Christmas & New Year Walking at Selworthy

Exmoor

Code: SLXFW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • Rural peace
  • Twixmas & New Year

Level

  • Easier
  • Easy
  • Medium
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £389.00 - 3 to 7 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Plenty of exercise to walk off the festive excesses
  • A choice of guided walks in spectacular winter scenery
  • Just relax, soak up the party atmosphere, enjoy wonderful festive fare and leave all the organising to us
  • Evening activities include dancing, quizzes, carol evenings and New Year celebrations
  • Cosy Country House and a special festive cheer

 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

In pictures...

Accommodation

As a historic National Trust property, Holnicote House is full of charm and character. Located on the   4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodationextensive Holnicote Estate, at the foot of Exmoor, it is well suited to a relaxing holiday.

 

Bedrooms

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.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

 

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

There are two comfortable lounges, dining room and an attractive bar. The ballroom is a flexible space which can be used for dancing or for a variety of leisure activity holidays. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.

The heated outdoor swimming pool (open May to September) is always popular with our guests. There's also a croquet lawn.

The gardens are particularly extensive and form part of the wider Holnicote Estate.

 

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Visit England Breakfast Award logo at HF HolidaysStart your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Evening

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on local wildlife from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Accessibility

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • On arrival there is a level driveway with two speed bumps with ample parking on both sides of the drive
  • The surface of the driveway is gravel
  • It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door
  • There is 1 dedicated disabled parking bays
  • Assistance can be provided with luggage 

Main entrance & reception

  • The main entrance has 1 step (9cm high) and is 123cm wide. There is a ramp available on request for the side entrance
  • The front door is locked during the night, but access is available via the boot room (with a digital door code)
  • If accessing from the boot room, there are 2 steps up to the ground floor. The steps are 20cm and 34cm high and both are 133cm wide. Wooden handrail on both sides of the steps
  • After entering the house, all the facilities are available without encountering any further steps, with the exception of the boot room (details above) or the ballroom, which is accessed via 3 steps. These steps are each 15cm high, 36cm deep and 125cm wide. Wooden handrail on both sides of the steps
  • There are several floor coverings on the ground floor, mainly carpet, but also some nonslip safety flooring and original quarry tiles by the tradesman's entrance (the side entrance). The ballroom has wooden block flooring 

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • All internal doors are 66cm wide (except where separate measurements have been given)
  • The minimum width of the corridor is 126cm
  • The floor surface on the stairs and upstairs corridors is short pile carpet. Ground floor corridor is non-slip flooring 

Public areas - lounges

  • The ground floor has 2 lounges, a dining room, a bar and a ballroom and a boot room
  • The larger lounge (4.6m x 12m) is carpeted with plenty of seating (bucket chairs are 45cm high, settees 43cm high and the tables are 68cm in diameter, 72cm high). Door width 92cm
  • Smaller lounge (8m x 7.5m). Bucket chairs are 47cm high, settees 37cm high and number of tables 39-48cm high. Door width 1m
  • The ballroom (8m x 4.9m) is and has wood block flooring
  • All furniture is easily movable 

Public WCs

  • There are 2 unisex toilets on the ground floor opposite the bar
  • Minimum door width 80cm. Toilet heights are 40cm and 42cm
  • Approximate room sizes are 1.22m x 1.37m for the first toilet and 1.22m x 2.57m for the second one 

Dining room & bar

  • The carpeted dining room (6m x 10m including Roman end) is situated on the ground floor with level access. Door width 94cm
  • 6 round tables, each seating maximum of 10 guests
  • Tables have an under space of 73cm high by 150cm wide. Each table has 4 legs 20cm away from the round edge
  • The chairs do not have arms. The seats are 46cm high
  • Waitress service
  • Special diets catered for, but should be advised pre or on arrival
  • The carpeted bar area is 3.6m x 4.9m. Door width 66cm. Built-in benches (47cm high) around the room seat 13 people. Various stools (51cm-75 cm high) and 5 circular tables (72cm high) 

Bedrooms

There are no dedicated disabled rooms, the room best suited for anyone with restricted mobility is room 22.

Other bedrooms

  • The rest of the rooms are a mixture of single, twin and double rooms, located either in the main house, Guns Cottage, Butlers Cottage or Chalets. In the main house the bedrooms are on the first and second floor only
  • The staircase is 106cm wide. There are 15 steps to the first floor landing (bedrooms 6 to 21), with another 3 steps to bedrooms 1 to 5. Each step is 17cm high, 29cm deep and 106cm wide
  • Most of the bedrooms are en-suite with shower. Some rooms only have a wash basin, there are public bathrooms available 

Outdoor facilities

  • Large extensive gardens, which include orchard, herb garden, flower borders and trellis enclosed pool area
  • A bench, garden chairs and loungers are available
  • Garden is fairly level, with tarmac pathways. Easy access
  • The outdoor swimming pool is available from May to September. The pool size is 12m x 6m plus the Roman end which has 5cm x 5cm deep steps
  • The pool does not have an attendant and is currently not equipped with aids to assist entry
  • Within the pool area there is an alarm, first aid post, rescue hook and a life buoy 

Additional information

  • 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

Itinerary

Our House Manager and leaders have put together a unique programme of walks and social activities, and look forward to welcoming you on your holiday.

