On offer

4 Night Exmoor Walking with Sightseeing Holiday

Dunster Castle, Somerset
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided walking
Walking Grade: 2
from £719pp £649pp

These holidays offer a perfect mix of short, guided walks (4-5 miles), combined with time spent sightseeing. Visit a selection of standout highlights in Exmoor with hassle-free coach travel and the help of an HF Holidays Leader.

What you’ll love

  • Visiting Nether Stowey, former home of the poet Samuel Coleridge
  • Following the river from Watersmeet to Lynmouth
  • Walking the Mineral Line to Watchet Harbour, originally built at the time of Alfred the Great

What’s included

  • 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, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walks and sightseeing visits with an experienced HF Holidays Leader 
  • All transport to and from walks and sites of interest 
  • 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 - A Stroll Around Lynmouth

Distance: 4½ miles (7km) 

Ascent: 450 feet (140m) 

Descent: 900 feet (280 m)

In summary: We start with a descent to Watersmeet House today, a Victorian fishing lodge now owned by the National Trust, where two fast flowing rivers meet in a spectacular wooded valley. Walking downstream beside the East Lyn River past deep rock pools, we’ll reach Lynmouth and enjoy time to explore the town. Options include stretching your legs further with a walk out to Valley of Rocks, visiting exhibitions on the great flood of 1952, riding the funicular cliff railway up to Lynton, or relaxing with an ice cream and enjoying the scenery.

Highlight: Exploring the many tea shops and artists’ studios of Lynton and Lynmouth.

Option 2 - Valley of Rocks

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,150 feet (340m)

Descent: 1,700 feet (520m)

In summary: A walk with two distinct sections. From high above Lynmouth at an Iron Age barrow, we descend into the wooded valley to Watersmeet, then continue along the East Lyn River to Lynmouth. We'll then take the funicular railway to explore Valley of Rocks, where goats graze among the jagged pinnacles of rock, before returning to Lynton.

Highlight: Soak up the views as you ride the Victorian cliff railway from Lynmouth to Lynton. This uses water power to lift you 500ft to the town above.

Option 3 - Around Lynton

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,800 feet (540m)

Descent: 2,750 feet (840m)

In summary: From Barna Barrow we take in the sea views from Butter Hill and visit Countisbury Church before descending to Watersmeet. We'll continue along the Tarka Trail to the Victorian town of Lynton, climbing to a panoramic viewpoint above the Valley of Rocks. Finally we descend to Lynmouth via the cliff railway.

Highlight:  Valley of Rocks is a local beauty spot with its own herd of wild goats who roam the precipitous hillsides.

Option 1 - Hilltop to Nether Stowey

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m)

Descent: 1350 feet (420m)

In summary: From high on the Quantock Hills we're treated to fantastic views and glorious scenery as we follow moorland paths walked by Iron Age peoples and Roman soldiers. Descending past Walford’s Gibbet through woodland, we arrive at the village of Nether Stowey, home of the poet Coleridge, with the chance to visit Coleridge Cottage itself.

Highlight: Enjoy the wonderful moorland scenery that inspired poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.

Option 2 - Quantock Foothills

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (400m)

Descent: 1,150 feet (350m)

In summary: From the village of Kilve we walk up into the Quantock Hills, with views of Hinkley Point Power Station and over the Bristol Channel to Wales. Descending past Walford’s Gibbet, we finish our day at Nether Stowey, with its charming buildings and literary connections.

Highlight: The Quantock Hills are home to a herd of wild red deer, as well as an abundance of other wildlife.

Option 3 - Ridge and Combe

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) 

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m) 

Descent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In summary: From the Bristol Channel at West Quantoxhead with its pretty church, our walk takes us up onto the Quantock Hills, picking up the Macmillan Way West as we head over the ridge. We then descend through wooded combes and rocky streams to reach Nether Stowey and its ancient Castle Mound.

Highlight: The variety of scenery encompassed in Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, from the high windswept moorland plateau to deep wooded combes, or valleys.

Option 1 - The Mineral Line to Watchet

Distance: 4 miles (6km)

Ascent: 350 feet (100m)

In summary: From Bilbrook we follow one of the longest river fords in the area to reach the quintessential village of Old Cleeve with its 17th century church of St Andrews. We then follow along the Monks Path to Washford and on to walk the Mineral Line track to reach Watchet. There’ll be time to explore its harbour, originally built at the time of Alfred the Great, and take in the views across the Bristol Channel, or perhaps visit the Market House Museum to learn about the fascinating history of this once important town.

Highlight: Follow in the footsteps of the monks who once made their way to Cleeve Abbey.

Option 2 - Carhampton to Watchet

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 400 feet (120m)

In summary: Leaving Carhampton, we follow fields to the Bristol Channel coast and walk beside the West Somerset Railway line to the pretty station of Blue Anchor. We then turn inland to the 13th century village of Old Cleeve, finishing at Watchet with its harbour and heritage railway station, via the Mineral Line track which formerly carried iron ore to the harbour. 

Highlight: The wander along the sands and shingles of Blue Anchor Bay.

Option 3 - Dunster to Watchet

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200m)

In summary: From the parkland at Dunster Castle, we circumnavigate the gardens and water mill to enter the Deer Park, where red deer and Exmoor ponies can be seen, and on to Carhampton with its church dating back to the Middle Ages. We continue to Blue Anchor Bay with its heritage railway station to reach 13th century Binham Grange. After visiting Old Cleeve church we take the lanes to Washford and follow the old Industrial Revolution railway line to Watchet harbour, with shops, cafes and East Quay arts centre.

Highlight: Glorious coastal scenery and historic railways

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 

Please note

We have a Gentle Guided Walking holiday running alongside your Walking with Sightseeing holiday. This means that each day you will also be able to choose from not only the Walking with Sightseeing itinerary detailed here in your trip notes, but from an addition 1-2 walks options too. Those on the Gentle Guided Walking programme running alongside will have this option as well – of opting for either of their scheduled walks, or choosing the Walking with Sightseeing programme scheduled that day.

Admission fees are payable locally and aren’t included in your holiday price, apart from what is stated in the what’s included section. This gives you greater choice, freedom, and flexibility to only pay the entrance fees for the attractions that interest you most. Should you choose to visit all the highlighted attractions during your holiday please see the table below for the approximate totals. If you have National Trust (NT) or English Heritage (EH) membership, please be sure to bring your membership identification with you.

Approx. cost of entrance fees

3 night holiday

4 night holiday

7 night holiday

NT & EH members




NT members




EH members




No memberships




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

15 Jul - 19 Jul 2024

4 nights

Sightseeing Walk

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£719 pp


£719 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

19 Aug - 23 Aug 2024

4 nights

Sightseeing Walk

Single from

£719 £649

Double from

£719 £649 pp


£719 £649 pp


£719 £649

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4 nights
Guided walking
Walking Grade:

4 nights from £719pp £649pp

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