Guided Walking for Solos at Selworthy



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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • Rural peace


  • Easier
  • Easy
  • Medium
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £334.00 - 3 to 6 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

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.


In pictures...


As a historic National Trust property, Holnicote House is full of charm and character. Located on the   4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodationextensive 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 at no extra charge.

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 £10 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.


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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.


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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.

Visit England Breakfast Award logo at HF HolidaysStart 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.

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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.

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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 

Public WCs

  • 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.

Other bedrooms

  • 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 

Outdoor facilities

  • 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 

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


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.

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Easier Walks        HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Meduium Walks        HF Holidays walks level 3 medium Harder Walks

A: Holnicote and Selworthy Beacon

View from the summit of Selworthy BeaconEasier 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

Watersmeet bridge and cafeEasier 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

Dunster CastleEasier 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

Green valley of the River BarleEasier 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

View of Lynmouth Bay and Countisbury HillCoastal 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.

Our guests

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. 

Free day 

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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 or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Train heading to Taunton 

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.



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


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 for train times.

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

 Quantas Boeing 747


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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
2 Sep 2017 SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy 3 £359.00 £334.00 OFFER -£25 off pp - twins available as singles at no extra - Call Reservations to book Book Now
2 Sep 2017 SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy 6 £719.00 £659.00 OFFER - £60 off pp Book Now
5 Sep 2017 SLBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Selworthy 3 £359.00 £334.00 OFFER -£25 off pp - twins available as singles at no extra - Call Reservations to book 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

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