4-Night Exmoor Guided Walking Holiday

On Exmoor can be found the oldest breed of native pony in the British Isles.
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 2 & 3
from £495pp £465pp

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 meet a backdrop of huge blue skies and seas, adding a colourful variety to our Guided Walks.

Holiday Highlights

  • Head out on guided walks to discover the varied beauty of Exmoor on foot
  • Admire panoramic moorland views and expansive seascapes
  • Let an experienced leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
  • Visit some of Somerset's most beautiful picture postcard villages
  • 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 share a drink and re-live the day’s 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 PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

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. Some of our breaks have more than one itinerary. To check which itinerary is running on your holiday date please refer to the Dates, Prices & Trip Notes tab.

 

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Tivington Hill & Dunster

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1200 feet (360m)

In Summary: Heading straight out from Holnicote House, we follow the track and road to Headon Cross where we will see the pretty colours of the hamlet of Tivington Heights. We then head up through a mixed broadleaf wood onto the ridge line of Wootton Common before descending Grabbist Hill to the medieval village of Dunster.

Highlight: Look out for red deer on your journey across this broad ridge line, although illusive, you may hear the loud barking call of the stags especially during rutting season.

Option 2 - Over the hills to Dunster

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) 

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

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 3 - Dunkery Beacon

Distance: 12½ miles (20km)

Ascent: 2,500 feet (760m)

In Summary: Walk from Holnicote House up onto Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor.  After descending across the moor to Wootton Courtenay, we'll continue over the hills to Dunster.

Highlight: Our walk concludes by descending Grabbist Hill - a spot said to have inspired the hymn All things bright and beautiful.


Option 1 - Doone Valley

Distance: 7½ miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m) 

In Summary: Starting high on Exmoor we'll visit the valleys of Oare Water and Badgworthy Water, then take the charming riverside path beside the East Lyn river to Watersmeet.

Highlight: Our walks end at the National Trust's tearoom at Watersmeet. This is the confluence of the East Lyn and Farley Water; a delightful spot in a beautiful wooded valley.

Option 2 - Badgworthy Water

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In Summary: We'll head to Oare church then follow Badgworthy Water into a remote corner of Exmoor. Our walk concludes beside the cascading waters of the East Lyn river to Watersmeet. 

Highlight: Walk in the footsteps of Lorna Doone, the heroine of RD Blackmore's novel. We'll stop at Oare church, the scene of the wedding between Lorna and John Ridd.

Option 3 - Wild Exmoor West

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In Summary: Walk in Lorna Doone country and along Badgworthy Water before crossing wild moorland to join the Two Moors Way on Cheriton Ridge. We descend along Hoaroak Water to arrive at Watersmeet via some impressive waterfalls. 

Highlight: An opportunity to step off the beaten track and discover the wild corners of Exmoor. Enjoy great views as you cross the high moors.


Option 1 - East of Holnicote

Distance: 6 1⁄2 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

In Summary: An interesting circular walk exploring the countryside to the east of Holnicote House. Our route takes us through the pretty village of Luccombe, along the foot of Dunkery Hill and returning via the charming Selworthy village.

Highlight: Selworthy village was rebuilt in 1828 by the Acland family to house the elderly workers of the Holnicote estate.

Option 2 - Lucott Farm

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 1,900 feet (580m)

In Summary: Our circuit from Holnicote House passes near the village of Horner, then through the edge of Horner Wood, then circling round passed Lucott Farm, through East Lucott Wood, West Luccombe and back to the house.

Highlight: Take in some wonderful and varied woodland.

Option 3 - Lucott Farm via Tarr Ball

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 2,400 feet (740m) 

In Summary: Our circuit from Holnicote House passes near the village of Horner, then through the edge of Horner Wood, before taking in Tarr Ball Hill, then descending into East Lucott Wood and back to the house.

Highlight: Take in a varied day of hills and woodlands


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


 

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Dunkery Beacon

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In Summary: Our coach takes us to Exford Common, high on Exmoor. From here we'll head to the top of Dunkery Beacon, then descend through the wooded Horner valley back to Holnicote House.

Highlight: Dunkery Beacon, is the highest point on Exmoor. From the summit you can enjoy panoramic views over the moors and wooded valleys of the national park.

Option 2 - Over the Beacon

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 1,450 feet (440m)

In Summary: Ascend from Wheddon Cross through the Raleigh Manor Estate onto Dunkery Beacon. Our descent takes us over the moors, then through Horner Wood Nature Reserve.

Highlight: This walk is another good opportunity to spot red deer. Take your binoculars for the best chance of seeing these beautiful creatures.

Option 3 - Roof of Exmoor

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In Summary: Walk over the moors from Exford to the summit of Dunkery Beacon. Continuing across the moor we descend to Stoke Pero church, then head through Horner Woods back to Holnicote House.

Highlight: Choose a clear day and your efforts will be rewarded with a panoramic view that stretches to Dartmoor, and across the Bristol Channel to South Wales.


Option 1 - Quantocks & Nether Stowey

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200m)

In Summary: Starting inland the walk heads through the Quantocks Hills with the coast ahead. We then turn and descend through the woods to the delightful village of Nether Stowey.

Highlight: The walk takes in Will's Neck the highest point on the Quantocks at 1260 feet

 

Option 2 - Quantock Ridge & Combe

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In Summary: Ascend from the village of West Quantoxhead onto the ridgeline walking south along the ridgeline before descending through Quantock Combe towards Nether Stowey.

Highlight: Don't forget to turn around as you climb to take in the expansive views out into St Audries Bay and beyond onto South Wales when the air is clear. 

 

Option 3 - Quantock Ridge

Distance: 11.5 miles (18.5km)

Ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)

In Summary: Starting close to the coast we head up into the Quantock Hills with the Bristol Channel behind us, before turning and crossing the hill an dropping down to the village of Nether Stowey.

