Knepp was once a commercial dairy farm, but is now one of the largest lowland rewilding projects in Europe and they operate safaris from Easter to October that take you round the estate in an Austrian Pinzgauer (an ex-army 6-wheeled all-terrain vehicle). There are also a number of public footpaths that crisscross the estate, so you can make your own way round.
What wildlife can I see?
This depends on the time of year. They offer dawn and dusk safaris, along with special trips to see the deer rut, butterflies Purple Emperors are in abundance here), bats and moths, owls and bumblebees.
On a regular trip, you may see Exmoor ponies, rabbits, red deer, fallow deer and Tamworth pigs roaming the estate. The area is home to a number of birds of prey including buzzards, barn owls, goshawk and kestrels. You may also find nightingales, white-throats, cuckoos and turtle doves. Each trip also has a drink/snack stop included, if you do the dusk safari, you may even get a sun-downer drink, whilst you search for bats with their bat detector.
If you are walking round, and staying at the campsite, they have free maps available with suggested walking routes and loops. These also highlight the tree-top look out spots that are dotted around the estate and offer amazing places to stop, rest and of course look out for wildlife.
How to get there
Knepp is found near Horsham in West Sussex, in the South of England, about an hour and a half’s drive from London. The nearest train station is 9 miles away in Horsham and its not very accessible by bus, so car it certainly your best option for getting there.
Where to stay
Obviously, if you want the true Knepp experience, the best place to stay is at the Knepp’s very own camp site. Each pitch comes with loads of space and its very own firepit and grill. There are great cooking and wash facilities (nice hot showers) and a little shop for essentials that also has sofas and a nice fire. If you want a bit more luxury they also have a number of glamping options, including bell–tents, shepherd huts and tree-houses. Some with their own en-suite facilities.
If you’re not a fan of camping, there are a number of hotels in the area, we have stayed a couple of times at Ghyll Manor hotel in Rusper, 20 mins away from Knepp.
Where to eat
If you’re camping, what better than BBQ, cooked on your provided firepit? The shop sells chopped fire wood, fire lighters and other provisions such as fresh eggs, bread and sausages from the estate. There is also the Countryman Inn in Shipley, which is also on some of the walking routes around the area, making it a great mid-walk lunch stop. The Crown Inn, in nearby Dial Post Village also serves traditional pub-grub.