Exmoor Gentle Walking Holiday

Explore Exmoor on foot

Code: SLBEW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • Rural peace

Level

  • 1
  • 2
More information

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £315.00 - 3 to 7 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of the Exmoor National Park. The choice of three guided walks includes a half-day walk of 3 or 4 miles. 

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.

In pictures...

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Holnicote House in Selworthy

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.

Rooms

'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

'Best' Rooms 

These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:

  • Recently refurbished to an exceptional standard
  • Large rooms
  • Stunning views of the surrounding area
  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

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

  • Excellent boot and drying rooms
  • Two lounges
  • Dining rooms
  • Bar
  • Ballroom
  • Free WiFi available in some public rooms
  • Range of board games and books
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool
    (open May to September
  • Croquet lawn

Dining

An example of Selworthy evening mealAll 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.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings


Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

More details on Selworthy accessibility

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

This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of the Exmoor National Park. The choice of three guided walks includes a half-day walk of 3 or 4 miles. 

Half-Day walks

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier

Selworthy village

Easier walks

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy

Valley of Rocks

Medium walks

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy 

Quantock Hills

Holnicote and Selworthy Beacon

Available on: 20 Apr 2019, 1 Oct 2019

Option 1: Two Villages Walk

Packhorse bridge at Allerford

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

The walk in a nutshell: A circular walk taking in the pretty picture postcard villages of Allerford and Bossington before returning to the house.  

Don’t miss: The 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

Selworthy Church

Distance: 6½ miles (11km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: 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

View from Selworthy Beacon

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: 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.


Valley and Hills to Dunster Castle

Available on: 21 Apr 2019, 2 Oct 2019

Option 1: Carhampton to Dunster

Steam train on West Somerset Railway

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Total ascent: 160 feet (40m)

The walk in a nutshell: A leisurely stroll out 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. 

Don’t miss: The wander along the sands and shingles of Blue Anchor Bay.

Option 2: Headon Cross to Dunster

Friendly HF leader

Distance: To be confirmed

Total ascent: To be confirmed

The walk in a nutshell: A steady climb through the woods up onto the ridgeback of Wootton Common before a steady descent all the way down into Dunster.

Don’t miss: The fantastic and easily obtained view from the top of the ridge on Wootton Common.

Option 3: Over the hills to Dunster

Dunster Castle

Distance: 9 miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,600 feet (500m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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. 

Don’t miss: Dunster Castle was the home of the Luttrell family for over 600 years, and is now managed by the National Trust.

 


Lynton and the Valley of Rocks

Available on: 23 Apr 2019, 3 Oct 2019

Option 1: Lynton and Lynmouth

Lynton cliff railway

Distance: 4 miles (6km)

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)

The walk in a nutshell: A shorter version of option 2, this walk starts at Watersmeet and includes an optional extension to explore the Valley of Rocks.

Don’t miss: Exploring the many tea shops and artists studios of Lynton and Lynmouth.

Option 2: Valley of Rocks

Valley of Rocks

Distance: 7 miles (11½ km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (480m) 

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: 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

View down Countisbury Hill

Distance: 8 miles (13½km)

Total ascent: 1,800 feet (560m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: The Valley of Rocks is a local beauty spot with its own herd of wild goats who roam the precipitous hillsides.


Along the rivers to Exford

Available on: 24 Apr 2019, 5 Oct 2019

Option 1: Bilbrook to the Railway

Steam train on the West Somerset Railway

Distance: 3 miles (4½km)

Total ascent: 50 feet (20m)

The walk in a nutshell: A walk out to the coast from Bilbrook to Blue Anchor followed by a short train ride on the heritage line to Minehead.

Don’t miss: The short trip on the wonderfully restored and maintained West Somerset Railway is a fantastic end to today's walk.

Option 2: Exford and the Exe Valley

Withypool Bridge

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 900 feet (280m) 

The walk in a nutshell: A circular route from Exford village green, we climb Room Hill then descend into the River Exe valley and follow it back upstream to the village.

Don’t miss: You may well see buzzards and Exmoor ponies as you make your way across the hillside above the River Exe.

Option 3: Simonsbath to Exford

Barle valley

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

The walk in a nutshell: From Simonsbath we head into the ancient Royal Forest of Exmoor and follow the River Barle valley to Withypool then cross Room Hill before descending into Exford.

Don’t miss: Look out for a 19th century iron and copper mine and an iron age hill fort on this walk full of historical interest.


Porlock Hill to Holnicote House

Available on: 25 Apr 2019, 6 Oct 2019

Option 1: Villages and Woods

Horner & Luccombe

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Total ascent: 580 feet (180m)

The walk in a nutshell: A circular walk taking in the pretty villages of Luccombe and Horner before returning to the house.

Don’t miss: The wood surrounding the village of Horner is full of majestic ancient oaks home to Wood Warblers and Pied Flycatchers. 

Option 2: Above Porlock

Exmoor Pony

 Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (160m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Take the coach to the top of Porlock Hill for this predominately downhill walk over the rolling hills to the west of Holnicote House. We finish through Horner Woods, then across the fields to the house.

Don’t miss: Look out for red deer - the descent into Halse Combe is often a good place to spot them.

Option 3: Hills and Wooded Valleys

Yellow gorse on Exmoor

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,700 feet (520m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Walk across a carpet of purple heather on the moors then descend into the lush green valleys and wooded valleys.

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).

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.

 Travel by plane

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.

From Taunton you can travel on to Selworthy by bus or taxi (see above).

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
19 Apr 2019 SLBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Selworthy 4 £495.00 £420.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £75 Per Person Book Now
19 Apr 2019 SLBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Selworthy 7 £799.00 £674.00 Early Booking Top Spring Offer - Save £125 Per Person Book Now
23 Apr 2019 SLBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Selworthy 3 £365.00 £315.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £50 Per Person Book Now
30 Sep 2019 SLBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Selworthy 4 £495.00 £425.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £70 Per Person Book Now
30 Sep 2019 SLBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Selworthy 7 £799.00 £799.00 Book Now
4 Oct 2019 SLBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Selworthy 3 £365.00 £315.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £50 Per Person Book Now

Prices are per person

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