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, and the convivial atmosphere of our Country Houses will make sure you have an enjoyable time.
Share walking experiences together, eat, socialise and have fun together, with more locations and availability than ever before.
We welcome single guests on all of our holidays, but on our special holidays for Solos the entire holiday is especially for single guests.
As an added bonus there is no single room charge on any of these Solos holidays and double rooms are available at no extra cost. Twin rooms are also available for sole occupancy at a special reduced price of £10 per night (subject to availability) so book now to secure the room of your choice!
A guided walking holiday based between the picturesque villages of Selworthy and Allerford is the ideal way to explore the rolling hills, wooded combes and glorious coast of the Exmoor National Park.
- Contrasting walks along the dramatic coastline and high moorland of the Exmoor National Park
- Stay at historic, National Trust owned Holnicote House with its superb grounds and outdoor swimming pool
- Great walking right on the doorstep to the Selworthy and Dunkery Beacons
- Vibrant yellow gorse, wild purple heather, outstanding coastline and steep-sided wooded combes
- See the ponies and red deer on Exmoor and the Quantock Hills
- Visit the locations made famous by the tale of Lorna Doone and the poets Coleridge and Southey
Our guided walking holidays offer excellent value. All prices include:
- Accommodation in standard en-suite rooms at Holnicote House
- All meals - a traditional cooked breakfast, evening meal and a picnic lunch each day. We are always able to cater for vegetarian diets
- A full programme of guided walks
- All transport to and from the start of the walks
- Light-hearted social activities in the evenings
- Use of house facilities
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.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
There are two comfortable lounges, dining room and an attractive bar. The ballroom is a flexible space which can be used for dancing or for a variety of leisure activity holidays. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
The heated outdoor swimming pool (open May to September) is always popular with our guests. There's also a croquet lawn.
The gardens are particularly extensive and form part of the wider Holnicote Estate.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on local wildlife from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- On arrival there is a level driveway with two speed bumps with ample parking on both sides of the drive
- The surface of the driveway is gravel
- It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door
- There is 1 dedicated disabled parking bays
- Assistance can be provided with luggage
Main entrance & reception
- The main entrance has 1 step (9cm high) and is 123cm wide. There is a ramp available on request for the side entrance
- The front door is locked during the night, but access is available via the boot room (with a digital door code)
- If accessing from the boot room, there are 2 steps up to the ground floor. The steps are 20cm and 34cm high and both are 133cm wide. Wooden handrail on both sides of the steps
- After entering the house, all the facilities are available without encountering any further steps, with the exception of the boot room (details above) or the ballroom, which is accessed via 3 steps. These steps are each 15cm high, 36cm deep and 125cm wide. Wooden handrail on both sides of the steps
- There are several floor coverings on the ground floor, mainly carpet, but also some nonslip safety flooring and original quarry tiles by the tradesman's entrance (the side entrance). The ballroom has wooden block flooring
Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc
- All internal doors are 66cm wide (except where separate measurements have been given)
- The minimum width of the corridor is 126cm
- The floor surface on the stairs and upstairs corridors is short pile carpet. Ground floor corridor is non-slip flooring
Public areas - lounges
- The ground floor has 2 lounges, a dining room, a bar and a ballroom and a boot room
- The larger lounge (4.6m x 12m) is carpeted with plenty of seating (bucket chairs are 45cm high, settees 43cm high and the tables are 68cm in diameter, 72cm high). Door width 92cm
- Smaller lounge (8m x 7.5m). Bucket chairs are 47cm high, settees 37cm high and number of tables 39-48cm high. Door width 1m
- The ballroom (8m x 4.9m) is and has wood block flooring
- All furniture is easily movable
- There are 2 unisex toilets on the ground floor opposite the bar
- Minimum door width 80cm. Toilet heights are 40cm and 42cm
- Approximate room sizes are 1.22m x 1.37m for the first toilet and 1.22m x 2.57m for the second one
Dining room & bar
- The carpeted dining room (6m x 10m including Roman end) is situated on the ground floor with level access. Door width 94cm
- 6 round tables, each seating maximum of 10 guests
- Tables have an under space of 73cm high by 150cm wide. Each table has 4 legs 20cm away from the round edge
- The chairs do not have arms. The seats are 46cm high
- Waitress service
- Special diets catered for, but should be advised pre or on arrival
- The carpeted bar area is 3.6m x 4.9m. Door width 66cm. Built-in benches (47cm high) around the room seat 13 people. Various stools (51cm-75 cm high) and 5 circular tables (72cm high)
There are no dedicated disabled rooms, the room best suited for anyone with restricted mobility is room 22.
