4 Night Exmoor Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

Exmoor_Selworthy_Beacon_AdobeStock_41761337.jpeg
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided walking
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £959pp

Spend the festive season in Somerset and head out on winter walks that take you through Exmoor National Park. And when you’re not busy enjoying wintry scenery along the South West Coast Path, cosy up in Holnicote House – a beacon of Somerset hospitality near the impossibly pretty village of Selworthy. We pull out all the stops at this time of year and our houses welcome you with a sprinkling of festive cheer, seasonal food, and plenty of yuletide treats. So wrap up warm and step into Christmas with HF Holidays.

What you’ll love

  • Getting into the festive spirit with a guided walking holiday 
  • A choice of winter walks with our experienced HF Holidays Leaders  
  • Discovering the stunning landscapes of Exmoor on foot 
  • Staying in our country house in rural Selworthy
  • Enjoying festive fare and leaving all the organising to us 
  • A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve  

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Cream tea on arrival day
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders
  • Choice of up to three different-grade daily walks
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

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

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Exploring Porlock Vale

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km) 

Ascent: 900 feet (260m)

In summaryThis is a relaxed circular walk across fields and minor roads to visit Porlock and then back along the coast and passing near the charming villages of Bossington and Allerford.

Highlight: The village of Porlock is a great place to visit with it's church, museum, shops and cafes. 

Option 2 - Hawkcombe & Porlock

Distance: 8 miles (13km) 

Ascent: 1050 feet (320m)

In summary: The walk heads through Hawkcombe Wood nature reserve, before reaching the village of Porlock and then heading out to the spectacular Hurlstone Point, before heading inland and back to the house.

Highlight: Hurlstone point offers great coastal views.

Option 3 - Hills and Wooded Valleys

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m) 

In summary: Follow a meandering route from Porlock Hill to Holnicote House. We'll take in the beautiful wooded valleys of Shillett Combe and Horner Water, as well the heather-clad moorland above. 

Highlight: Walk across a carpet of purple heather on the moors in summertime, then descend into the lush green wooded valleys. 


Option 1 - Selworthy

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 1550 feet (460m)  

In summary: Walk to the charming villages of Allerford and Bossington, before continuing to the coast at Hurlstone Point. Our return route traverses the wooded slopes to Selworthy village, with time to explore.

Highlight: Wander through the once extensive Holnicote Estate to the 'model village' of Selworthy, with its collection of 'chocolate box' thatched cottages. 

Option 2 - Selworthy Beacon Circuit

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In summary: Our circuit from Holnicote House ascends through the woods to the top of Selworthy Beacon. Having followed the hill-top path we'll return through the fields to Selworthy village.

Highlight: Discover St Agnes Fountain, a small spring dating from 1820, hidden in the beautiful wooded slopes of Selworthy Beacon.

Option 3 - Somerset Coast Path

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 2,050 feet (620m) 

In summary: Head through the woods to Hurlstone Point, then along the rugged coastal path that meanders along the northern slopes of Selworthy Beacon. We'll then ascend onto the summit and return via Selworthy village.

Highlight: This section of the coast path has a real 'away from it all' feel as it traverses around three deep combes above the sea.


Option 1 - Washford to Dunster

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 210 feet (65m) 

In summary: This walk starts with a gentle walk along Monks Path and crossing countryside before either a choice in exploring the nature reserve or carrying on to explore the historic town of Dunster.

Highlight: A lot to explore if there is time the various places. End the walk with a coffee and cake at Dunster!

Option 2 - Selworthy to Dunster

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1200 feet (360m)

In summary: Heading straight out from Holnicote House, we follow the track and road to Headon Cross where we will see the pretty colours of the hamlet of Tivington Heights. We then head up through a mixed broadleaf wood onto the ridge line of Wootton Common before descending Grabbist Hill to the medieval village of Dunster.

Highlight: Look out for red deer on your journey across this broad ridge line, although illusive, you may hear the loud barking call of the stags especially during rutting season.

Option 3 - Dunster via West Luccombe and Brockwell

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 1,650 feet (500m)

In summary: Walk from Holnicote to Dunster.  Our route takes us along a sylvan track at the foot of Dunkery Hill before traversing the Wootton Common ridge and descending into picturesque Dunster. 

Highlight: Spectacular views across Exmoor and the Somerset coast and the historic architecture of Dunster, overlooked by the hilltop castle.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Washford to Dunster

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 210 feet (65m) 

In summary: This walk starts with a gentle walk along Monks Path and crossing countryside before either a choice in exploring the nature reserve or carrying on to explore the historic town of Dunster.

Highlight: A lot to explore if there is time the various places. End the walk with a coffee and cake at Dunster!

Option 2 - Selworthy to Dunster

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1200 feet (360m)

In summary: Heading straight out from Holnicote House, we follow the track and road to Headon Cross where we will see the pretty colours of the hamlet of Tivington Heights. We then head up through a mixed broadleaf wood onto the ridge line of Wootton Common before descending Grabbist Hill to the medieval village of Dunster.

