We love to find a hidden gem for a good, long dog walk. While pet sitting long dog trio Raffles, Rocco and Violet in West Sussex we were on the look out for a new walking route, having explored most of the surrounding area during our previous four stays with them. We stumbled upon Knepp Rewilding Project in Horsham and we’re so glad we did! Read on to find out why this is a unique and spectacular place for a walk in nature.

What is Knepp Rewilding Project

Knepp Rewilding Project spans over 3,500 acres of marshland, scrubland and wood pasture, and its sole aim is to create space for wildlife to thrive. Since the project began twenty years ago, endangered species have found sanctuary here – Knepp is home to the first white stork chicks raised in the wild in England for 600 years, and the first beavers living in the wild in Sussex for 400 years! There’s a wide variety of animals and insects who call Knepp home, from old English longhorn cattle to purple emperor butterflies – the latter is the largest colony in the UK. By visiting and supporting Knepp, you’ll help to further this incredible project and support the survival of endangered species.

Where is Knepp Rewilding Project

As the estate is so expansive, there are a few different points of entry depending on the reason for your visit. We recommend heading to the walkers car park – map below – as you’ll be at the starting point for all four walking routes. The car park is well laid out and spacious, with spaces for at least 50 cars, and works on a donation system with a suggested fee of £5 per vehicle.


At the walkers car park you’ll find maps showing a layout of the walking routes, and information about each one. There are bins for rubbish and dog waste, and a small honesty shop with eggs for sale.

At the North end of the car park you’ll find the Wilding Kitchen restaurant, and a shop selling gifts and produce. Knepp also have a cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating, perfect for weary dog walkers looking to take the weight off their feet after exploring with four-legged friends! There’s the option to takeaway hot and cold drinks, and the cafe itself is open Monday-Sunday, with breakfast served from 9-11am and lunch from 12-3pm. Cakes and other light bites are available from 9am-4pm every day – a great little pick-me-up after your walk at Knepp.


There are 4 walking routes at Knepp, ranging from 2.2km to 10km. For a mid-length, varied walk, we recommend the 4.7km orange route, which took us around an hour to complete with our 3 dogs. This route is mostly on grass and takes you on a small loop past the ruins of Knepp Castle – a beautiful sight on the horizon with roaming fields all around. We loved seeing the old English longhorn cattle grazing in their herds, as well as climbing up to view them from above in one of the five tree houses that have been built at Knepp just for this purpose.

If you have time for a longer walk, the 10km red route shows you a bit of everything! The route takes you past 3 of the tree houses, and the white stork’s nest, looping up through Shipley village and down past the bird hide. As we visited on drizzly Autumn days, we chose to wear wellies for our walks and we’d highly recommend doing the same! The paths, while maintained by Knepp, are kept as natural as possible and can become very muddy and water-logged – especially the marshland areas.

Each route is very well-signposted, so they’re easy to follow! Brightly painted arrows mark each turn, pointing you in the right direction as you walk. We’d still recommend taking one of the paper maps with you for reference and returning it upon your arrival back at the car park for future use.

It’s important to stick to the waymarked footpaths at all times, especially if you have dogs with you as we did. The land is natural and there are free-roaming animals all around, and it’s the sole aim of Knepp for these animals to be as undisturbed as possible. Dogs must be kept on lead at all times to avoid disturbing or distressing any of the wildlife, and make sure you keep your distance as the animals can be unpredictable! To avoid any unwanted attention from the wildlife, Knepp also discourage visitors from bringing any picnics to the estate. Instead, head to the cafe for a light bite or sweet treat!

Knepp is a truly one-of-a-kind place to visit, with 16 miles of paths to walk and so much to see that we didn’t even scratch the surface during our visits! Knepp offer on-site safaris in trucks or on foot that take around 2-3 hours, providing a guide to all the sites of interest and expert insight into the Rewilding Project. Knepp also offer glamping stays in tree houses, shepherd’s huts, bell tents and yurts, plus pitches on their campsite AND self-contained accommodation in The Dairy and The Bothy. We can’t think of a more wonderful place to wake up and explore! Knepp is an absolute must-visit in Sussex, whether you visit for the day or stay a while. Head to the Knepp website for more information and to plan your visit.

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