Play & Sing Folk Music in Exmoor

Musician Playing Note on Lute
Duration: 5 nights
Interests: Singing Holidays

Enjoy playing a great selection of British, Irish and American folk songs and tunes. Only a minimal level of music experience is required to take part. If you are a guitar player who knows a few chords, a fiddler or harmonica player who can play a simple tune or a singer ready to have a go, this is for you. More experienced players are welcome; the key is to have fun! You’ll practise each morning and after dinner.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy playing and singing folk music with your experienced leader
  • Make friends with a group of people who learn together, laugh together, encourage each other and have a lot of fun
  • Free time in the afternoon to explore the local area

What’s included

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • Guidance and tuition from a qualified leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • All music

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Your room will be ready from 2.30pm onwards (1pm for better rooms). Afternoon tea will be provided so you can meet with your fellow guests. Your leader will talk you through the holiday, including its timetable, on the first evening. After dinner, start warming up for your first music session.


Mornings

We’ll start playing each morning from 9.30am and have a nice cup of tea halfway through.

Afternoons

Enjoy lunch together, then you’ve got some free time. There are fantastic walks right on the doorstep and our Discovery Points are ready to make the most out of your stay - there are plenty of maps and a selection of the best tried and tested walking and cycling routes to use, as well as local weather forecasts and public transport options too – plus those all-important personal insights on things to spot, places to stop, and things to do along the way. Or you can always get some more rehearsal time in by yourself.

Evenings

There’s usually an informal concert at the end of the holiday. Why not show off your new repertoire to other guests in the house?


Leave (on a high note) after a leisurely breakfast.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.


Holnicote House

Lying near the attractive village of Selworthy, in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, historic Holnicote House stands within a series of peaceful gardens with spreading lawns. Once the centrepiece of an extensive 12,500 acre estate, the charming and characterful house was gifted to the National Trust in 1944. Since then it has been reimagined as a walkers’ retreat, with wonderful access to the countryside. As well as 32 delightful bedrooms, there are two comfortable lounges and a sociable bar. The landscaped gardens are still part of the wider Holnicote Estate and provide a wonderful area to wander. Outside the house, explore wild Exmoor, walk in the Quantocks, climb Dunkery Beacon and stroll on the Somerset Coast Path with the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, drop in Dunster Castle, ride a Victorian cliff railway and watch for wildlife including the majestic red stags.

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s bright, beautifully presented rooms or in the thatched cottages in the grounds, called Butlers and Guns respectively. With 32 bedrooms, Holnicote House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: best rooms are on the first floor and decorated in keeping with the National Trust estate, with plenty of space and great views over the back garden, reaching out across Crawter Hill and Dunkery Hill, Somerset and Exmoor’s highest point. Ask for numbers 1, 4 or 9 to feel suitably special.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day walking on Exmoor or exploring the heath and moorland, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the pretty gardens or challenge a fellow guest to a game of croquet. Take a dip in the large heated outdoor pool. For something less strenuous, snag a comfy chair in one of the cosy lounges, borrow a book, join a game of cards or scour the countryside through the large telescope. Head to the bar before dinner for a drink and a chance to catch up with your companions, best enjoyed by the windows overlooking the estate.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Holnicote House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the wood panelled dining room with its giant fireplace hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try classic Porlock oysters or Priddy Oggies, a local pasty of chicken, bacon and cheese. Mains might include Exmoor venison or Bellbrook valley trout, while you could cap it all with a Somerset apple cake, dressed with cream.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

Getting to Holnicote House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

Please bring the instrument/s you wish to play, along with your own music stand. All sheet music will be provided. This holiday is ideally suited to those instruments traditionally associated with folk music, such as strings, light percussion, squeeze boxes, harmonicas, flutes, etc. Other instruments that feature in concert or brass band music won’t be suitable for this type of playing. Please ask our Reservations staff for more information if you’re unsure whether the instrument you play will be appropriate on this holiday.

All music will be provided. The final evening may include an informal concert.

John Brenchley

John started singing as a child and hasn’t stopped since! He also plays guitar, performing at local folk clubs, playing in the band for Wickham Morris and performing as a stand-in member for a local Irish band. You’ll find him busking, often with friends, at the Sidmouth Folk Week. John has a great enthusiasm for sharing his music and encouraging others. Since retiring John has expanded his musical activities including helping with a “Singing for Fun” group.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
5 nights
Interests:
Singing Holidays

5 nights from 0pp

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