Stay in the heart of Exmoor National Park, with the sweeping hills, wooded combes and glorious seascapes. Spend the festive season in Exmoor, socialising and walking in this beautiful place. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.
- Head out on guided walks to discover the varied beauty of Exmoor on foot
- Plenty of exercise to walk off the festive excesses
- Admire panoramic moorland views and expansive seascapes
- Let an experienced leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
- A choice of guided walks in spectacular winter scenery
- Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about the history of the moors and coastline
- Discover the clarity of the night sky in this International Dark Sky Reserve
- A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of England’s most beautiful walking areas
- Evenings in our country house where you can share a drink, celebrate and re-live the day’s adventures
- Relax, soak up the party atmosphere, enjoy wonderful festive fare and leave all the organising to us
- Wonderful meals – full selection at breakfast, your choice of picnic lunch, an excellent evening meal, afternoon tea and cakes every day, and plenty of festive sweets and nuts
- A programme of organised walks and activities
- The services of experienced HF Holidays’ guides
- A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
- Any transport to and from the walks
On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.
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.
Our easier walk starts from Washford station, passing through Withycombe Village, on the way to the medieval village of Dunster with its impressive Castle. The medium and harder walks both start from the house and finish in Dunster. The medium walk takes in the charming, National Trust-owned village of Selworthy whilst the harder walk goes via the chocolate box cottages of Luccombe and Wootton Courtenay.
All three walks return to the house today via the wild moorland, combes and woodland of Exmoor. The easier walk heads across Porlock Common from the turnpike road and then along Granny’s Ride, around Halse Combe and through Horner Woods. The medium walk finds Shillett Combe, Tarr Ball Hill, and Pool Bridge while the harder group starts at the Culbone Inn crossing the moors to Larkbarrow then on to Lucott Cross and Hawke Combe. All three groups finish through Horner Woods and on to the house.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
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.
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.
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.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
“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.
- 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)
- Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
- A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
- 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
- Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
- Waterproof rucksack liner
- Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)
Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
27 Dec - 30 Dec
|3||Twixmas||£429||Available||Trip Notes||Book Now|
3 nights from £429pp
...or call 020 3974 8865