4-Night Exmoor Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

Summer sunset over the Valley of Rocks, near Lynton in the Exmoor National Park, Devon, UK
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Festive Breaks
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £685pp

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.

Holiday Highlights

  • 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

What’s included

  • 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
  • Any transport to and from the walks

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.


Culbone has England’s smallest complete church and is only reachable on foot. All the walks today pass by this impossibly pretty spot before heading along the coast to Porlock and a pleasant mix of quiet lanes and woodlands lead the other two walks back to the house. The easier and medium walks start high up at Culbone Inn, the harder a little further west before dropping down to explore a little of the Oare Valley and joining the coast path beyond Culbone Church.


We’ll build an appetite for our dinner on today’s superb local walks, starting and finishing at Holnicote House. The easier walk takes in woodland paths, National Trust villages and the coast at Porlock Bay, while the other walks head up onto moorland and the South West Coast Path around Selworthy Beacon – which the harder walk reaches via the alternative rugged coastal path. All three walks visit Selworthy church and pass through Selworthy village, typical chocolate box scenery and the epitome of the Acland squirearchy, which was at its height in the 19th century.


Each walk today starts from a different point but all go over the summit of Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor at 1,705 feet. On a clear day, there are spectacular views towards Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and to the Welsh coast. The whole area is part of the Holnicote Estate, and a plaque on the summit cairn records the donation of the land to the National Trust by the Acland family and others in 1935.


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.

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

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
2019
23 Dec - 27 Dec Itinerary 1 2019 £735 Available Book Now
30 Dec - 03 Jan Itinerary 1 2019 £685 Available Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Festive Breaks
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

4 nights from £685pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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