Guided Walking at Selworthy
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Hills & moorland
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.
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 to our Guided Walking holidays.
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.
HF Holidays Holnicote House - Grading coming soon!
Choose your room
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single room are available at no extra charge
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Two lounges
• Dining rooms
|• Free WiFi available in some public rooms
• Range of board games and books
• Heated outdoor swimming pool (open May to September
|• Croquet lawn|
|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
Easier Walks Medium Walks Harder Walks
Discover the best of Exmoor on our guided walks. Our experienced guides offer the choice of up to three different walks each day – you can choose an Easier Walk one day and switch to a Harder Walk the next.
Select the date of your holiday to see which walks are running during your stay.
J: From the Turnpike Road to Holnicote House
Available on: 14 Jul 2017, 1 Sep 2017, 14 Sep 2017, 26 Oct 2017, 9 Nov 2017
Today we take the coach up Porlock Hill, then enjoy walks back to Holnicote House via the heather moors and green valleys of Exmoor.
Easier Walk: From the listed AA Phone Box – one of England’s smallest listed buildings – we cross Porlock Common to Lucott Farm, then through woods and valleys along Granny’s Ride, around Halse Combe and through Horner Woods to Holnicote House. 7 miles (11.0km) with 500 feet (160m) of ascent and 1,700 feet (520m) of descent.
Medium Walk: We walk to Lucott Farm via Whitstone Post and Shillett Combe, then Tarr Ball Hill, Pool Bridge, Horner Wood and around Halse Combe, with a chance to see red deer on our descent. 9½ miles (15km) with 1,300 feet (400m) of ascent and 2,500 feet (760m) of descent.
Harder Walk: Walking from Culbone Inn we descend to Oareford, ascending wild open moorland past the long-ruined farmhouses of Larkbarrow. We continue to Lucott Cross, then via Hawke Combe to Halse Combe and Holnicote House. 12½ miles (20.5km) with 1,500 feet (460m) of ascent and 2,650 feet (820m) of descent.
A: Holnicote and Selworthy Beacon
Available on: 16 Jul 2017, 16 Sep 2017, 28 Oct 2017
Honicote House once sat at the heart of an extensive estate which we can explore on today's walks. Discover the 'model' village of Selworthy and ascend to the top of Selworthy Beacon for an outstanding view which stretches across the Bristol Channel to South Wales.
Easier Walk: A circular walk through West Luccombe and Bossington to the coast at Porlock Bay, then woodland paths to Selworthy village – rebuilt in 1828 by the Acland family – before returning to Holnicote House. 6½ miles (11km)Our with 1,000 feet (320m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: We ascend through woodland visiting sites associated with the Acland family, then move on to an Iron Age settlement and the summit of Selworthy Beacon, with views across the Bristol Channel. After a short stretch on the South West Coast Path, we descend through farmland to Selworthy village. 7½ miles (12km) with 1,350 feet (420m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: We walk up through ancient woodland to Bossington Hill to join the alternative and more rugged coast path through three deep combes above the sea to North Hill. We then follow the South West Coast Path to Selworthy Beacon before descending via Selworthy village. 10 miles (16km) with 2,050 feet (620m) of ascent.
B: The Doone Valley To Watersmeet
Available on: 17 Jul 2017, 17 Sep 2017, 29 Oct 2017
Walk in the footsteps of Lorna Doone, the heroine of RD Blackmore's novel. Our walks descend from Exmoor to Watersmeet at the confluence of the East Lyn and West Lyn rivers; a delightful spot set in beautiful wooded valley.
Easier Walk: We visit the valleys of Oare Water and Badgworthy Water. We reach the East Lyn River and follow it to the old fishing lodge at Watersmeet, now a National Trust shop and café. 7½ miles (12.5km) with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent and 1,950 feet (580m) descent.
Medium Walk: We first cross moorland to the Doone Valley, made famous in Lorna Doone, via Oare Church and Cloud Farm. We follow Badgworthy Water and over open moorland to the hamlet of Rockford, then along the cascading waters of the East River Lyn to Watersmeet. 9½ miles (15km) with 1,550 feet (480m) of ascent and 2,250 feet (680m) of descent.
Harder Walk: We also walk in Lorna Doone country and along Badgworthy Water before crossing wild moorland to join the Two Moors Way on Cheriton Ridge, with its panoramic views into Wales. We descend along Hoaroak Water to arrive at Watersmeet via some impressive waterfalls. 11 miles (18km) with 1,500 feet (460m) of ascent and 2,000 feet (620m) of descent.
C: Valley and Hills to Dunster Castle
Available on: 18 Jul 2017, 19 Sep 2017, 26 Sep 2017, 17 Oct 2017, 31 Oct 2017
Enjoy a choice of walks to the attractive village of Dunster, crowned by its impressive castle. The Easier walk combines a steam train ride with a coastal walk, whilst the Medium and Harder route take a route across the Exmoor hills.
