Under 18s GO FREE

Exmoor Family Walking Adventure

Exmoor Ponies
Type: Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3

With outstanding Exmoor scenery right on the doorstep, Holnicote House's extensive lawns are ideal for games, while the outdoor swimming pool is always well used on our family holidays. This area is a must for wildlife lovers with the chance to spot wild deer and ponies.  In the heart of a 12,500 acre estate in the Exmoor National Park, Holnicote House has extensive grounds and an outdoor heated pool, making an ideal location for our guided family walking holidays. 

Holiday Highlights

  • Choice of up to 4 walks per day
  • Take the cliff railway up from Lynmouth to Lynton and explore The Valley of Rocks
  • Spot red deer and ponies as you walk up Selworthy Beacon
  • Enjoy a beach game, visit a falconry centre and take a steam train ride
  • Views stretching all the way to Wales

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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.

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we reopen in the wake of the latest Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. 

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Most swimming pools will reopen on 17 May but those at Alltshellach, Freshwater Bay House and West Lulworth House will aim to reopen on 21 June.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

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 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, 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.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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

Suggested Kit List

  • a rucksack,
  • a waterproof jacket
  • waterproof over trousers,
  • a spare jumper or fleece,
  • sun protection cream,
  • a water bottle (at least 1 litre),
  • some spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • a small torch
  • first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).

    (in spring, autumn and winter)

  • a hat and gloves (Britainis famous for its changeable weather after all!)
  • You might find walking poles useful, particularly for descents (the kids usually find their own big stick en route!).
  • thermos flask for a hot drink
  • sun hat
  • towel for paddling on hot days

Guest Reviews

Type:
Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

from 0pp

Under 18s GO FREE

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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