Exmoor Outdoor Escapes Holiday
Exhilarating weekends - as adventurous or relaxing as you choose
Code: SLBOEPrint page
Hills & moorland
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Enjoy the thrills that Exmoor has to offer with other outdoor enthusiasts. Outdoor Escapes offer exhilarating weekends and short breaks; ideal if you want to make the most of your time away from work.
Your break can be as action-packed or relaxed as you choose. There's a choice of three walks each day including challenging longer walks for those who want to stride out. If you prefer to take things easy, our shorter walks allow plenty of time to see wildlife, stop at the pub, or explore the key sights.
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
Experience the very best of the Exmoor on our walks. Each day we'll offer three options, ranging from relaxing shorter strolls, to more challenging longer walks. Our flexible programme allows you to choose the option that suits your mood.
Select the date of your holiday to see which walks are running during your stay.
Outdoor Escapes at Selworthy - 3 night break
Available on: 26 Apr 2019
Day 1: Arrival Day
Join us at our Holnicote House for an action-packed short break. If the weather is fine we can take a short pre-dinner stroll down around the estate to help get your bearings. After a delicious 3-course evening meal, there's time to relax with the rest of the group and look forward to the adventures to come.
Day 2: Dunkery Beacon, steam trains & Dunster
Select from a choice of 3 contrasting guided walks. Take it easy on our shortest walk to Dunster, or stride out on a walk to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor.
Option 1: Steam trains, seaside and scenic Dunster
Distance: 3 miles (5km)
Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)
The walk in a nutshell: Take the steam train from Minehead to Blue Anchor Bay, then a short walk takes us across the fields to the medieval village of Dunster, with plenty of time to explore.
Don’t miss: ride the steam train along some of Britain's most scenic coastline, a short countryside walk (enough to burn off the calories of a few cakes in Dunster), and charming Dunster itself.
Option 2: Cross-country to charming Dunster
Distance: 9 miles (15km)
Total ascent: 1,600 feet (500m)
The walk in a nutshell: We head straight from our door for the charm of historic Dunster. Cracking views from Webber's Post, then ones to rival this as we stride out along the ridge over Wootton Common.
Don’t miss: soaking up the charm of Dunster and exploring its cobbled streets before taking a pew in the Stags Head to celebrate a great day.
Option 3: Dunkery Beacon - the high point of Exmoor
Distance: 12½ miles (20km)
Total ascent: 2,500 feet (760m)
The walk in a nutshell: Stretch your legs and head up onto Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor, for stunning views as far as Wales. Down across the moor to Wootton Courtenay, then we're over the hills to Dunster.
Don’t miss: fantastic walking, with a well deserved pint or two at the end of the day. Join the others in the Stags Head to celebrate the weekend.
Day 3: The South West Coast Path
Option 1: Porlock Weir, scenic paths & pictures
Distance: 4 miles (7km)
Total ascent: very little
The walk in a nutshell: An easy half-day walk exploring the beautiful scenery surrounding Porlock and Porlock Weir. Thatched cottages, craft shops, and great chances to spot birdlife as you walk beside the marsh.
Don’t miss: the chance to try your hand at a little landscape photography on route. We've an expert on hand to show you how to snap the best shots.
Option 2: The South West Coast Path & Selworthy Beacon
Distance: 9 miles (14½km)
Total ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)
The walk in a nutshell: This first section of the famous South West Coast Path, takes us on a rollercoaster - along steep cliff paths, up and down wooded combes, with spectacular views from Selworthy Beacon, before reaching picturesque Porlock.
Don’t miss: some fantastic flora and fauna en route, including whitebeam trees (unique to Exmoor) and the magnificent red deer.
Option 3: The "Rugged Coast Path" & Porlock Weir
Distance: 11 miles (17½km)
Total ascent: 1,900 feet (580m)
The walk in a nutshell: Cross some of the highest coastline in England, following the dramatic route of the "rugged coast path". Enjoy the perfect post-walk pint to finish, in Porlock Weir, after an induction to Britain's favourite trail - the South West Coast Path.
Don’t miss: One heck of a work out, accompanied by stunning views - on a clear day you can see across to the Brecon Beacons.
Day 4: Departure Day & Local Walk
Make the most of your final morning with the opportunity to join a half-day guided walk to Horner.
Option 1: Luccombe & Horner
Distance: 4 miles (6½km)
Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)
The walk in a nutshell: Explore local estate roads and lanes to the pretty village of Luccombe then on to Horner with its tea gardens. Kick back and relax there a while before we head back to Holnicote House, with plenty of time for a last swim.
Don’t miss: A relaxing end to the holiday with plenty of time to appreciate the beauty of 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:
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).
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