Kids go free

3 Night Exmoor Family Walking Adventure

Malhamdale Family Holiday
Duration: 3 nights
Type: Family walking holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3

Exmoor’s heather-clad moorland, wooded combes, and coastline provide an ideal outdoor playground for this family walking holiday. With wild ponies to spot grazing on the hillsides and wow-worthy walks to embark on, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. And when you're not busy exploring the great outdoors, spend time exploring a selection of charming villages and picture-postcard towns, or relaxing in the comfort of our country house.

What you’ll love

  • Meeting other families
  • Riding the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway
  • Spotting lots of different birds on Porlock Marsh

What’s included

  • Family rooms available subject to availability
  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house 
  • Cream tea on arrival day 
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning 
  • Daily packed lunches 
  • Three-course evening meals tailored towards families, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders 
  • Choice of up to four guided walks (on walking days) 
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently  

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You’re welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.

Option 1 - Porlock and Porlock Weir

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.5km)

Ascent: 600ft (180m)

Today we walk through woods and over streams from the village of Porlock to Porlock Weir. Here we’ll be able to spot fishing boats and yachts bobbing up and down in the harbour. The second half of our day takes us past Porlock Marsh, home to lots of birdlife, including oystercatchers, curlews, and lapwings.   

What your kids will love: Spotting lots of different birds on Porlock Marsh. Listen out for oystercatchers - they’re a very noisy wading bird with a loud call.

Option 2 - Porlock

Distance: 5.5 miles (8.5km)

Ascent: 750ft (230m)

We’ll set off on a circular walk from the house, visiting the village of Porlock and the coastal hamlet of Bossington. There are thatched cottages to spot, Saxon history to discover, and even a tale about Danish Pirates.  

What your kids will love: Stopping for a quick game of Poohsticks at the packhorse bridge near Allerford. 

Option 3 - Hawkcombe and Porlock

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 1,050ft (320m)

From a starting place high on the moors, we’ll make our way through Hawkcombe Woods Nature Reserve to the village of Porlock. Next, we’ll walk to Hurlstone Point to check out the old Coastguard station and take in the views, before finally heading inland and back to the house so you can share stories of your adventure with your friends. 

What your kids will love: Once you catch your breath at Hurlstone Point, you might just be able to spot Wales across the Bristol Channel.

Option 4 - Hills and wooded valleys

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Ascent: 1300ft (400m)

From high on the heather-clad moorland we’ll meander through woods and over fields as we make our way back to Holnicote House. Keep your eyes peeled for red deer, there are approximately 3,000 living on Exmoor.  

What your kids will love: The ancient oak trees in Horner Wood. Fun fact: some trees are 500 years old, which means they were standing when Henry VIII was also alive.  

Option 1 - Watersmeet and Lynmouth

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Ascent: 100ft (30m)

We’ll start high on the cliffs overlooking Lynmouth Bay at Barna Barrow before descending through woodland to the old fishing lodge at Watersmeet. There’s plenty to do here – grab some refreshments at the National Trust café, stop to play hide and seek, or paddle in the stream. We’ll then follow the East Lyn River into Lynmouth with ample time to explore the village before heading back to the house.  

What your kids will love: Searching for wildflowers and finding the purple-blue Devil’s-bit scabious flower. The origins of its name are fascinating - the devil was so angry that this plant could cure all types of illnesses (including the plague), he bit away part of the roots.  

Option 2 - Valley of the Rocks

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,500ft (460m)

The first section of today’s route follows the option 1 walk to Lynmouth. From here we’ll take a ride on the funicular cliff railway, ascending 500ft to explore Lynton and the Valley of Rocks.   

What your kids will love: Riding the world’s steepest and highest water-powered railway. 

Option 3 - Around Lynton

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,800ft (540m)

We’ll take the zig-zag path down from Countisbury Hill to Watersmeet before continuing along the hillside to the Victorian town of Lynton. We’ll climb to a panoramic viewpoint above the Valley of Rocks, a local beauty spot with its own herd of wild goats who roam the hillsides. 

What your kids will love: Looking out for the wild goats roaming freely (and often hair-raisingly) on the cliff edges.

Option 4 - Lynmouth Coastline

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 3,200ft (980m)

We’ll follow the magnificent coastal path down Countisbury Hill to Lynmouth, then on to the Valley of Rocks and Lee Bay. We’ll return along an elevated path to Lynton and Watersmeet. 

What your kids will love: The bragging rights of being tough enough to take on the challenge. Although this is our longest walking option of the day, there’ll be plenty of fun, excitement, and adventure along the way. 

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.

Holnicote House

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.    


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.


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

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

Getting to Holnicote House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information


Holnicote House
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. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  


  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Holnicote House Calendar

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

Guest reviews

3 nights
Family walking holidays
Walking Grade:
1, 2 & 3

Call to Enquire

Kids go free

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist