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Walking tour in Exmoor (Somerset) and “Wellness”

England, United Kingdom
Discover the sweeping hills, wooded valleys, and glorious seascapes of the Exmoor National Park
Every footstep at Exmoor is  rewarded with an astonishing range of landscapes and moods to enjoy. Features of the park include the vibrant yellow gorse, purple heather, wild ponies and Red Deer.  The three daily walks, which range from easy (6.5km) to challenging (15km), are accompanied by experienced leaders who bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life as we explore Exmoor. In the evenings we’ll enjoy the character and charm of our hotel where we can relax and re-live the days adventures.

The last weekend of our holiday is devoted to soothing our minds and nurturing our bodies as we enjoy a variety of well-being sessions led by professional instructors. Each day we will have the opportunity to participate in various activities such as yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Mindfulness  Meditation and guided walks.

Our 10 nights in Exmoor are spent near the attractive village of Selworthy, in the heart of Exmoor National Park, at the historic Holnicote House. The hotel, which stands in the midst of a series of peaceful gardens with extensive lawns, was once the centrepiece of an extensive 12,500-acre estate. The charming and characterful house was gifted to the National Trust in 1944, and since then it has been re-imagined as a walkers’ retreat, with wonderful access to the countryside.

Tour Highlights:
   • Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
   • Exmoor National Park
   • The ancient city of Exeter   
   • Powderham Castle 
   • Dartington Crystal 
   • Salisbury, the cathedral city 

* Those participating on this walking tour must be able to complete a minimum of 6 km of walking.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for London.
We arrive in London and transfer to the historic market town of Chippenham. Nestled on the banks of the River Avon, it is one of the West Country’s most vibrant towns. This evening is our Welcome dinner.
Heading west, we first stop in Bath. Renowned for its hot springs, Roman baths and splendid Georgian stone crescents, the City of Bath is considered one of England’s most beautiful places to visit. There will be free time to discover before we continue to Holnicote House in Selworthy, for a 10-night stay. This evening we meet our walking leaders for a Welcome Briefing.
(Walk 6.5km with 180m ascent). We enjoy a circular walk taking in the pretty picture-postcard villages of Allerford and Bossington. The highlight will be our far-reaching view from the side of Selworthy Beacon over the top of the pretty villages and along the coast of Porlock Bay. Simply breathtaking!
(Walk 6.5km with 40m ascent). This leisurely stroll takes us out to the coast, along Dunster Beaches Nature Reserve and back in to Dunster via the station of the local steam heritage line. A highlight of the day will be our walk along the sands and shingles of Blue Anchor Bay.
(Walk 6km with 120m ascent). We begin in the wooded valley at Watersmeet, then we walk along the East Lyn River to Lynmouth. There will also be an option to take the cliff railway to expore Lynton and the Valley of Rocks. We will enjoy exploring the many tea shops and artist studios of Lynton and Lynmouth.
We spend this ‘non walk’ day in Devon. Our first visit is Powderham Castle, set in a beautiful deer park on the banks of the River Exe, where we will share in over 600 years of history and heritage. Then we will have some free time in the cathedral city of Exeter, one of the most vibrant, beautiful and historically interesting cities in England.
(Walk 4.5km with 20m ascent). We walk out to the coast from Bilbrook to Blue Anchor, followed by a short train ride on the heritage line to Minehead. Our short trip on the wonderfully restored and maintained West Somerset Railway will be a fantastic end to today’s walk.
(Walk 6.5km with 180m ascent). We enjoy this brilliant circular walk taking in the pretty villages of Luccombe amd Horner. The wooded area surrounding the village of Horner is full of majestic ancient oaks and is home to Wood Warblers and Pied Flycatchers.
This morning we visit the only remaining glass factory in Britain - Dartington Crystal in Torrington, where we will watch skilled glass artisans produce beatiful creations from molten crystal, and browse in the shop which offers the best selection of crystal and glass in the UK! Afternoon at leisure.
Now is the time to unwind and relax your body and soul. In the mornings, the house team will guide us through a variety of activities to rejuvenate our minds and bodies, based indoors and outdoors in this stunning location. In the afternoons there will be free time to join a guided walk, explore the area independently or perhaps relax at our country house enjoying the surroundings. The choice is yours! In the late afternoon there will be another Mind and Body session for you to join. In the evenings, you may wish to partake in an optional relaxation session or join in on one of the other in-house activities.
We bid adieu to Exmoor and the family of staff at Holnicote House, and stop in the cathedral city of Salisbury. There will be free time to enjoy the medieval streets, soak up the city’s history and heritage, and marvel at the impressive architecture! Our last night is spent at a Berkshire Country House hotel, where we enjoy our Farewell dinner.
We transfer to London Heathrow for our flight home.
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