We follow the South West Coast Path between Minehead in Somerset and Croyde in North Devon, a part of England designated ‘National Heritage Coast’. This varied section of coast takes us from the mellow hills and woodland of Exmoor National Park to the wild cliffs of North Devon including the charming twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, the Valley of Rocks, and the secluded idyll of Heddon’s Mouth
- Outstanding coastal path
- Moorland of Exmoor to the wild cliffs of north Devon
- Stay at Holnicote House, Selworthy
- High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
- Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
- The services of an HF Holidays' walks leader
- All transport on walking days
From the seafront at Minehead, we ascend gradually to a high-level cliff path which takes us to Hurlstone Point, either via Selworthy Beacon or via a wilder and more rugged coastal path. From Hurlstone we continue to Bossington village and westwards to Porlock Weir across Porlock Marsh.
9-10 miles (14.5-16km), with 1,100-1,400 feet (330-420m) of ascent.
Leaving the shore, we make our way through woodland to the cliff path and on to Culbone Church, the smallest parish church in England and the woodland path through Glenthorne Estate. The path then becomes more remote, overlooking parts of the cliff edge with some fine viewpoints. We continue to Countisbury Hill and a spectacular cliff path which takes us down to Lynmouth with hopefully some time to look around.
12½ miles (20km), with 1,400 feet (420m) of ascent.
A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently.
From Lynmouth, we take the path near the cliff railway which winds uphill to Lynton, and then follow the North Walk along the seaward side of Hollerday Hill and into the Valley of Rocks with its unusual geological features. The coast path takes us past Lee Bay and Woody Bay. After a descent almost to sea level, we climb steeply up out of Heddons Mouth Cleave. We then follow the high level path west above East Cleave until we strike inland for Trentishoe Down and Holdstone Down.
9 miles (15km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
From Holdstone we start along a wide open track leading round to Holdstone Down and the deep valley of Sherrycombe. A steep ascent out of the combe and up to Great Hangman (the highest point on the whole of the South West Coast Path) follows and we continue on to Little Hangman overlooking Combe Martin. After a short stop in the town we continue along the coast path to Watermouth Bay, round the headlands to Hele and up to Hillsborough for its fine views. We then descend into Ilfracombe where there may be time for a Devon cream tea.
9½ miles (15km), with 1,700 feet (510m) of ascent.
From Ilfracombe we ascend through the spectacular Torrs Walk to the old coast track on the open downs. From Lee to Woolacombe the coast path hugs the cliffs and has a remote feel to it, with many ascents and descents. Depending on the tide, we may walk along the sands or along the road/track between Woolacombe and Vention. The path takes us out to Baggy Point, our most westerly point, with its fine views of Lundy Island. We follow the track east into Croyde Bay where we conclude our section of the South West Coast Path.
13 miles (21km), with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.
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.
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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
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.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
- Rucksack with a waterproof liner,
- Thermos flask for hot drink,
- Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
- Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
- Small torch
- First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
- Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
- Insect repellent,
- Sun hat,
- Sun cream and
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
16 May - 23 May
|7||Guided Trail||£934 £884||Unavailable to Book Unavailable||Trip Notes|
05 Sep - 12 Sep
|7||Guided Trail||£935 £885||Save £50 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
7 nights from £934pp £884pp
...or call 020 3974 8865