New for 2020

Vibrant Florals in Mixed Media in Exmoor

Oil Painting daisies flowers  in the garden
Interests: Art Holidays

Don’t be a shrinking violet; it’s time to loosen up and experiment on this holiday to capture the unique shapes, textures and details of either wild or cultivated flowers. The emphasis will be on creating colourful, vibrant flower likenesses using a creative and interesting combination of materials. Our expert art leader will work on liberating your painting style and improving your confidence in painting methods so that your artwork blooms before your very eyes. Working alongside other artists, you will see how different people approach the task which may help trigger a few new ideas of your own. Fresh flowers and photographs will both be used to create vibrantartworks which will take pride of place on your wall at home.

Holiday Highlights

  • Guidance of Expert Tutors
  • Full days practice in quiet surroundings
  • Small Group size 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

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

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

In Scotland and Wales physical distancing is still in place so this will be adhered to indoors and outdoors. Guests will need to wear face masks in public areas except when eating and drinking. The Scottish and Welsh governments are reviewing their guidance in August and we will adapt our measures in line with any updated guidance at this time.

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 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. Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

At this time the evening social programme has been replaced by individual or small group walks talks which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options with leaders. All of our swimming pools have opened as planned, except for Brecon and Glen Coe, which have delayed pool re-openings. Guests may need to book a time when they wish to swim (30-minute slots) if the number of guests exceeds the pool capacity. 

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 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

Essential Information

As the work is based around mixed media there are no restrictions on materials and each artist is welcome to bring along items of their choice.

This is a list of my favourite media and tools - choose what appeals to you, it is in no way perscriptive

  •  A4 sketch pad and pencil, rubber, sharpener and ink drawing pens for outside
  • Watercolours tube paints
  • Mixing palette ( yoghurt pot lids, white plates are fine)
  • Koh i noor ‘brillaint’ watercolours - bright dye based paints ( not expensive and really vibrant)
  • Acrylic inks, mixed colours, plus sepia ink
  • Assorted water soluble and permenant pens
  • Wax pastels, particularly light colours
  • Assorted crayons
  • Signo uniball pigment ink pen - white
  • Fine black drawing pen
  • Tippex pen
  • Paper of your choice. ( WHS watercolour paper is a good option to more expensive brands)
  • Brushes a selection to include   large size 12, medium 5 or 6 , fine 2 or 3 ,  plus a rigger
  • Old toothbrush
  • Mark makers, eg, bamboo stick, cocktail stick, old credit card
  • Spray bottle
  • Pipette
  • Scissors
  • Hobby knife
  • Glue
  • Scraps of cling film, cellophane, sandpaper, netting, string
  • Drawing board if you prefer your own  A3 boards provided

Guest Reviews

Interests:
Art Holidays

Fully Booked

New for 2020

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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