4-Night Exmoor Walking with Sightseeing Holiday

Dunster Castle, Somerset
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 2
from £655pp

Enjoy a short break in Exmoor National Park for a perfect mix of short, guided walks (4-5 miles) combined with time spent sightseeing. A full day is given to explore in an around the historic village of Dunster with its castle and deer park. There’s also a walk up in the Quantock Hills, familiar to the poets Coleridge and Wordsworth; the walk ends at the village of Nether Stowey where Coleridge once lived. A walk along the Two Moors Way leads to Tarr Steps with its ancient clapper bridge while a visit to the Victorian country house of Knightshayes Court gives the chance to admire its beautiful gardens and interior.

Holiday Highlights

  • Glimpse wild Exmoor ponies as you walk to the famous clapper bridge at Tarr Steps
  • Visit historic Dunster and its impressive castle
  • Walk in the footsteps of Coleridge & Wordsworth
  • Visit Victorian Knightshayes Court with its impressive gardens

What’s included

  • From 01 January 2022, all admission fees to places of interest (including National Trust and English Heritage sites) are included in the price
  • All transport to and from walks and places of interest
  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • The services of an HF Holidays Leader

 

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


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 walk in the footsteps of the poets - Coleridge and Wordsworth. Our route takes us through the landscapes that inspired them and down to Coleridge's home at Nether Stowey - Coleridge Cottage.


Distance: 5 miles (7.5km)

Ascent: 950 feet (300m) 

In Summary: Today’s walk gives us the whole day to explore historic Dunster and the beautiful countryside surrounding it. We enjoy a circular route taking us through Dunster's deer park and on a circuit passing below Bats Castle and Withycombe Gate, returning to Dunster giving us plenty of time to discover the history and charm of this medieval wool town. Options include visiting Dunster's impressive castle, the Yarn Market, St Peter’s Church, the Doll Museum and a working water mill; or stretching your legs further with a woodland walk before treating yourself to a visit to one of the many tea shops.


Distance: 4½ miles (7.5km)

Ascent: 750 feet (220m)

In Summary: From Withypool we follow the Two Moors Way and the River Barle, passing through the nature reserve and to the much-photographed clapper bridge at Tarr Steps. In the afternoon we visit the William Burges Victorian masterpiece of Knightshayes Court. Owned by the National Trust, this unique country house is set in an impressive estate. We've time to explore the house, its beautiful gardens and parkland.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Holnicote House

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.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s bright, beautifully presented rooms or in the thatched cottages in the grounds, called Butlers and Guns respectively. With 32 bedrooms, Holnicote House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Classic, Premium and Superior Rooms to choose from: the best rooms are on the first floor and decorated in keeping with the National Trust estate, with plenty of space and great views over the back garden, reaching out across Crawter Hill and Dunkery Hill, Somerset and Exmoor’s highest point. Ask for numbers 1 or 4 to feel suitably special.

All ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ and ‘Superior’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

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.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Food at Holnicote House is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

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

Essential Information

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2022
04 Jul - 08 Jul 2022
4 Sightseeing Walk £655 Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
2

4 nights from £655pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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