- The rest of the rooms are a mixture of single, twin and double rooms, located either in the main house, Guns Cottage, Butlers Cottage or Chalets. In the main house the bedrooms are on the first and second floor only
- The staircase is 106cm wide. There are 15 steps to the first floor landing (bedrooms 6 to 21), with another 3 steps to bedrooms 1 to 5. Each step is 17cm high, 29cm deep and 106cm wide
- Most of the bedrooms are en-suite with shower. Some rooms only have a wash basin, there are public bathrooms available
- Large extensive gardens, which include orchard, herb garden, flower borders and trellis enclosed pool area
- A bench, garden chairs and loungers are available
- Garden is fairly level, with tarmac pathways. Easy access
- The outdoor swimming pool is available from May to September. The pool size is 12m x 6m plus the Roman end which has 5cm x 5cm deep steps
- The pool does not have an attendant and is currently not equipped with aids to assist entry
- Within the pool area there is an alarm, first aid post, rescue hook and a life buoy
- 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.
We’ve a fantastic selection of walks for 2016 - see below. Please check back here in November for any variations for our 2017 holidays.
Group B: 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. 7 miles (11km) with 700 feet (210m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: We head up through Selworthy village onto the moorland to follow the South West Coast Path from North Hill to Selworthy Beacon, with views across the Bristol Channel. We descend via the Acland Memorial Hut, an Iron Age settlement and through woodland to Holnicote House. 7 miles (11km) with 1,100 feet (330m) 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 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.
Group C: Valley and Hills to Dunster Castle
Easier Walk: A short coach ride takes us to Washford with its railway museum and Cleeve Abbey ruins. We follow the Macmillan Way to Withycombe and up Withycombe Hill, and through the Deer Park to Dunster, with time to visit the town’s attractions. 7 miles (11km) with 900 feet (270m) 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 (14.5km) with 1,300 feet (390m) 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. 12 miles (19km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent.
Group 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 (11km) with 600 feet (180m) 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 1,200 feet (360m) 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. 12 miles (19km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent.
Group 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 descend to the lighthouse at Foreland Point. We then join the South West Coast Path to ascend Butter Hill before gently descending into Lynmouth. 6 miles (9.5km) with 700 feet (210m) of ascent and 1,600 feet (480m) 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. 8 miles (13km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent and 2,000 feet (600m) 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 1,200 feet (360m) of ascent and 2,200 feet (660m) of descent.
2016 Walking Programmes
7 night holiday: 5 days of walking and a free day on the Monday (unless otherwise stated)
Walks A-E: Fri 6 May
4 night holidays: 3 days of walking
Walks C, D, E: Mon 9 May
3 night holidays: 2 days of walking
Walks A & B: Fri 6 May
Walks A & C: Fri 18 March
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
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
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
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
Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ
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).
By taxi: The 29 mile journey from Taunton railway station takes approximately 50 minutes (please allow up to an extra 30 minutes for a weekday transfer). Taxis cost approx £56 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Holnicote House Manager.
By bus: There are buses which will take you from Taunton to Minehead, and then change to continue onto Selworthy Turn which is the bus stop at the bottom of the drive of Holnicote House. Alternatively pre-book a taxi from Minehead; the 4½ mile journey will cost you approx £10 from our recommended taxi provider.
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.
To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
3 Jul 2016, 4:54 a.m.
No review provided
For the second time in 3 years my chosen holiday was cancelled. On the plus side the staff were helpful in arranging a replacement holiday
19 May 2016, 2:35 p.m.
No review provided
Willing to meet all needs without hesitation and with a smile.
17 May 2016, 5:47 p.m.
Always good walks and great leaders.
Loved the walks and the manager and staff were excellent.
16 May 2016, 11:29 a.m.
Generally good food, excellent in some houses. Generally good leaders and well organised walks and evening activities much improved
Great walking programme.. Lovely house. Great local food. Good crowd but that is just pot luck
16 May 2016, 8:34 a.m.
Well organised, good food some of the house could do with updating.
Comments as above plus very good walk leaders.
24 Mar 2016, 7:58 p.m.
Thoroughly enjoyed weekend walking trip! Group leaders in their general commeradie and pleasantness ensured that the whole group integrated and a pleasant time was had by all!
It was my first walking holiday with hf holidays. Every element of holiday was excellent, personal hotel staff, delicious food, precise directions to reach holiday destination, well knitted out amenities and well thought out and planned walking routes with very committed leaders!
24 Mar 2016, 4:29 p.m.
No review provided
Good service in The House
24 Mar 2016, 3:17 p.m.
I always enjoy HF this has just been number 25 in 12 years. Especially enjoy the evening activities as I usually go on my own.
Very well organised? A good manager who is hands on and easily available.my room was newly refurbished to a very good standard.
24 Mar 2016, 7:37 a.m.
What you see in the brochure is what you get. HF is so reliable.
Good room, great food, lovely staff, knowledgeable and friendly leaders. The weekend was thoroughly enjoyable- just the break I needed.
6 Nov 2015, 10:09 p.m.
Read more reviews from feefo
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|12 May 2017||SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy||3||£359.00||£359.00||Book Now|
|12 May 2017||SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy||7||£819.00||£694.00||Book Now|
|15 May 2017||SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy||4||£499.00||£499.00||Book Now|
|2 Sep 2017||SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy||3||£359.00||£359.00||Book Now|
|2 Sep 2017||SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy||6||£719.00||£609.00||Book Now|
|5 Sep 2017||SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy||3||£359.00||£359.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person