and continue until you reach Old Knebworth Lane (location - https://w3w.co/drape.being.amber), see image below.
* You might meet a member of the Knebworth House estate staff checking tickets at this point. Just tell them that you are walking through the estate on public rights of way and that you are not visiting or using the facilities.
Take Knebworth footpath 16 across Old Knebworth Lane
Take Knebworth footpath 16 across Old Knebworth Lane


20: Leave the Knebworth House estate, cross Old Knebworth Lane then take Knebworth footpath 16. Head SE for 130m to a footpath junction at the point where the path dips then rises (location - https://w3w.co/they.couches.wanted), see image below.

Continue heading SE with the woodland on the right and field on the left
Continue heading SE with the woodland on the right and field on the left
Ignore the footpath on the left and continue heading SE, still on Knebworth footpath 16 and with the woodland on the right and field on the left, for 120m until the path bends right through the hedgerow (location - https://w3w.co/breath.hunt.eager), see image below.

Turn right, still on Knebworth footpath 16, then head SSW
Turn right, still on Knebworth footpath 16, then head SSW
Turn right, still on Knebworth footpath 16, then head SSW for 270m until you reach Park Lane (location - https://w3w.co/mild.music.fans).

21: Turn left on Park Lane then head ESE for 850m until you cross the A1(M) (location - https://w3w.co/scary.hill.them). Continue heading along Park Lane for 660m back to the starting point.
* There is a pedestrian pavement along the entire stretch of road back to Knebworth station.

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