Guided Walking for Solos 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.
Country walking is a great way to meet new friends. We welcome individual travellers on all of our holidays, but on Guided Walking for Solos the entire holiday is especially for single guests. Enjoy likeminded company and a great selection of walks on the Exmoor, and the Somerset coast. Discover panoramic sea views, Red Deer and wild purple heather on our choice of guided 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.
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
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.
Easier Walks Meduium Walks Harder Walks
A: Holnicote and Selworthy Beacon
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) 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
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
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
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
Coastal paths with some of Britain’s highest sea cliffs and fantastic views over the Bristol Channel. A head for heights is needed on the descent to Lynmouth – 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.
2017 Walking Programmes
7 night holidays: 5 days of walking and a free day on the Monday for Friday starts and free day on the Wednesday for Saturday starts
Walks A-E: Fri 12 May
6 night holidays: 4 days walking
Walks A-D: Sat 2 Sep
4 night holidays: 3 days walking
Walks C,D,E: Mon 15 May
3 night holidays: 2 days walking
Walks A,B: Fri 12 May, Sat 2 Sep
Walks C,D: Tue 5 Sep
Terrain and transport
Easier Walks have gentle gradients. Medium Walks are on undulating paths. Harder Walks follow undulating paths, with steeper sections.
On some days the walks start or finish at Holnicote House; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.
The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There is normally a good mix of ages, of new guests and 'regulars' from Britain and overseas. On our Guided Walking for Solos holidays, the holiday is especially for single guests.
Each seven holiday has a day without any organised walks, so you can explore Exmoor independently.
In the evenings
Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an organised activity such as a quiz or a talk about the local area, relax in the bar or use the Country House facilities.
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
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
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