Holnicote House

Exmoor

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

There’s plenty to look forward to at this beacon of Somerset hospitality near the impossibly pretty village of Selworthy. The location couldn’t be more perfect; within rolling-out-of-bed distance from Exmoor National Park and an easy drive from Dunster Castle, Coleridge Cottage, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, and the sandy delights at Porlock and Minehead. The walking opportunities here are standout, too, not least for the trails around the Quantock Hills, Dunkery Beacon, Bossington, and a section of the England Coast Path that takes you on a glorious journey along the county’s coastline.  

 

Holnicote House

  •  Open March to November and during the festive season  •  32 well-appointed guest rooms  •  Exclusive occupancy: 40 guests minimum •  Check in from 4:00pm  •  Free Wi-Fi  •  Free on-site parking  •  Boot room and drying room  •  Travel cot & high chair  •  Discovery Point offering a wide range of local area maps, route guides, and information for self-guided walks  •  Books and games to borrow  •  Licensed bar  •  Two lounges  •  Garden with croquet lawn  •  Well-behaved dogs welcome on self-guided holidays  •  Electric vehicle charging point - Please note, you will need to bring your own cables to use this EV charging point Visit England - Guest Accommodation 

Then & now at Holnicote House

Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, there have been at least four successive houses of varying sizes built at the manor of Holnicote over a 500-year period. Until the 20th century, it was owned by the Acland family who saw it though a few fires, rebuilds, and restorations during their almost 200-year occupancy. They built the present Holnicote House in 1861 and it remained in the family thereafter (minus its thatched roof that was destroyed by yet another fire in 1941 and replaced with tiles from another estate building). In 1944, Sir Richard Acland, 15th Baronet, and his wife, Lady Ann, donated the entire Holnicote Estate (along with Killerton, their Devon ancestral home) to the National Trust in a bid to keep them ‘safe and unspoiled for all time’. The combined value of both estates was estimated at £250,000, making this the largest single acquisition in the organisation’s history.  

Used as a nursery and nursery nurse training school during the 1940s, Holnicote House has been part of our HF Holidays line-up since 1952. Set right at the heart of the Holnicote Estate – a 12,500-acre landscape of heather-covered moorland, ancient woodland, and rocky coastline – it comes with 150 miles of footpaths and bridleways and plenty of sublime grounds which offer free rein to wander. You’ll find 32 well-appointed guest rooms in three categories (Classic, Premium, and Superior), two comfortable lounges, peaceful gardens, a croquet lawn, books and games to borrow during your stay, plus a handy boot and drying room. There’s also a Discovery Point offering a wide range of local area maps, route guides, and easy-to-follow information for self-guided walks. Equally worthy of your attention is the licensed bar and the dining room for a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Holnicote House has 32 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. 

We love: The rooms in the main building or the thatched grounds, especially Rooms 1 and 4. The first floor rooms have fabulous views across Crawter Hill and Dunkery Hill. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments. 

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Holnicote House

House calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Discover Exmoor

Places to visit

Whether you’re enjoying a guided or self-guided walking holiday, there’s always the opportunity to linger for longer. Here’s our pick of the very best things to see and do within easy travelling distance of Holnicote House. 

Selworthy

Less than a mile away, this charming village delights with well-preserved thatched cottages as well as the All Saints church with its painted nave ceiling and 18th century gallery. There are several footpaths leading from the village up to Selworthy Beacon. 

West Somerset Railway

As the longest heritage line in England, this true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway has 10 stations on its 20-mile scenic journey from Minehead to Bishops Lydyard. Minehead station is just a 10-minute drive away.  

Dunster Castle

A medieval castle transformed into a stately home for the Luttrell family, this characterful dwelling assures fabulous views over Exmoor, Somerset, and the Bristol Channel. Not-to-be-missed interiors include a 17th century carved staircase and rare leather wall hangings.  

Lynton & Lynmouth 

Located on the spectacular North Devon coast, the small rural town of Lynton and coastal village of Lynmouth are the twin resorts connected by a historic cliff railway. The short walk from Lynton to the Valley of Rocks is a definite highlight. 

Coleridge Cottage

A 45-minute drive away, this was the humble home of poet Samuel Coleridge and his wife Sara for three years from 1797. Acquired by the National Trust in 1909, it was here that he wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, and Frost at Midnight. 

Hestercombe Gardens

An hour’s drive away, this 50-acre landscape is home to three historic gardens spanning three centuries of design. Coplestone Warre Bampfylde laid out the Landscape Garden while Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll collaborated on the Formal Garden. 

Arlington Court

Belonging to the Chichester family for 11 generations until it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1949, this Regency house is an hour’s drive away. In addition to the gardens and grounds, there’s a museum in the stables with an interesting collection of over 40 carriages. 

Minehead Beach

Also known as The Strand, this mile-long expanse of sand is perfect for sandcastle-building, beach games, and organised activities such as canoeing and paddleboarding. Please note there is a dog ban in force on the entire beach from 1 May to 30 September. 

Getting to Holnicote House

Getting here

Address

Holnicote House
Selworthy
Minehead
Somerset TA24 8TJ

Tel: +44 (0)1643 862013

By train

The nearest station is Taunton.  

Check National Rail for train times and routes. 

By taxi

From Taunton train station it’s a 27-mile journey taking 1 hour.

For pricing, please contact Minehead Taxis directly.

Minehead Taxis
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Minehead Taxis*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1643 704123

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Holnicote House.

*Minehead Taxis is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The number 28 bus runs between Taunton station and Minehead, taking around one and a half hours. At Minehead, change to the number 10 bus to the Selworthy turn (at the end of Holnicote House drive). A two-minute walk along the drive will bring you to the house.  

For bus times, check Traveline. 

By car

There’s free car parking at Holnicote House if you decide to drive.  

From Bridgwater take the A39 though the southern outskirts of Minehead towards Porlock. You’ll find Holnicote House on the left about four and a half miles out of Minehead.  

By air

The nearest airport is London Heathrow. 

Take the train to London Paddington station where there are direct trains to Taunton. It’s a relatively straightforward journey that’ll should take around 2.5 hours.  

Bristol Airport is also an option. From here, you can take the bus and train to Taunton. 

Check National Rail for routes and train times.