Easier Walk: A short coach ride takes us to Minehead where we board the heritage steam train to Watchet. There is an optional trail around this historic harbour town before following the West Somerset Coast Path to the medieval village of Dunster. 7 miles (11.5km), 900 feet (280m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: From the house we walk to Luccombe, and then up through woods to the viewpoint at Webber’s Post. We contour around Dunkery Hill to Wootton Courtenay, climbing up Wootton Common to a ridge with fine views of Wales, eventually descending Grabbist Hill into Dunster. 9 miles (15km) with 1,600 feet (500m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Following a similar route to the Medium Walk, from Webber’s Post we continue ascending to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point in Exmoor (and Somerset). Descending across the moor to Wootton Courtenay we then follow the Medium Walk to Dunster. 12½ miles (20km) with 2,500 feet (760m) of ascent.
D: From Exford via the River Barle to Simonsbath
Available on: 20 Jul 2017, 27 Sep 2017, 18 Oct 2017, 1 Nov 2017
Head into the heart of Exmoor for walks along the valley of the River Barle.
Easier Walk: We start near Exford and head south to join the Two Moors Way above the River Barle. Passing an Iron Age hill fortress, and a 19th century iron mine, we end at Simonsbath, the highest village in Exmoor. 7 miles (11.5km) with 950 feet (280m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: From Exford we walk over Room Hill to Withypool and into the Royal Forest on a high level route above the River Barle into Simonsbath. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,350 feet (400m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From Stone Cross we head to Exford on moorland and field paths before following the River Exe to Withypool. Crossing Withypool Common above the River Barle to Landacre Bridge we join the Two Moors Way to Simonsbath. 12½ miles (20km) with 1,900 feet (580m) of ascent.
E: Along the coast to Lynmouth
Available on: 21 Jul 2017, 21 Sep 2017, 28 Sep 2017, 19 Oct 2017, 2 Nov 2017
Follow the the coastal path over some of Britain’s highest sea cliffs with fantastic views over the Bristol Channel. Enjoy the splendid viewpoint atop Countisbury Hill before the descent to Lynmouth harbour (a head for heights needed – though it can be avoided).
Easier Walk: Crossing Countisbury Common, with fine views of Exmoor and the coast, we ascend Butter Hill and make our way to the church at Countisbury. We then follow a high level path above the Lyn Valley to Beacon Tor with views of the coast and Lynton. Descending to meet the South West Coast Path, we then follow a zig zag path through woodland to reach Lynmouth. 5 miles (8km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent and 1,550 feet (460m) of descent.
Medium Walk: Descending Yenworthy Common we join the South West Coast Path to Lynmouth, with wildlife including a great variety of birds, deer and hedgerow flowers. 8½ miles (13.5km) with 2,550 feet (780m) of ascent and 3,700 feet (1,140m) of descent.
Harder Walk: From Culbone Inn we descend to join the South West Coast Path, following this undulating path for most of the route before finishing in Lynmouth. 11 miles (17.5km) with 2,850 feet (880m) of ascent and 4,150 feet (1,260m) of descent.
F: Selworthy and its Beacon
Available on: 27 Aug 2017, 9 Sep 2017, 23 Sep 2017, 30 Sep 2017, 4 Nov 2017
Enjoy a great selection of walks from the doorstep of Holnicote House. Visit the villages of Allerford, with its iconic packhorse bridge, and Selworthy, with its collection of 'chocolate box' thatched cottages. For those opting for the Medium and Harder walks a stunnning viewpoint awaits on the summit of Selworthy Beacon.
Easier Walk: A circular route visiting National Trust villages, an ancient packhorse bridge and walking the coastal path before following woodland paths to Selworthy village, with time to explore. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,550 feet (460m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: The walk heads up onto moorland and the South West Coast Path around Selworthy Beacon and North Hill, with views over the Bristol Channel. We then descend to Selworthy village. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,750 feet (540m) of descent.
Harder Walk: From Allerford we head to Bossington and the pebble beach to join the South West Coast Path, ascending Selworthy Beacon, continuing on to North Hill, and back to Selworthy. 11 miles (17.5km) with 1,900 feet (580m) of ascent.
G: The Quantocks
Available on: 28 Aug 2017, 10 Sep 2017, 24 Sep 2017, 1 Oct 2017, 5 Nov 2017
Today we head east to walk on the Quantock Hills. Look out for Red Deer as we walk along this rolling ridge, then enjoy sweeping views over the Bristol Channel as we descend to the coast.
Easier Walk: After a short ascent onto the ridge we follow the Macmillan Way to Crowcombe Gate via Will’s Neck, the highest point on the Quantocks. We then descend to Nether Stowey with its ruined Norman castle and Coleridge associations. 7 miles (11.5km) with 750 feet (240m) of ascent and 1,500 feet (460m) of descent.
