Somerset

Holnicote Estate, Exmoor

Owned by the National Trust, this isn’t a stately home or castle, but rather 12,000 acres of Exmoor National Park ranging from swathes of heather-covered moorland to chocolate box pretty villages and ancient woodland to gorgeous coastline. Take time out to explore this unique, protected landscape and really connect back to nature.

With over 150 miles of footpaths and bridleways, you’ll not run short of walks, whilst there is a plethora of landmarks to visit too.

Dunkery Beacon is Somerset’s highest point and on a clear day you can see over the Bristol Channel across to Wales, and even Dartmoor whilst at night it’s just heavenly for stargazers, being part of the first international Dark Sky Reserve in Europe.

Another wonderful spot to visit Is Horner Wood, home to some of Britain’s rarest lichens, mosses and bats as well as ancient oak trees. So special that it’s a National Nature Reserve, this is a great place to pull on your walking boots and follow the paths and trails – check out the National Trust’s ancient trees walk . Close by is Webber’s Post, a rich moorland home to an extensive world of wildlife such as red deer, birds of prey and butterflies such as the rare fritillary.

If you crave the coast, head to Bossington Beach, a charming hamlet home to thatched cottages that lead to a pebble beach, still lined by lime kilns and sea defences from the Second World War. It’s also a great spot for watching the sea birds and Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre is also nearby.

Another noteworthy village is Selworthy, a stunning settlement of thatched cottages and rolling countryside views. The white-fronted church is particularly beautiful and boasts splendid views over the Vale of Porlock, whilst inside there’s a 12th century font and painted nave. If you’re a bit peckish, check out The Periwinkle Tea Room for the ultimate cream tea. Check out the National Trust’s circular walk from Selworthy to Bury Castle – a wonderful walk with fine views over Exmoor. 

Allerford is another picturesque village with a wonderful, Grade II listed 15th century pack horse bridge. Walk over it and you’ll find the West Somerset Rural Life Museum, once the village school back in the 19th century. Filled with artefacts from 1800 – 1950, it’s a fascinating look into rural life. Allerford Forge is also worth a peek as one of the country’s few remaining working forges in the country.

Whatever your interests, you’ll find plenty to do and see within the Holnicote Estate, whether it’s over one visit or many.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Somerset here.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/holnicote-estate

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