Exmoor Walking with Sightseeing Holiday
Uncover the delights of the Exmoor
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Hills & moorland
Take time to discover the landscape and heritage of Exmoor and the Somerset coast with this perfect mix of guided walks with sightseeing visits. Glimpse wild Exmoor ponies as you walk to the famous clapper bridge at Tarr Steps, and follow the river from Lynmouth to Watersmeet. Other highlights include Victorian Knightshayes Court with its impressive gardens, medieval Dunster Castle, and Coleridge's Cottage.
As a historic National Trust property, Holnicote House is full of charm and character. Located on the extensive Holnicote Estate, at the foot of Exmoor, it is well suited to a relaxing holiday.
Holnicote House has 32 newly refurbished bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the thatched cottages, called Butlers and Guns, in the grounds.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
- 3-night holidays feature walks 4 & 5
- 4-night holidays feature walks 1, 2 & 3
Walks are up to 5 miles (7½m) with up to 950 feet (300m) of ascent. There are occasionally rough paths.
- Each holiday visits a selection of museums, historic buildings and attractions, whose entrance is optional. Please allow between £20 and £40 for admissions, less if you bring your National Trust card.
- The seven-night holiday has a free day on the Monday for you to explore independently.
Walk 1: Selworthy, Hurlstone Point and Bossington
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 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 climb, we arrive at Hurlstone Point before turning back towards Holnicote House. 4½ miles (7½km) with 950 feet (280m) ascent.
Walk 2: The Quantocks and Coleridge Cottage
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. 4 miles (6½km) with 900 feet (280m) of ascent and 700 feet (220m) of descent.
Walk 3: Historic Dunster
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. 5 miles (7½km) with 950 feet (300m) of ascent.
Walk 4: Tarr Steps and Knightshayes
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. 4½ miles (7km) with 750 feet (220m) of ascent.
Walk 5: Lynton and Lynmouth and Valley of Rocks
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. 3½ miles (6km) with 500 feet (160m) of ascent and 1,400 feet (440m) of descent.
During your stay at Holnicote House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Selworthy:
Less than a mile from Holnicote House is Selworthy village. At first glance the thatched cottages seem typical of many ancient settlements in this area. However, Selworthy is not as old as it looks, having been rebuilt in 1828 by Sir Thomas Acland. Sir Thomas was a philanthropist and designed the 'model' village himself to provide housing for the aged and infirm of the estate. He used traditional designs and materials to create a deliberately old-fashioned village.
West Somerset Railway
Travel on Britain’s longest steam railway from Minehead to Bishops Lydyard. Now lovingly restored by volunteers, the line recreates a classic Great Western Railway branch line with steam trains operating daily from April to October. Minehead station is 10 minutes' drive from Selworthy, or can be reached on the number 300 bus. www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk
An historic castle transformed into a comfortable stately home for the Luttrell family. Some highlights include the 'modern' 1950s kitchen and the snooker room. Dunster Castle sits in extensive gardens, complete with its working watermill. The adjacent town of Dunster is full of character and also well worth a visit. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunster-castle
Lynton & Lynmouth
The quaint Victorian town of Lynton sits high on a hill, overlooking the coast and Lynmouth harbour. The two settlements are connected by the historic cliff railway. The short walk from Lynton to the Valley of Rocks is highly recommended.
The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and his wife Sara lived in the village of Nether Stowey, about 45 minutes' drive from Selworthy, from 1796 to 1799. In 1909 it was acquired by the National Trust, and later restored and opened to the public. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleridge-cottage
Hestercombe Gardens, around an hour's drive away near Taunton, were constructed in three periods - a landscape garden from the 1750s, a Victorian terrace and shrubbery from the 1870s, and Edwardian gardens of 1904-1908 designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. www.hestercombe.com
Arlington Court, about an hour's drive away near Barnstaple is a fine Regency house set in an extensive estate. The grounds include a formal Victorian garden whilst the stables house the National Trust’s carriage collection of over fifty horse-drawn vehicles. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court
Travel to Holnicote House
Our address is: Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ
The nearest railway station is at Taunton. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The 29 mile journey from Taunton railway station takes approximately 50 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £56 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Holnicote House Manager.
The number 28 bus operates between Taunton station and Minehead. At Minehead change for the number 10 bus that will take you to the Selworthy turn (which is at the end of Holnicote House drive). A 2 minute walk along the drive will bring you to the house. Alternatively pre-book a taxi from Minehead; the 4½ mile journey will cost you approx £10 from our recommended taxi provider. For bus times see www.traveline.info
From Bridgewater take the A39 though the southern outskirts of Minehead towards Porlock. Holnicote House is on the left about 4½ miles out of Minehead, and about ¾ mile after the signpost to Luccombe (do not follow the signs to Selworthy). After the Selworthy Village sign look out for our sign 500 yards further on, on the left. Free car parking is available in the grounds.
Travelling from Overseas
For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.
From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are direct trains to Taunton. Its a relatively straightforward journey - allow 2½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Bristol Airport may also be convenient for some guests. Take the train to Taunton
From Taunton you can travel on to Selworthy by bus or taxi (see above).
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Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person