Exmoor Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday
Celebrate Christmas and New Year in Exmoor
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Christmas & New Year
Hills & moorland
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
- 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
- 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
As a historic National Trust property, Holnicote House is full of charm and character. Located on the extensive Holnicote Estate, at the foot of Exmoor, it is well suited to a relaxing holiday.
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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- 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
Festive Walking at Selworthy
Our House Manager and leaders are busy putting together a unique programme of walks and social activities, and look forward to welcoming you on your holiday.
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. Typically, easier walks are up to a maximum of 7 miles (11km), medium walks are up to a maximum of 9 miles (14½km), while harder walks can be up to a maximum of 12 miles (19km).
Along the coast to Porlock - Tuesday 24 December
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 before joining the coast path beyond Culbone Church.
Holnicote & Selworthy Beacon - Wednesday 25 December
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.
Dunkery Beacon - Thursday 26 December
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.
Historic Dunster - Saturday 28 December
|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.|
Across the moors - Sunday 29 December
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.
Along the coast to Porlock - Tuesday 31 December
|Culbone has England’s smallest complete church and is only reachable on foot. All the walk 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 before joining the coast path beyond Culbone Church.|
Holnicote & Selworthy Beacon - Wednesday 1 January
|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.|
Along the coast to Lynmouth - Thursday 2 January
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 along the high turnpike road to Lynmouth. We start at Barna Barrow. At times we’ll be next to some of Britain’s highest sea cliffs, and we’ll all finish at Lynmouth, an old fishing posr now transformed into a 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, and the harder walk uses the southwest coast path for the larger part of the day.
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:
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.
West 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
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.
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, 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
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 to Holnicote House
Our address is: Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ
The nearest railway station is at Taunton. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The 29 mile journey from Taunton railway station takes approximately 50 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £56 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Holnicote House Manager.
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
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.
Travelling from Overseas
For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.
From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are direct trains to Taunton. Its a relatively straightforward journey - allow 2½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Bristol Airport may also be convenient for some guests. Take the train to Taunton
From Taunton you can travel on to Selworthy by bus or taxi (see above).
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Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|23 Dec 2019||SLXFW - Festive Walking - 2019 - Selworthy||7||£995.00||£965.00||Book Now|
|23 Dec 2019||SLXFW - Festive Walking - 2019 - Selworthy||4||£735.00||£735.00||Book Now|
|27 Dec 2019||SLXFW - Festive Walking - 2019 - Selworthy||7||£945.00||£920.00||Book Now|
|27 Dec 2019||SLXFW - Festive Walking - 2019 - Selworthy||3||£415.00||£415.00||Book Now|
|30 Dec 2019||SLXFW - Festive Walking - 2019 - Selworthy||4||£685.00||£685.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person