Landscape Photography - Exmoor Through a Lens

Holnicote House

Code: SLEPT

Print page

Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • Rural peace

Holiday overview

Capture the rich tapestry of Great Britain on camera. Explore and photograph both the iconic and the quirky that make our land and coast unique. From the cottages and castles, fishing harbours and flower-rich meadows, hills and heathland, dry stone walls and designer gardens, unveil the true essence of your location. 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 we'll walk up to 3 miles (5km)

Holiday Highlights:

  • We'll spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best images
  • Your tutor will offer plenty of guidance and tuition
  • Evenings offer opportunities for further tuition, or the chance to review the day's photographs

Great Reasons to Join Us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus all transport to photographic sites and tuition
  • Expert leader: all our leaders are experts in their field and will ensure that you get the most out of your holiday
  • Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a fun and relaxed environment.

 

In pictures...

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Holnicote House in Selworthy

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.

 Choose your room

Classic Rooms
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single room are available at no extra charge 
Premium Rooms
• 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
Family Rooms
• 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

Facilities

• Excellent boot and drying rooms 
• Two lounges 
• Dining rooms 
• Bar 
• Ballroom
• Free WiFi available in some public rooms 
• Range of board games and books
• Heated outdoor swimming pool (open May to September
• Croquet lawn

Dining

All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
 Take your fill from our famous self service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

An example of Selworthy evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar


Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

 

Itinerary

Arrival day: Monday 

You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. 

Tuesday: 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.

Wednesday: 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.

Thursday: 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.

Friday: departure day

Depart after a leisurely breakfast

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.

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

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. www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk

 

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. 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.

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. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleridge-cottage

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. www.hestercombe.com

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. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court

Travel

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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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.

 

Bus

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 www.traveline.info

 

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 www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.

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

 Quantas Boeing 747

Leaders

Alan Cowderoy

Alan has been a working photographer for 25 years. His own area of interest in photography is social documentary, enabling him to record parts of society which otherwise might pass us by unnoticed. Alan is a qualified teacher who teaches media to a range of people from university students looking to start a career in photography to the older generation who are interested in photography as a hobby. His main focus in teaching is to enable people to gain control of their cameras while establishing and recording their own vision.

Reviews

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

Information

  • Premium single room: £15 per night
  • Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

Sign up for our newsletter

Our newsletters are a great way to receive special offers, inspiring articles, stories and news from HF Holidays.

To subscribe, please enter your email address below and click 'submit'.

We won't pass your details on to any third party unless we have your express permission, you are free to unsubscribe at any time.