Kids go free

4 Night Exmoor Family Walking Adventure

Family Afternoon on the Lake Shore
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Family walking holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £625pp

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, old-fashioned trains to hop aboard, 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
  • Exploring Dunster Castle
  • Travelling on the West Somerset Railway
  • Walking to Exmoor’s highest point, Dunkery Beacon
  • Spotting wildlife such as red deer and Exmoor ponies

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 - Allerford and Bossington circular

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 55ft (180m)

Today we’ll embark on a delightful circular walk exploring the charming villages of Allerford and Bossington. We’ll have time to stop and take in the views from the edge of Selworthy Beacon, overlooking picturesque villages and the scenic coastline of Porlock Bay. 

What your kids will love: Stopping off at the thatch-roofed Periwinkle Tearooms in Selworthy for a well-earned cake.

Option 2 - Selworthy

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 1,550ft (460m)

We’ll walk to the enchanting villages of Allerford and Bossington, then continue to the coast at Hurlstone Point. Return via the wooded slopes to Selworthy village. Explore the Holnicote Estate and the charming, thatched cottages of Selworthy. 

What your kids will love: Searching for sea thrift (Armeria Maritima), a pink clover-like flower which can be found around Hurlstone Point. 

Option 3 - Selworthy Beacon

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,350ft (420m)

Today we’ll climb through the woods to the Iron Age hillfort and the wonderful viewpoint of Selworthy Beacon. We’ll soak up the views of the Bristol Channel and Exmoor hills before descending through fields to Selworthy village. 

What your kids will love: Resting your legs at a scenic pitstop located at the ‘Wind and Weather’ Hut near Selworthy Beacon summit. Built in 1878 as a memorial to Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, this memorial has seats on all sides, offering a chance to take in the views and enjoy a bite to eat.

Option 4 - Somerset Coast Path

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 2,050ft (620m)

Today’s walk takes us through woods and along coastal paths as we meander our way to the top of Selworthy Beacon. This section of the coast path has a real away-from-it-all feel as we traverse around three deep combes (valleys) above the sea.  

What your kids will love: Enjoying the great views from the top of Selworthy Beacon - on a clear day you can see across the Bristol Channel to the Brecon Beacons. 


Option 1 - Steam train, seaside, and scenic Dunster

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Ascent: 400ft (120m)

We’ll ride an old-fashioned train from Minehead to Blue Anchor Bay to take in some of Britain’s wonderful coastline. A short walk across fields leads us to the medieval village of Dunster where there’s plenty of time to explore.  

What your kids will love: Imagining the Norman lords who built the original castle, and the Royalists who defended it in the Civil War. 

Option 2 - Headon Cross to Dunster

Distance: 5.5 miles (9km)

Ascent: 700ft (220m)

We’ll embark on a steady climb and ridge walk through the woods of Wootton Common before descending down to the Saxon village of Dunster, home to a magnificent castle.   

What your kids will love: Looking for wildlife down by the River Avill in Dunster – it’s home to golden-ringed dragonflies, sand martins, bullhead fish, and otters. 

Option 3 - Selworthy to Dunster

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,200ft (360m)

Heading straight out from Holnicote House, we’ll follow the track and road to Headon Cross where we’ll see the pretty colours of Tivington Heights hamlet. 

We’ll then head up through a mixed broadleaf wood onto the ridge line of Wootton Common before going down Grabbist Hill to the medieval village of Dunster.  

What your kids will love: Looking out for red deer across the broad ridge line on Wootton Common. Although illusive, you may hear the loud barking call of the stags, especially during rutting season. 

Option 4 - Over the hill to Dunster

Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)
Ascent: 1,650ft (500m)

Today’s walk takes us from Holnicote House to the village of Dunster where we’ll have time to visit the castle and other attractions. Our route takes us through Horner woods to a superb viewpoint, before following the same route as option 2 and 3 along the ridge over Wootton Common.  

What your kids will love: Playing ‘I spy’ from the viewpoint at Webber’s Post. 

 


Option 1 - Luccombe and Horner

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 400ft (120m)

Local estate roads and lanes will lead us to the pretty villages of Luccombe and Horner with its tea gardens. We’ll return to Holnicote House after visiting Piles Mill, an old 17th century corn mill, with plenty of time to relax when we return to the house.  

What your kids will love: Practicing your best snoring. The name Horner comes from the Saxon ‘hwrnwr’ or Hernola’, meaning snorer.

Option 2 - Exploring Horner Hill

Distance: 5.5 miles (9km)

Ascent: 1,000ft (300m)

A circular walk from the house takes us to the pretty village of Horner before  

ascending to the viewpoint of Webber’s Post. From here we snake our way down through Horner woods before crossing fields back to Holnicote House.  

What your kids will love: Keep an eye out for Yogi and Grills as we walk back to the house. They’re a pair of adult Eurasian beavers who live in The Paddock woods, a stone’s throw from the house.  

Option 3 - Dunkery Beacon circuit

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Ascent: 1,950ft (600m)

We’ll climb to the highest point on Exmoor – Dunkery Beacon. We’ll walk through woodland and moorland to reach the summit, returning on a meandering path alongside the delightful River Horner. 

What your kids will love: Stopping for an ice cream at Horner’s lovely tea gardens.

Option 4 - Dunkery Beacon and Great Rowbarrow

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 2,050ft (620m)

We’ll head for Dunkery Beacon, Exmoor’s highest point. We’ll follow a similar route to the option 3 walk, however, return over Stoke Pero Common and past the tiny Stoke Pero Church, also the highest church in Exmoor, which dates back to the 13th century. 

What your kids will love: Being the highest people in Somerset, even if it’s for just a brief moment. 

 


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.    

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

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

Getting to Holnicote House

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

More Information

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. 

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.   

Essentials  

  • 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 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • 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

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

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


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2025

14 Apr - 18 Apr 2025

4 nights

Family Walks

Single from

£735

Double from

£735 pp

from

£735 pp

from

£735

Trip Notes
Enquire

26 May - 30 May 2025

4 nights

Family Walks

Single from

£829

Double from

£829 pp

from

£829 pp

from

£829

Trip Notes
Enquire

27 Oct - 31 Oct 2025

4 nights

Family Walks

Single from

£625

Double from

£625 pp

from

£625 pp

from

£625

Trip Notes
Enquire

Important information

Maximum 3 free child places under 11 years per full paying adult price on UK country house stays.

Family rooms are subject to availability. Sole occupancy charges may apply. 

Children under 11 go free

Children 11-17 years on 4-night in 2024: £65pp and 2025: £89pp

All children's rates are based on sharing a guest room with one or more adults.

Children under 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on all walks, though this need not be a parent or guardian

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

4 nights from £625pp

Kids go free

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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Carbon Footprint 73Kg of CO₂e

Average carbon footprint per person Learn More