The walks programme

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:
Easier: up to a maximum of 7 miles (11km)
Medium: up to a maximum of 9 miles (14.5km)
Harder: up to a maximum of 12 miles (19km)


Christmas – Festive Guided Walking 

Saturday 24 December 2016 – Christmas Eve

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 beach (where the easier walks finishes) and a pleasant mix of quiet lanes and woodland 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 before joining the coast path beyond Culbone Church.


Sunday 25 December 2016 – Christmas Day

We’ll build an appetite for our Christmas 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.

When you return to Holnicote House there will be presents under the Christmas tree before our Christmas lunch. Our celebration Christmas dinner is the highlight of the evening - enjoy traditional turkey with all the trimmings, or alternative options if you prefer.


Monday 26 December 2016 – Boxing Day

We start our holiday on a high; each walk today starts from a different point but all go over the summit of Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor at 1,703 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. Routes from Dunkery back to Holnicote House take different paths, but all three groups go beside Horner Water.


Wednesday 28 December 2016

As well as inland moors and hills, Exmoor has 34 miles of sublime coastline between Minehead and Combe Martin; today’s coach takes us up Porlock Hill and drops us at points along the high turnpike road to Lynmouth. At times we’ll be next to some of Britain’s highest sea cliffs, and we’ll all finish at Lynmouth, an old fishing port now transformed into a tourist centre with a wealth of pubs and teashops. The easier walk goes via Countisbury Church and Watersmeet, the medium walk hopes to visit the viewpoint of Butter Hill, about 1,000 feet above the Bristol Channel and the harder walk joins the south west coast path near Foreland Point.


Thursday 29 December 2016

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 beach (where the easier walks finishes) and a pleasant mix of quiet lanes and woodland 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 before joining the coast path beyond Culbone Church.


New Year – Festive Guided Walking

Saturday 31 December 2016 – New Year’s Eve

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 beach (where the easier walks finishes) and a pleasant mix of quiet lanes and woodland 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 before joining the coast path beyond Culbone Church.

In the evening join our fellow guests for a celebration dinner to welcome in the new year – you are invited to ‘dress to impress’.


Sunday 1 January 2017

We’ll build an appetite 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.


Monday 2 January 2017

As well as inland moors and hills, Exmoor has 34 miles of sublime coastline between Minehead and Combe Martin; today’s coach takes us up Porlock Hill and drops us at points along the high turnpike road to Lynmouth. At times we’ll be next to some of Britain’s highest sea cliffs, and we’ll all finish at Lynmouth, an old fishing port now transformed into a tourist centre with a wealth of pubs and teashops. The easier walk goes via Countisbury church and Watersmeet, the medium walk hopes to visit the viewpoint of Butter Hill, about 1,000 feet above the Bristol Channel and the harder walk joins the south west coast path near Foreland Point.

Local area

Discover Exmoor

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:

Thatched cottage in Selworthy villageSelworthy Village
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. 

Green steam locomotive on West Somerset RailwayWest 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

 

Dunster Castle and its surrounding parklandDunster Castle

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.

Coleridge Cottage
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
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

Exterior of Arlington Court National Trust houseArlington Court
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

Travel to Selworthy

Our address is: Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest railway station is at Taunton. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Train heading to Taunton 

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

The 29 mile journey from Taunton railway station takes approximately 50 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £57 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Holnicote House Manager.

 

Bus

By bus:

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

 

Driving to us

By car:

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.

 

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
11 Jan 2016, 8:34 p.m.

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good service at the hotel

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Very enjoyable. But a felt the building wasn't warm enough.
7 Jan 2016, 6:37 p.m.

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It was excellent as usual.

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It was excellent as usual.
6 Jan 2016, 6:24 p.m.

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I have been on a number of HF holidays in the last 20 years and never had a bad experience.

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My first New Year break was 2014/15 and I wasn't sure if the excellent experience Brecon was out of the ordinary - but it wasn't. Selworthy was equally brilliant/
6 Jan 2016, 3:08 p.m.

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Ticks all the boxes - walking, location, all inclusive.

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Lovely house, fantastic location.
6 Jan 2016, 12:45 p.m.

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Holiday booking seemed satisfactory

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A very enjoyable weekend
6 Jan 2016, 12:30 p.m.

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A good quality organisation, value for money

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An enjoyable time
6 Jan 2016, 10:17 a.m.

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Have had problem in getting contact by phone

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The staff, under a very good manager [ess] were friendly and "on the ball"
4 Jan 2016, 9:29 a.m.

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Expensive but good value for money.

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Best HF holiday since Freshwater Bay some years ago. Far better than Lulworth and many of the guests at Selworthy were very unhappy with holidays they took at Lulworth.
2 Jan 2016, 4:51 p.m.

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Never been disappointed. Very high standard, enjoyable activities with like-minded people.

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Good fun and food, as sociable as one wishes to be.
2 Jan 2016, 10:12 a.m.

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Very good

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Although understaffed, the staff worked extremely hard to make this Christmas special and succeeded.

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
30 Dec 2016 SLXFW - Festive Walking - Selworthy 4 £625.00 Book Now
23 Dec 2017 SLXFW - Festive Walking - Selworthy 4 £695.00 Book Now
23 Dec 2017 SLXFW - Festive Walking - Selworthy 7 £969.00 Book Now
27 Dec 2017 SLXFW - Festive Walking - Selworthy 3 £389.00 Book Now
27 Dec 2017 SLXFW - Festive Walking - Selworthy 7 £899.00 Book Now
30 Dec 2017 SLXFW - Festive Walking - Selworthy 4 £645.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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