Highlight: Look out for red deer as you walk along the Quantock Hills; as Britain's largest wild mammals they are always an impressive sight.

 


Option 1 - Bilbrook, Coast & Dunster

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m) 

In Summary: From Bilbrook we head out to the coast via Old Cleeve, and along to Blue Anchor Bay before heading back inland to Dunster. 

Highlight: Look out for knots, curlews and oystercatchers chasing the tide along Blue Anchor bay, in search of worms and small crustaceans.

Option 2 - Tivington Hill & Dunster

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1200 feet (360m)

In Summary: Heading straight out from Holnicote House, we follow the track and road to Headon Cross where we will see the pretty colours of the hamlet of Tivington Heights. We then head up through a mixed broadleaf wood onto the ridge line of Wootton Common before descending Grabbist Hill to the medieval village of Dunster.

Highlight: Look out for red deer on your journey across this broad ridge line, although illusive, you may hear the loud barking call of the stags especially during rutting season.

Option 3 - Over the hills to Dunster

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) 

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

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.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Bilbrook, Coast & Dunster

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m) 

In Summary: From Bilbrook we head out to the coast via Old Cleeve, and along to Blue Anchor Bay before heading back inland to Dunster. 

Highlight: Look out for knots, curlews and oystercatchers chasing the tide along Blue Anchor bay, in search of worms and small crustaceans.

Option 2 - Tivington Hill to Dunster

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

In Summary: From the house we pass through the beautiful village of Selworthy, before climbing Tivington Hill. From the top of this long wooded ridge we descend to Dunster and it's spectacular castle. 

Highlight: The views from the top of the ridgeline looking down over Dunster and Blue Anchor bay beyond.

Option 3 - Over the Hills to Dunster

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) 

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

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 - Exploring Horner Hill

Distance:  miles (9km)

Ascent: 1000 feet (300m) 

In Summary: This circuit from the house takes you through the pretty village of Horner, and then in to Hrner Wood and Horner Hill, before heading back to the house.

Highlight: The village of Horner and Horner Hill

Option 2 - Exploring North Hill

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,700 feet (520m)

In Summary: From the house we pass through the beautiful village of Selworthy, before climbing around North Hill. From they we drop through Bratton Wood and circle back to the house.

Highlight: Catch some coastal views.

Option 3 - Periton Hill

Distance: 11 miles (17km) 

Ascent: 2,050 feet (620m)

In Summary: Walk from Holnicote House, taking in the village of Selworthy, the edge of Minehead, before heading through Periton Hill woods, before circling back through Luccombe village and back to the house.

Highlight: Take in the lovely villages of Selworthy and Luccombe.


Option 1 - Selworthy and its Beacon

Distance: 5 miles (8km)  

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

In summary: We pass through Allerford, famous for it’s picturesque pack horse bridge then continue to Lynch and the old Chapel. We then start our ascent to Selworthy Beacon through woodland, finally emerging to cross moorland to the trig point at the Beacon. After taking in the views across to the Welsh coast line, we descend via Selworthy village where we can explore the white-washed church and thatched cottages huddled around the green. Then it’s time to make our way back to the House via an old cobbled track.

Highlight: Spectacular views from Selworthy Beacon, to Nash Point Lighthouse, the Quantocks and beyond on a clear day. 

Option 2 - Dunkery Beacon Circuit

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 1,900 feet (600m)

In Summary: This is a circular walk visiting the highest point on Exmoor and Somerset. The walk takes us through woodland and then moorland to Dunkery Beacon and returns on a meandering path alongside the delightful river Horner.

Highlight: The views from the top of Dunkery Beacon are fabulous. The tea room at Horner is also a welcome stopping off point.

Option 3 - Dunkery Beacon & Great Rowbarrow

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 2,000 feet (620m)

In Summary: A strenuous circular walk visiting the highest point on Exmoor and Somerset. The descent takes us past the tiny Stoke Pero Church, the highest church on Exmoor, and back through Horner Woods alongside Horner Water.

Highlight: There are great views from the top of Dunkery Beacon making the ascent well worth the effort! 


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. Unfortunately our pool at Holnicote House will be closed for the duration of 2022 due to extensive maintenance requirements.

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 Classic, Premium and Superior Rooms to choose from: the 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 or 4 to feel suitably special.

All ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ and ‘Superior’ 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, 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. For something equally relaxing, 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. Please note, the large heated outdoor pool will be out of service during the 2022 season in order to allow for extensive repairs.

Unfortunately our pool at Holnicote House will be closed for the duration of 2022 due to extensive maintenance requirements.

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. Food at Holnicote House is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Holnicote House

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

Getting to Holnicote House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

“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: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2022
30 May - 03 Jun 2022
4 Version 2 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
13 Jun - 17 Jun 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
27 Jun - 01 Jul 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
04 Jul - 08 Jul 2022
4 Version 2 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
18 Jul - 22 Jul 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
25 Jul - 29 Jul 2022
4 Version 2 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
01 Aug - 05 Aug 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
08 Aug - 12 Aug 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
29 Aug - 02 Sep 2022
4 Version 2 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
05 Sep - 09 Sep 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
12 Sep - 16 Sep 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
26 Sep - 30 Sep 2022
4 Version 2 £609 Trip Notes Book Now
03 Oct - 07 Oct 2022
4 Version 1 £609 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
10 Oct - 14 Oct 2022
4 Version 1 £575 Trip Notes Book Now
31 Oct - 04 Nov 2022
4 Version 3 £495 Trip Notes Book Now
07 Nov - 11 Nov 2022
4 Version 3 £495 £465 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
2

4 nights from £495pp £465pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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