Exmoor Through a Lens
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Hills & moorland
Capture the rich tapestry of Selworthy on camera. Explore and photograph both the iconic and the quirky that make our land and coast unique.
Our expert leader will give you the expertise you need to get the best out of your camera and that inspirational vista. During the course of each day we'll walk up to 3 miles (5km)
- Spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best light and the best images
- Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage
- Visit inspirational vistas of Exmoor
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All essential transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other mode of transport e.g. boat
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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|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
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better & best rooms 1.00pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
Focusing on pretty thatched cottages, stunning coastal vistas and an idyllic harbour at Selworthy, Porlock Weir and Allerford.
Our day begins with tuition focusing on apertures, depth of field, focus and the importance of the dioptre. We'll then take the short walk to Selworthy village with its thatched cottages, pretty gardens around a village green, a whitewashed church and views of the valley and hills. After lunch we'll continue to Porlock, a traditional Exmoor Village with views over the Bristol Channel and the rolling hills of the Exmoor National Park, then on to Porlock Weir, one of the most beautiful spots on the West Somerset Coast, an idyllic working harbour with stunning coastal vistas. Our final visit is to the picturesque village of Allerford to relax over afternoon tea and explore beautiful surroundings including a picturesque fifteenth-century packhorse bridge and a working smithy.
Shooting steam trains, a castle and an old port at Minehead, Watchett and Dunster
The day begins with tuition focusing on exposure compensation and metering. Our first location of the day is Minehead, a vibrant Somerset coastal destination with stunning scenery and the longest heritage steam railway in the country. From there we continue to Watchett, a charming little coastal town with an active marina and an old port with quaint houses. Our final visit is the medieval village of Dunster with a castle dramatically sited on a wooded hill. The castle has existed here since at least Norman times, with an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history.
Capturing ancient woodlands and high cliffs on camera at Lynton, Lynmouth and Watersmeet
Our day begins with tuition focusing on composition, the Mode dial and shutter speeds. Our first visit of the day are two villages on the coast, Lynton and Lynmouth, known by the Victorians as Little Switzerland. The two villages are linked by a famous cliff railway, well worth a ride, giving views over Lynmouth bay and towards the South Wales coast. We continue along the coastal path to the Valley of Rocks with wonderful scenery and flocks of wild goats, then to Watersmeet one of the largest remaining ancient woodlands in the south west. Here the East Lyn River cascades through the woodland, meeting Farley Water and giving the site its name. The site has a diverse breeding bird community, including ravens, redstarts, pied flycatchers and all three woodpeckers.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
What to bring
- Your camera and other essential accessories
- memory card or memory stick
- battery and charger
- Your camera’s instruction manual (especially if you are a beginner, and because even your leader hasn’t memorised every digital camera menu settings!)
- waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
- bag or bags for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
- notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
- a laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday)
- Optional camera accessories (remember you will have to carry some of these):
• Spare memory cards
• Spare camera battery
• Spare camera (you never know)
• Small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example
• Filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising
• Memory stick or CD for storing images
• Tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
• Camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer
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 Holnicote House
Our address is: Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ
The nearest railway station is at Taunton. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The 29 mile journey from Taunton railway station takes approximately 50 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £56 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The 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.
Bristol Airport may also be convenient for some guests. Take the train to Taunton
From Taunton you can travel on to Selworthy by bus or taxi (see above).
Derek is a Fine Art photographer and photography trainer based in South Oxfordshire. His Fine Art images show creative use of texture, colour and especially of movement. He has been called "The Light Ninja"... His passion for photography has inspired him to help others improve their own photographic skills and creativity. As well as offering training for individuals he is a regular workshop tutor for the Royal Photographic Society, and he believes that learning should be serious fun!
For more information about Derek’s work, see his website: www.galephotography.co.uk
Excellent communicator, programme well prepared and researched, enthusiastic and professional manner.
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
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person