4-Night Exmoor Gentle Guided Walking Holiday

Selworthy - Exmoor - Walking with Sightseeing - AdobeStock_167798023.jpeg
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Gentle Walks
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £569pp £529pp

The sweeping hills, wooded combes and glorious seascapes of the Exmoor National Park reward every footstep with an astonishing range of landscapes and moods to enjoy. Vibrant yellow gorse, purple heather, wild ponies and Red Deer add great variety.

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover the sweeping hills, wooded combes and glorious seascapes of the Exmoor National Park reward every footstep with an astonishing range of landscapes and moods to enjoy
  • Look out for the vibrant yellow gorse, purple heather, wild ponies and Red Deer add great variety
  • Let your leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life as you explore Exmoor
  • On an evening enjoy the character and charm of Holnicote House where you can relax and re-live the days adventures

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 3 days guided walking
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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 from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Two Villages Walk

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km) 

Ascent: 600 feet (180m) 

In Summary A circular walk taking in the pretty picture postcard villages of Allerford and Bossington before returning to the house.   

HighlightThe far reaching view from the side of Selworthy Beacon over the top of the aforementioned pretty villages, and along the coast of Porlock Bay is truly breathtaking. 

 

Option 2 - Bossington & Selworthy

Distance: 6½ miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m) 

In Summary A circular walk exploring the countryside and villages around Holnicote House. Our route takes us to the coast via the village of Bossington, returning along the wooded slopes to charming Selworthy village. 

Highlight: Selworthy village was rebuilt in 1828 by the Acland family to house the elderly workers of the Holnicote estate. The tea room is a delightful spot to relax in towards the end of the walk.

 

 

Option 3 - Selworthy Beacon

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) 

Ascent: 1,350 feet (420m) 

In Summary Ascend through the woods to the Iron Age hillfort and the glorious viewpoint of Selworthy Beacon. After a hilltop walk we'll descend through the fields to Selworthy village. 

Highlight: Its a steep climb to the top of Selworthy Beacon, but your efforts will be rewarded with a great view north over the Bristol Channel and south towards the hills of Exmoor. 

 


Option 1 - Carhampton to Dunster

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km) 

Ascent: 160 feet (40m) 

In Summary A leisurely stroll out to the coast and along to Dunster Beaches Nature Reserve and back in to Dunster via the station of the local steam heritage line.  

HighlightThe wander along the sands and shingles of Blue Anchor Bay. 

 

Option 2 - Headon Cross to Dunster

Distance: 5 miles (7.5km) 

Ascent: 700 feet (220m) 

In Summary A steady climb through the woods up onto the ridgeback of Wootton Common before a steady descent all the way down into Dunster. 

Highlight: The fantastic and easily obtained view from the top of the ridge on Wootton Common. 

 

Option 3 - Over the hills to Dunster

Distance: 9 miles (15km) 

Ascent: 1,600 feet (500m) 

In Summary Walk from Holnicote House to historic Dunster. Our route takes us through the woods to the viewpoint at Webber's Post, then enjoy the fine views as we follow the ridge over Wootton Common.  

Highlight: Dunster Castle was the home of the Luttrell family for over 600 years, and is now managed by the National Trust. 

 


Option 1 - Lynton and Lynmouth

Distance: 4 miles (6km) 

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m) 

In Summary A shorter version of option 2, this walk starts at Watersmeet and includes an optional extension to explore the Valley of Rocks. 

HighlightExploring the many tea shops and artists studios of Lynton and Lynmouth. 

 

Option 2 - Valley of Rocks

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km) 

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)  

In Summary A walk with two distinct sections. We'll first descend from Countisbury into the wooded valley at Watersmeet, then along the East Lyn River to Lynmouth. We'll then take the cliff railway to expore Lynton and the Valley of Rocks. 

Highlight: Soak up the views as you ride the Victorian cliff railway from Lynmouth to Lynton. This uses water power to lift you 500ft to the town above 

 

Option 3 - Around Lynton

Distance: 8 miles (13.5km) 

Total ascent: 1,800 feet (560m) 

In Summary Take the zig-zag path down from Countisbury Hill to Watersmeet. We'll continue along the hillside to the Victorian town of Lynton, climbing to a panoramic viewpoint above the Valley of Rocks. 

Highlight: The Valley of Rocks is a local beauty spot with its own herd of wild goats who roam the precipitous hillsides. 

 


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.

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

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 and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 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

“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.

Essentials

  • Waterproof 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)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • 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
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
03 May - 07 May
4 Gentle Walk £569 £529 Save £40 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
08 Jun - 12 Jun
4 Gentle Walk £569 £529 Save £40 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Gentle Walks
Walking Grade:
1

4 nights from £569pp £529pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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