Rambles with a Sketchbook Holiday in Exmoor

Image of notebooks, colorful pencils on wooden table outdoors at afternoon. selective focus
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Art Holidays

Create your own artistic impressions, capturing the UK’s most inspirational landscapes out in the field. Led by our art leader, you’ll walk up to four miles each day carrying your equipment and stopping to sketch local scenes. The tutor will talk you through sketching techniques and composition and will be on hand to give help and advice. Working in the company of fellow artists, you can expect great group camaraderie.

Holiday Highlights

  • Guidance from expert artists 
  • Full days to practise in inspirational surroundings 
  • Fun and supportive environment
  • Small groups of 15 people or under 

What’s included

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • Tuition from our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • Loan of wooden A3 art boards

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


On your Rambles with a Sketchbook holiday, you will spend the majority of the day outdoors, walking up to four miles to reach the most inspirational vistas in the local area. Your Art Tutor will guide you in learning different techniques to help develop your skills, all with the encouragement of your fellow guests. On 7-night holidays, there will be a free day for you to explore the area independently, relax in the house, or perhaps practise some more!

The evenings are your own to socialise, relax in the house lounges or bar, or take part in a range of house activities.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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

  • Sketchbook – good cartridge paper (e.g.150gm), A4 or 8” square and/or A5 or 6” square (spiral bound or hard back – the smaller ones are fine
  • 2B & 4B pencils and a water soluble graphite pencil
  • Craft blade for sharpening pencils
  • Putty rubber
  • Bulldog clips or large elastic bands for holding paper in windy conditions
  • A sketching pen
  • Blank slide mount or small cardboard mount for view finder (e.g. ½ postcard)
  • A rucksack to carry the materials
  • Good hiking shoes or boots, hiking sticks if you need them
  • A foam seat pad or lightweight stool that you can easily carry
  • Protection against weather & insects – waterproofs, sunblock & sunhat, insect repellent, long trousers & long sleeved shirt (to prevent sunburn).

Optional –

  • a set of Caran D’Ache Neocolour water-soluble pastels, or a set of water-soluble crayons (e.g.Derwent Inktense)
  • a water brush
  • Any other lightweight materials you like to use

Please remember - You will have to carry your equipment and lunch/drink so keep it simple.

*Lightweight wooden A3 painting boards are available for guest loan at the Country House.

Carl March

Carl March is professional artist and qualified teacher with over 25 years experience. He enjoys working with different media and particularly enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. His teaching experiences have taken him to many beautiful places in the UK and further afield, including working on a cruise ship as a visiting art lecturer.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
7 nights
Interests:
Art Holidays

7 nights from 0pp

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