Knepp Castle Estate
Knepp is a popular place to visit - arrive early!
Discover the best of this 3,500 acre country estate on one of two way-marked walking trails.
* Wildlife! Red and fallow deer, free-roaming cattle, ponies and pigs. Learn more about Knepp's rewilding project here.
* Stunning lake - visit the bird hide and use the information boards to identify waterfowl
* See the castle ruins and climb to the top of one of the fabulous tree house platforms
Knepp Campsite, New Barn Farm, Swallows Lane, Dial Post, RH13 8NN
£5/vehicle (cash). Until recently (early June 2020) parking was by donation, but is now a fee.
Castle Walk (8.8 km, purple route), Butterfly Platform Walk (4.5 km, white route)
All day, every day
We followed the 'Castle Walk' route (purple way-marks), beginning at the walkers car park (see map). The walk is mostly flat and cross-country across fields and is therefore bumpy and uneven (not suitable for pushchairs).
Whilst the route was generally fairly easy to follow, some of the purple way-marks were tricky to spot and we needed to refer to the map in places. We saw Knepp Castle Ruins, Knepp Lake and Shipley Windmill en route and also got to climb up to a couple of the tree platforms (a highlight for our daughter)! Although the walk also takes you within sight of the modern Knepp Castle, you don't get a great view (side on), which was a little disappointing, given the name of the route!
Looking for a shorter walk? The 'Butterfly Platform Walk' (4.5 km, white way-marks) is one option (one we've yet to try out!), another is to do just the first part of the 'Castle Walk', taking in the ruins and lake. Children will love spotting birds from the hide!
Winter walking: In our opinion, this walk is best-avoided in the, wet winter months. Part of the purple-route crosses the River Adur, and the fields in this area are very low-lying. Wellies would be essential after any significant rainfall, and the walk across bumpy fields where cattle have been grazing would be hard going!
Dogs: Please keep dogs on a lead at all times. It is essential that visitors keep to public footpaths - as birds and other species which are part of Knepp's rewilding project may be breeding.
Refreshments: We understand that coffee/cake is now available (June '20) at a cafe situated close to the car park (open Weds-Sun). We are unsure whether this will remain open beyond the summer.
Parking + Popularity: We visited Knepp on a sunny Sunday morning in late May 2020. We arrived at 9am and parked in one of the last remaining spaces in the small 'Walker's' car park. Upon our return (at 11:50am) both the 'Walker's' and 'Camping' car parks were chock-a-block, with drivers having to perform tricky manoeveurs to return to the road via the single track driveway.
Since our visit, Knepp has featured on the BBC's Springwatch (in relation to the rewilding project and nesting White Storks) and has become even more popular. Additional temporary field parking is now available, situated opposite the entrance to New Barn Farm (see map).