Highlight: Look out for red deer on your journey across this broad ridge line, although illusive, you may hear the loud barking call of the stags especially during rutting season.

Option 3 - Dunster via West Luccombe and Brockwell

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 1,650 feet (500m)

In summary: Walk from Holnicote to Dunster.  Our route takes us along a sylvan track at the foot of Dunkery Hill before traversing the Wootton Common ridge and descending into picturesque Dunster. 

Highlight: Spectacular views across Exmoor and the Somerset coast and the historic architecture of Dunster, overlooked by the hilltop castle.


Option 1 - Selworthy

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 1550 feet (460m)  

In summary: Walk to the charming villages of Allerford and Bossington, before continuing to the coast at Hurlstone Point. Our return route traverses the wooded slopes to Selworthy village, with time to explore.

Highlight: Wander through the once extensive Holnicote Estate to the 'model village' of Selworthy, with its collection of 'chocolate box' thatched cottages. 

Option 2 - Selworthy Beacon Circuit

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In summary: Our circuit from Holnicote House ascends through the woods to the top of Selworthy Beacon. Having followed the hill-top path we'll return through the fields to Selworthy village.

Highlight: Discover St Agnes Fountain, a small spring dating from 1820, hidden in the beautiful wooded slopes of Selworthy Beacon.

Option 3 - Somerset Coast Path

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 2,050 feet (620m) 

In summary: Head through the woods to Hurlstone Point, then along the rugged coastal path that meanders along the northern slopes of Selworthy Beacon. We'll then ascend onto the summit and return via Selworthy village.

Highlight: This section of the coast path has a real 'away from it all' feel as it traverses around three deep combes above the sea.


Option 1 - Exploring Porlock Vale

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km) 

Ascent: 900 feet (260m)

In summaryThis is a relaxed circular walk across fields and minor roads to visit Porlock and then back along the coast and passing near the charming villages of Bossington and Allerford.

Highlight: The village of Porlock is a great place to visit with it's church, museum, shops and cafes. 

Option 2 - Hawkcombe & Porlock

Distance: 8 miles (13km) 

Ascent: 1050 feet (320m)

In summary: The walk heads through Hawkcombe Wood nature reserve, before reaching the village of Porlock and then heading out to the spectacular Hurlstone Point, before heading inland and back to the house.

Highlight: Hurlstone point offers great coastal views.

Option 3 - Hills and Wooded Valleys

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m) 

In summary: Follow a meandering route from Porlock Hill to Holnicote House. We'll take in the beautiful wooded valleys of Shillett Combe and Horner Water, as well the heather-clad moorland above. 

Highlight: Walk across a carpet of purple heather on the moors in summertime, then descend into the lush green wooded valleys. 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Holnicote House

There’s plenty to look forward to at this beacon of Somerset hospitality near the impossibly pretty village of Selworthy. The location couldn’t be more perfect; within rolling-out-of-bed distance from Exmoor National Park and an easy drive from Dunster Castle, Coleridge Cottage, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, and the sandy delights at Porlock and Minehead. The walking opportunities here are standout, too, not least for the trails around the Quantock Hills, Dunkery Beacon, Bossington, and a section of the England Coast Path that takes you on a glorious journey along the county’s coastline.    

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Holnicote House has 32 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. 

We love: The rooms in the main building or the thatched grounds, especially Rooms 1 and 4. The first floor rooms have fabulous views across Crawter Hill and Dunkery Hill. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments. 

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

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

Address

Holnicote House
Selworthy
Minehead
Somerset TA24 8TJ

Tel: +44 (0)1643 862013

By train

The nearest station is Taunton.  

Check National Rail for train times and routes. 

By taxi

From Taunton train station it’s a 27-mile journey taking 1 hour.

For pricing, please contact Minehead Taxis directly.

Minehead Taxis
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Minehead Taxis*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1643 704123

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Holnicote House.

*Minehead Taxis is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The number 28 bus runs between Taunton station and Minehead, taking around one and a half hours. At Minehead, change to the number 10 bus to the Selworthy turn (at the end of Holnicote House drive). A two-minute walk along the drive will bring you to the house.  

For bus times, check Traveline. 

By car

There’s free car parking at Holnicote House if you decide to drive.  

From Bridgwater take the A39 though the southern outskirts of Minehead towards Porlock. You’ll find Holnicote House on the left about four and a half miles out of Minehead.  

By air

The nearest airport is London Heathrow. 

Take the train to London Paddington station where there are direct trains to Taunton. It’s a relatively straightforward journey that’ll should take around 2.5 hours.  

Bristol Airport is also an option. From here, you can take the bus and train to Taunton. 

Check National Rail for routes and train times. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Holnicote House Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

23 Dec - 27 Dec 2024

4 nights

Christmas

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,055 pp

from

£1,055 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

30 Dec 2024 - 03 Jan 2025

4 nights

New Year

Single from

£959

Double from

£959 pp

from

£959 pp

from

£959

Trip Notes
Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided walking
Walking Grade:
1, 2 & 3

4 nights from £959pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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