Holnicote House

Exmoor

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

Lying near the attractive village of Selworthy, in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, historic Holnicote House stands within a series of peaceful gardens with spreading lawns. Once the centrepiece of an extensive 12,500 acre estate, the charming and characterful house was gifted to the National Trust in 1944. Since then it has been reimagined as a walkers’ retreat, with wonderful access to the countryside. As well as 32 delightful bedrooms, there are two comfortable lounges and a sociable bar. The landscaped gardens are still part of the wider Holnicote Estate and provide a wonderful area to wander. Outside the house, explore wild Exmoor, walk in the Quantocks, climb Dunkery Beacon and stroll on the Somerset Coast Path with the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, drop in Dunster Castle, ride a Victorian cliff railway and watch for wildlife including the majestic red stags. Unfortunately our pool at Holnicote House will be closed for the duration of 2022 due to extensive maintenance requirements.

Our Country House: Holnicote House

Open March to November and during the festive season ● 32 well-appointed guest rooms ● Check in from 4:00pm ● Free on-site parking ● Free Wi-Fi ● Boot room and drying room ● Discovery Point offering a wide range of local area maps, route guides, and information for self-guided walks Books and games to borrow Licenced bar Two lounges Garden with croquet lawn Well-behaved dogs welcome on self-guided holidays 

  

Need to know

The safety of our guests, team, and leaders is always top of our list. We will closely align ourselves with the latest government advice and guidance on COVID-19 and implement the best possible hygiene practices across our country houses. We ask that you take sensible precautions to protect other people’s health and would appreciate you informing the house team immediately if you feel unwell. For the latest COVID-19 FAQs, please visit our Coronavirus Travel Advice Page

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 23-inch TV. 

Premium Rooms are 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, shower cap), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. Please note that an extra charge of £15 per person per night applies for this room type. 

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, shower cap), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. Please note that an extra charge of £25 per person per night applies for this room type. 

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.  

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day walking on Exmoor or exploring the heath and moorland, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the pretty gardens or challenge a fellow guest to a game of croquet. For something equally relaxing, snag a comfy chair in one of the cosy lounges, borrow a book, join a game of cards or scour the countryside through the large telescope. Head to the bar before dinner for a drink and a chance to catch up with your companions, best enjoyed by the windows overlooking the estate. Please note, the large heated outdoor pool will be out of service during the 2022 season in order to allow for extensive repairs.

Unfortunately our pool at Holnicote House will be closed for the duration of 2022 due to extensive maintenance requirements.

Welcome Information

A Welcome Information Pack providing details about the Country House and your holiday will be available in each bedroom. This personal pack of information will detail what to expect during your stay in the house, the menu for the duration of your stay, dinner & picnic lunch order forms and the guest registration form for completion.

Our houses are locked at night-time and accessible with a door code which is available in the Welcome Pack. However, we also recommend making a note of the Duty Manager number on arrival, in case of an emergency or getting locked out.

Evenings

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings to see if you’ve got the knowledge to triumph in the HF Big Pub Quiz!  There will also be another evening of entertainment at the beginning of the week which will vary depending on the house you are visiting.

If there are leaders resident, they will be available to chat to guests about self-guided walks. You can borrow walking route notes and maps from our Discovery Point.

Walks Talks – Guided Walking Information Briefings

Self-Guided guests are always welcome to join our Guided Walking briefings to hear about the local conditions. 

Our leaders will deliver a Guided Walking Information Briefing on each arrival day before and after dinner followed by a group Walks Talk to let guests know about the following day’s walks. Walks Talks are usually before and after dinner prior to each walking day. The information is repeated so you can join whichever time suits you. 

If you are undecided which walk to do, our leaders will be available in the bar or lounge to answer any questions you might have. Our website contains up-to-date information about the walks for each holiday.

Before you leave for your walk your leader will run through a short safety briefing for the day.

Each day, the latest weather forecast will be displayed for all guests to check to ensure appropriate clothing is worn for the walks.

