7-Night Exmoor Walking with Sightseeing Holiday

Summer sunset over the Valley of Rocks, near Lynton in the Exmoor National Park, Devon, UK
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Walks with sightseeing
Walking Grade: 2
from £924pp £874pp

Take time to discover the landscape and heritage of Exmoor and the Somerset coast with this perfect mix of guided walks with sightseeing visits. Each holiday visits a selection of museums, historic buildings and attractions, whose entrance is optional. Please allow up to £45 for admissions, less if you bring your National Trust card.

Holiday Highlights

Highlights

  • Glimpse wild Exmoor ponies as you walk to the famous clapper bridge at Tarr Steps.
  • Visit historic Dunster and it's impressive castle
  • Walk in the footsteps of Coleridge & Wordsworth
  • Visit Victorian Knightshayes Court with its impressive gardens
  • Follow the river from Lynmouth to Watersmeet, a Victorian fishing lodge.

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.


Distance: 4½ miles (7.5km)

Ascent: 950 feet (280m)

In Summary: We walk from Holnicote House to Allerford to see the much photographed pack-horse bridge, before taking to the woods and visiting a chapel of ease and the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre, both at Lynch. We continue to the village of Bossington before climbing to a historic vantage point with spectacular views across the Bristol Channel to Wales. After a short ascent, we arrive at Hurlstone Point before turning back towards Holnicote House.

 


Distance: 3½ miles (6km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m)

Descent: 1,400 feet (440m)

In Summary: Starting from Barna Barrow, we follow the South West Coast Path to Watersmeet House, a Victorian fishing lodge now owned by the National Trust. We walk downstream beside the East Lyn River to Lynmouth, where we've 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.

 



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:4 miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 900 feet (280m)

Descent: 700 feet (220m)

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: 4½ miles (7km)

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.

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 Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: 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, 4 or 9 to feel suitably special.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 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, outdoor swimming pool, 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. Take a dip in the large heated outdoor pool. For something less strenuous, 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.

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. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Holnicote House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the wood panelled dining room with its giant fireplace hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try classic Porlock oysters or Priddy Oggies, a local pasty of chicken, bacon and cheese. Mains might include Exmoor venison or Bellbrook valley trout, while you could cap it all with a Somerset apple cake, dressed with cream.

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

Getting to Holnicote House

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

More Information

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
06 Jun / 13 Jun Version 1 (runs 2020) £924 £874 Save £50 Per Person Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Walks with sightseeing
Walking Grade:
2

7 nights from £924pp £874pp

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