The Coleridge Way Trail

Valley of the Rocks Exmoor - Hollerday Hill View
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided trails
Walking Grade: 3
from £1,229pp £1,179pp

The Coleridge Way leads you through the Somerset landscapes that helped inspire one of Britain’s most celebrated poets, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. An avid walker, Coleridge frequently journeyed between his home in Nether Stowey and the fishing village of Lynmouth and this much-loved trail follows some of the very same paths the wordsmith would have taken in the late 18th century. Exploring sweeps of open moorland, heather-clad hills, historic villages, and wooded valleys with panoramic views over the Exmoor coast, we’ll discover places that inspired the poet to pen famous works including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the epic ballad, Kubla Khan.

What you’ll love

  • Spotting wild goats in the Valley of Rocks  
  • Visiting Coleridge Cottage, the poet’s former home   
  • Hiking around the Quantock Hills 
  • Passing Alfoxton House, William Wordsworth’s one-time home  
  • Walking through the heart of Lorna Doone Country 
  • Seeing where Coleridge was inspired to write Kubla Khan 

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite rooms in our partner accommodation(s)
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walks with an experienced HF Holidays Leader  
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 2,400 feet (740m)

We start the day at Poets Corner in The Valley of Rocks. Known for its wild goats and dramatic landscape, it’s easy to see why this rugged gorge was named ‘Little Switzerland’ by Coleridge’s friend and fellow Lake Poet, Robert Southey.  Descending into Lynmouth, we reach the true start of the Coleridge Way.  From the harbour, we follow the banks of the East Lyn River on an undulating woodland path to Watersmeet, a former fishing lodge now owned by the National Trust and open as a tearoom. We continue alongside the East Lyn emerging at Brendon where the path rises above the river valley with extensive views across Lorna Doone country to reach County Gate – where Devon and Somerset meet.

Quaint old harbour of Lynmouth in Exmoor, North Devon


Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 1,640 feet (500m)

From County Gate we rejoin the Coleridge Way descending to join the riverside path to Oare, where we have an option to visit Oare Church, made famous in R D Blackmore’s book Lorna Doone.  We’ll ascend the steep ridge of Deddy Combe to be rewarded with views of Exmoor including the Doone Valley. Following hedged tracks and lanes with glimpses of the Bristol Channel, we’ll make our way towards the Somerset coastline. Along the way, we’ll pass Ash Farm where Coleridge was inspired to write Kubla Khan before descending through Worthy Wood to the village of Porlock with its 13th century church dedicated to St Dubricius.

Porlock, Somerset, England


Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 2,210 feet (675m)

Departing Porlock, there’s a steep ascent that flattens out as we reach the lanes and tracks that lead to Horner, an attractive hamlet of thatched cottages. Heading uphill through woodland takes us to the lookout at Webber’s Post. After enjoying the views over Horner Wood and up to Dunkery Beacon (the highest point on Exmoor) we skirt around the base of Dunkery Hill to reach the River Avill. Once across the river, we follow wooded paths to the village of Wheddon Cross where there’s an aptly-named pub called Rest and be Thankful (so-called because of its hilltop location at the end of a very long climb from the coast at Dunster and Minehead).

September on Exmoor National Park - An abundant crop of haw berries in early autumn beside a grassy footpath near Horner, So…


Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 950 feet (295m)

From Wheddon Cross, we’ll visit the 13th century Cutcombe Church with its stained-glass window depicting a line from Coleridge’s poem Frost at Midnight. Following an ancient sunken lane and footpaths, we cross fields to ascend Lype Hill – the highest point of the Coleridge Way. From here, we’re rewarded with far-reaching views over the Brendon Hills. We’ll then descend to the hamlet of Kingsbridge and take a route that rises and falls to reach our finish point for the day, the village of Roadwater. Perched on the Washford River, it served as one of the stations on the Old Mineral Line that brought iron ore from the Brendon Hills to Watchet, ready to be shipped to Wales for processing.

AdobeStock_365627560.jpeg


Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

From Roadwater, the path climbs gently through fields and woodland to follow a level track above the Washford River and the route of the Old Mineral Line. We’ll follow old lanes into Monksilver and continue to the village of Sampford Brett - birthplace of Richard le Breton, one of the four knights who murdered Thomas Becket in 1170. Crossing the West Somerset Steam Railway line and the A358 to Bicknoller, we’ll pass by its 12th century church full of interesting features. Keep an eye out for the ornately carved angels and nightmarish animal heads.


Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 1,740 feet (530m)

On our final day, the route winds around the lower slopes of the Quantock Hills – one of Coleridge’s favourite places to roam.  Ascending from Bicknoller, we join a woodland path with a brief section of road and walk into West Quantoxhead. It’s then onto a grassy track that weaves through the woods before descending to Alfoxton House – the one-time home of William Wordsworth. Continuing to Holford, we’ll head up and over heathland to Woodlands Hill and down to Dowsborough where an Iron Age hill fort once stood. Lanes and paths lead us past the remains of Stowey Castle to our final destination - Nether Stowey. The village has an interesting collection of old houses crowded along its narrow streets, including the National Trust-owned, Coleridge Cottage - the former home of Samuel Taylor Coleridge himself and a fitting end to our journey.

The clock tower in the small Somerset village of Nether Stowey


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Itinerary map for Coleridge Way

Holnicote House

There’s plenty to look forward to at this beacon of Somerset hospitality near the impossibly pretty village of Selworthy. The location couldn’t be more perfect; within rolling-out-of-bed distance from Exmoor National Park and an easy drive from Dunster Castle, Coleridge Cottage, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, and the sandy delights at Porlock and Minehead. The walking opportunities here are standout, too, not least for the trails around the Quantock Hills, Dunkery Beacon, Bossington, and a section of the England Coast Path that takes you on a glorious journey along the county’s coastline.    

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Holnicote House has 32 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. 

We love: The rooms in the main building or the thatched grounds, especially Rooms 1 and 4. The first floor rooms have fabulous views across Crawter Hill and Dunkery Hill. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments. 

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Holnicote House

10684_0056 Holnicote House - Exterior

Getting to Holnicote House

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

More Information

Address

Holnicote House
Selworthy
Minehead
Somerset TA24 8TJ

Tel: +44 (0)1643 862013

By train

The nearest station is Taunton.  

Check National Rail for train times and routes. 

By taxi

From Taunton train station it’s a 27-mile journey taking 1 hour.

For pricing, please contact Minehead Taxis directly.

Minehead Taxis
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Minehead Taxis*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1643 704123

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Holnicote House.

*Minehead Taxis is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The number 28 bus runs between Taunton station and Minehead, taking around one and a half hours. At Minehead, change to the number 10 bus to the Selworthy turn (at the end of Holnicote House drive). A two-minute walk along the drive will bring you to the house.  

For bus times, check Traveline. 

By car

There’s free car parking at Holnicote House if you decide to drive.  

From Bridgwater take the A39 though the southern outskirts of Minehead towards Porlock. You’ll find Holnicote House on the left about four and a half miles out of Minehead.  

By air

The nearest airport is London Heathrow. 

Take the train to London Paddington station where there are direct trains to Taunton. It’s a relatively straightforward journey that’ll should take around 2.5 hours.  

Bristol Airport is also an option. From here, you can take the bus and train to Taunton. 

Check National Rail for routes and train times. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Holnicote House Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

31 May - 07 Jun 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single from

£1,229 £1,179

Double from

£1,229 £1,179 pp

from

£1,229 £1,179 pp

from

£1,229 £1,179

Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes
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23 Aug - 30 Aug 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided trails
Walking Grade:
3

7 nights from £1,229pp £1,179pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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