Please note, if you decide to do your own walks, or you are on a self-guided walking holiday, you must 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 licenced 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. Most dietary requirements can be catered for, so please inform us of any food intolerances or allergies at the time of booking. Currently, global challenges such as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are directly impacting our food and drink supply chain. We thank you for appreciating that menu descriptions are kept flexible to allow for last-minute changes if needed. 

Accessibility

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

What's on?

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

Discover Exmoor

Local Area

During your stay at Holnicote House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, on your journey to and from Selworthy or if you are on a self-guided holiday:

Selworthy Village

Less than a mile from Holnicote House is Selworthy village. At first glance the thatched cottages seem typical of many ancient settlements in this area. However, Selworthy is not as old as it looks, having been rebuilt in 1828 by Sir Thomas Acland. Sir Thomas was a philanthropist and designed the 'model' village himself to provide housing for the aged and infirm of the estate. He used traditional designs and materials to create a deliberately old-fashioned village.

West Somerset Railway

The West Somerset Railway is Britain’s longest steam railway with a line which goes from Minehead to Bishops Lydyard. Now lovingly restored by volunteers, the line recreates a classic Great Western Railway branch line with steam trains operating daily from April to October. Minehead station is 10 minutes' drive from Selworthy, or can be reached on the number 300 bus.

Dunster Castle

An historic castle transformed into a comfortable stately home for the Luttrell family. Some highlights include the 'modern' 1950s kitchen and the snooker room. Dunster Castle sits in extensive gardens, complete with its working watermill. The adjacent town of Dunster is full of character and also well worth a visit.

Lynton & Lynmouth

The quaint Victorian town of Lynton sits high on a hill, overlooking the coast and Lynmouth harbour. The two settlements are connected by the historic cliff railway. The short walk from Lynton to the Valley of Rocks is highly recommended.

Coleridge Cottage

The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and his wife Sara lived in the village of Nether Stowey, about 45 minutes' drive from Selworthy, from 1796 to 1799. In 1909 Coleridge Cottage was acquired by the National Trust, and later restored and opened to the public. 

Hestercombe Gardens

Hestercombe Gardens, around an hour's drive away near Taunton, were constructed in three periods - a landscape garden from the 1750s, a Victorian terrace and shrubbery from the 1870s, and Edwardian gardens of 1904-1908 designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. 

Arlington Court

Arlington Court, about an hour's drive away near Barnstaple, is a fine Regency house set in an extensive estate. The grounds include a formal Victorian garden whilst the stables house the National Trust’s carriage collection of over fifty horse-drawn vehicles.

Getting to Holnicote House

Travel Details

Our address is: Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ
Tel: 01643 862013

By train:

The nearest railway station to Holnicote House is at Taunton. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.

By taxi:

The 30-mile journey from Taunton railway station takes approximately 55 minutes. You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended taxi company, Bossington Private Hire. As a guide price, it costs £56 per 4-seat taxi (2022 prices).  A shared taxi will be arranged wherever possible. Please pre-book your taxi at least 7 days in advance by contacting:

Bossington Private Hire*
Tel: +44 (0) 7971 044871
Email: inbossington@gmail.com

The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Holnicote House Manager.
*Bossington Private Hire is not owned or managed by HF Holidays


By bus:

The number 28 bus operates between Taunton station and Minehead. The journey takes around 1½ hours. At Minehead change for the number 10 bus that will take you to the Selworthy turn (which is at the end of Holnicote House drive). A 2-minute walk along the drive will bring you to the house. Alternatively, pre-book a taxi from Minehead; the 6-mile journey will cost you approx.. £10 for a 4-seat taxi from our recommended taxi provider (see above). For bus times see www.traveline.info


By car:

From Bridgwater take the A39 though the southern outskirts of Minehead towards Porlock. Holnicote House is on the left about 4½ miles out of Minehead, and about ¾ mile after the signpost to Luccombe (do not follow the signs to Selworthy). After the Selworthy Village sign look out for our sign 500 yards further on, on the left. Free car parking is available in the grounds.


Travelling from Overseas

For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.

From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are direct trains to Taunton. Its a relatively straightforward journey - allow 2½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.

Bristol Airport may also be convenient for some guests. Take the bus and train to Taunton.

From Taunton you can travel on to Selworthy by bus or taxi (see above).