Medium Walk: Ascending from Crowcombe we follow the ridge to Bicknoller Post, then descend to the sea at East Quantoxhead, a Site of Special Scientific Interest with its geology and fossils. We finish with a short walk up to the coach at Kilve. 8½ miles (14km) with 1,050 feet (320m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting at Cothelstone we walk the length of the Quantocks ridge from Cothelstone Hill to East Quantoxhead, before reaching the coast at Kilve beach and on to Kilve. 12 miles (20km) with 1,650 feet (500m) of ascent.
H: Horner Hill, Dunkery Beacon and Horner Water
Available on: 29 Aug 2017, 12 Sep 2017, 24 Oct 2017, 7 Nov 2017
Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor is the highlight of today's walks. From the summit you can enjoy panoramic views over the moors and wooded valleys of the national park. If you're lucky you may well see Red Deer on the descent back towards Holnicote House.
Easier Walk: From Exford Common we ascend to Dunkery Beacon, with views towards Dartmoor and Wales, and then descend through a Nature Reserve and Horner Woods to Horner village, finally crossing fields to Holnicote House. 7½ miles (12.5km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent and 1,900 feet (580m) of descent.
Medium Walk: Walking through the Raleigh Manor Estate we ascend Dunkery Beacon. We cross open moorland to Horner Wood Nature Reserve, descending to East Water, Horner Water and Horner village, then back to Holnicote House. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,450 feet (440m) of ascent and 2,250 feet (680m) of descent.
Harder Walk: Leaving Exford we head for the open moorland of Dunkery Beacon; continuing across the moor we descend to Stoke Pero church, then down through Horner Woods to Horner via some stony stream crossings and back to the house. 12 miles (19.5km) with 1,300 feet (400m) of ascent and 2,000 feet (600m) of descent.
I: The East Lyn River and Valley of Rocks
Available on: 31 Aug 2017, 13 Sep 2017, 25 Oct 2017, 8 Nov 2017
Today we head east along the coast to the Victorian town of Lynton which sits atop a hil, connected to the harbour at Lynmouth by a cliff raiilway. Our walks take in the wooded valley at Watersmeet, and the curious Valley of Rocks, with its herd of wild goats.
Easier Walk: Leaving Barna Barrow we walk to Countisbury, and inland down a zigzag path to Watersmeet. From here we walk to Lynmouth along the East Lyn River before taking the Victorian cliff railway up to explore Lynton. 7 miles (11.5km) with 1,550 feet (480m) of ascent and 2,450 feet (760m) of descent.
Medium Walk: We walk to Watersmeet and on to Lynton, climbing to a panoramic viewpoint above the Valley of Rocks before zigzagging down the valley to Lynmouth. 8 miles (13.5km) with 1,800 feet (560m) of ascent and 2,750 feet (840m) of descent.
Harder Walk: We walk down to Lynmouth, ascending to the Valley of Rocks and onto Lee Bay. We ascend to a high level path above Lynton and head over the Cleaves to Watersmeet. 11 miles (17.5km) with 3,200 feet (980m) of ascent and 3,700 feet (1,120m) of descent.
Which break for me
Our best-selling Guided Walking holidays run throughout the year - with their daily choice of up to 3 walks, these breaks are ideal for anyone who enjoys exploring the countryside on foot. Perhaps choose an Easier walk, then build up to something more challenging as your holiday progresses.
We also offer the following themed breaks that enable likeminded guests to holiday together:
Guided Walking - Classic Breaks
Our Classic Breaks are rich with the traditions of HF Holidays, making them particularly suited to our long-standing guests
During the day enjoy our usual choice of 3 guided walks. In the evening relax with likeminded guests during your evening meal, then enjoy a classic mix of evening activities arranged by your leaders. We'll include a great mix of quizzes, games and dancing, rounded off with a traditional party night on the final evening.
Classic Breaks at Selworthy start on Fri 3 and Mon 6 November 2017 - see the 'Dates & Prices' tab
See our full list of Classic Breaks
Guided Walking for Solos
We welcome many solo guests on our holidays; however you may prefer our dedicated holidays for solos only. As well as likeminded company, there's no extra charges for our premium single, and standard twin and double rooms.
See Guided Walking for Solos at Selworthy for further details
Other Guided Walking holidays at Selworthy
Walking with Sightseeing - the perfect combination of guided walks, plus sightseeing visits
Christmas & New Year Walking - enjoy guided walks, fabulous food and a great atmosphere on these special festive breaks
Family Walking Adventure - great fun for adults and children alike
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 Selworthy
Our address is: Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ
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).
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.
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.
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 Oct 2017||SLBOB - Guided Walking - Selworthy||4||£459.00||£434.00||Book Now|
|30 Oct 2017||SLBOB - Guided Walking - Selworthy||4||£385.00||£365.00||Book Now|
|3 Nov 2017||SLBOB - Guided Walking - Classic Breaks - Selworthy||3||£299.00||£279.00||Book Now|
|3 Nov 2017||SLBOB - Guided Walking - Classic Breaks - Selworthy||7||£649.00||£579.00||Book Now|
|6 Nov 2017||SLBOB - Guided Walking - Classic Breaks - Selworthy||4||£385.00||£335.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person