Henry Lytton Cobbold comments: “We’ve just filled another Visitor’s Book at Knebworth House. Before I deposit and catalogue it in our Archive for a future generation to discover (I know how much fun that is), I am browsing through it, reading the immediate reactions of people touring Knebworth House between the Spring of 2012 and the Spring of 2015. It’s a heart-warming document, packed with praise – “amazing house”, “truly beautiful”, “really interesting”, “wonderful tour”, “friendly staff”, “magical place”, “real experience”, “beautiful gardens”, “good value”, “well cool!”, “one of the best houses we have visited” – I probably ought to keep it on my bedside table to read every night!
Of course, in the same way that people only tend to write on Trip Advisor if they have had a bad time, people only tend to write in a Visitor’s Book if they’ve had a good time. We don’t currently keep Trip Advisor comments in the Archive, so maybe we are skewing history? I don’t think so. We take all comments seriously and welcome constructive criticism. The way we do things is better for it. And there are always going to be people whose expectations we cannot match – “please ban children under 7” – but they are the grumpy few. Overwhelmingly, the majority of our 100,000+ visitors a year enjoy a good day out at Knebworth House.
So if the general truth is not always obvious on Trip Advisor or in the Visitor’s Book, where is it best found? As we know, in the mouth of babes: Lucy from St Albans, “I wish I could live in this house (and be a princess too)”; Zoe from Dunstable, “I lick all of the rooms”; Niklas from Stotfold, “I fink the Chinese bed is the best”; Sophie from Banstead, “I really liked the seacreat dors!” Sam from Birchanger, “I liked the interesting stuff!”; Henry.