Somerset & North Devon Coast Path
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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 use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
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
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
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 per person per night
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• 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
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Two lounges
• Dining rooms
|• Free WiFi available in some public rooms
• Range of board games and books
• Heated outdoor swimming pool (open May to September
|• Croquet lawn|
|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
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Minehead to Porlock Weir
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.
Day 3: Porlock Weir to Lynmouth
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.
Day 4: Rest day
A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently.
Day 5: Lynmouth to Trentishoe Down
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.
Day 6: Trentishoe Down to Ilfracombe Harbour
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.
Day 7: Ilfracombe Harbour to Croyde Bay
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.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
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 Selworthy
Our address is: Holnicote House, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8TJ
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).
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.
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.
From Taunton you can travel on to Selworthy by bus or taxi (see above).
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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
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £15 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.