Craft - Walking & Weaving at Selworthy
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Hills & moorland
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.
Join us for a landscape discovery with a difference. Soak up the poetry, stories and history of the local landscape and wool trade on walks of up to 6 miles (9.5km) per day. Following each walk you will weave your own impressions and colours of the landscape using fleece, wool, ribbons and items from nature. The weaving is simple and easy to do, and everyone will go home with their own hand-crafted woven wall-hanging.
- Create your own hand-crafted woven wall hanging
- Our professional craft leader will guide and encourage
- Soak up the poetry, stories and history of the local landscape
- Share inspiration and exchange ideas
Great Reasons to Join Us:
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation and tuition from our expert leader
- Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
- Expert leaders: all our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
- Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment
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
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single room are available at no extra charge
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 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
Friday: Arrival day
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. Jan introduces you to the basic techniques of peg-loom weaving and the wonderful range of materials you can use - your chance to have a go!
Other days: A gentle walk in the beautiful area, then lots of creative fun weaving our own unique wall-hanging
Each morning after our hearty breakfast, we take a gentle walk in the lovely local area.
Later in the afternoon, we return to the Country House to enjoy our craft activity (which comes with a nice coffee break!). We begin our weaving of either the local landscape or another place that's special to us. Weaving is lots of fun and provides plenty of scope for creative experimenting! Jan will be on hand to share ideas and help when needed. Many people are surprised at how absorbing this type of 'free-form' weaving is - it really is a craft anyone can do. As we progress with our weaving, Jan shows us some further techniques to add to our weaving and help us all finish a unique and very personal woven wall-hanging! Jan also plans to tell us about the local wool-trade history - and perhaps also include some local stories and inspiring poems.
Monday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
What to bring
All materials and equipment will be provided, although guests are welcome to bring the following optional items:
- Some of your own materials, wool, fleece, threads and ribbons to include in your weaving. Please do - it can make your weaving even more personal to include something which reminds you of a part of your life.
- Any other memorabilia which you would like to include. Items can be sown on afterwards, so jewellery, beads or buttons are all possible. You will be given the option to either weave something to represent the local landscape, or another place that is special to you. If the latter you may find it helpful to bring photos or pictures as a reminder or for inspiration.
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).
Jan believes a sense of ‘connection’ is paramount to well-being and befriending our local landscape and discovering its history is a wonderful way to do this. This has motivated her to set up community projects where all ages learn local traditional skills (such as green wood-working; willow work, spinning and weaving), using natural materials.
She also runs fun and easy-to-do weaving sessions where she lives in Somerset, with groups from ages 8-100. Jan encourages participants to use the weaving symbolically, so for example with older people varying colours are used to represent different memories.
Jan incorporates local history and storytelling into her work and exonerates the therapeutic benefit of this tactile activity. She encourages people to overcome inhibitions, relax and feel free to express themselves.
Jan has been a tutor and trainer all her life and finds working with people inspiring and fulfilling. She has an M.Sc in Public Health and is a Fellow of the Dartington School for Social Entrepeneurs. She writes, loves walking in wild places, advocates nature therapy and currently works for a mental health charity.
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: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person