Selworthy 2021 - A self drive holiday in the midst of a petrol crisis

 

An intrepid collection of 19 members and one very welcome guest made their own way to Holincote House, an HF property* situated near Selworthy in Somerset. Sufficient petrol was acquired to both arrive and return home without too much drama. One electric car driver tried reasonably hard not to be too smug.

 

We arrived on Monday, 27th September in the afternoon, to acclimatise, sample the delights of the bar (which some embraced a lot more enthusiastically than others) and a very pleasant evening meal.

 

Monday night (and early Tuesday morning) rang to the joyous laughter and chatter from two of our North Eastern colleagues. Anonymity has understandably been requested by our Chair (and her sister, Margaret).

 

Tuesday’s walks were damp, very damp, but the volunteer walk leaders did a sterling job in trying conditions.  Rainbow coloured waterproofs were much in evidence; Dougal decided that shorts were the sensible option.

There were some great views (when the clouds allowed) and the “chocolate box” tea shop in Selworthy was experienced by all in the shorter walk group as well as a couple of others from the longer walk (clearly they needed more exercise). Unfortunately, Sue tripped on some slippy rocks and broke her fall with her nose; Malcom is still denying any culpability. Still, they both gave 5 stars for the Minehead minor injury unit.

 

Helen had invited two long-term friends to join us for the walk and evening meal. To keep it easy for those of us unable to remember names, they were both called Linda.

 

Wednesday was the best day of the week with sunshine that more than justified Maria’s dark glasses.

 

Much agitated pleading from Terry had failed to acquire the OS App on a mobile phone, meanwhile Viv remained calm and unruffled. More traditional map reading skills were successfully deployed - all returned safe and sound despite part of the planned route having been consigned to the sea years ago.

 

Steve led the longer walk on Wednesday and, deciding that it was way too short, led the party significantly off course within a 100 yards of the start. Initially planned at under 9 miles there were two enforced diversions and a wandering around Porlock. The leader has conceded that it was over 9 miles. Allegations it was nearer 12 are ongoing… 

 

The parking at Porlock Weir was not cheap and Norman came bearing pockets-full of welcome change, once a well organised merchant seaman always a well organised seafaring officer.

 

Wednesday evening saw us consume a “Pub Specials” evening meal followed by a quiz. One of the two KRG Teams took the prize and it’s oh-so-modest members can be spotted when they wear their winnings - a much sought after green HF tubular bandana each!

 

The final walking day saw the longer walkers meeting with the short walk group on a somewhat damp and blustery day. As we returned to our meeting point the group split into three; one to drive back to Holincote House, one to walk back and five (Lin, Ian, Jenny, Pete and Carol) lingered to experience the “warm welcome” at a Somerset cream tea provider. The refreshments were fine; the welcome was colder than a KRG walker picnicking in the middle of winter with ice on their nose, snow in their boots and a gaping hole in their kagool…

 

An impromptu Committee meeting was called to consider the Christmas lunch arrangements (more details to follow) and Wendy joined her first committee meeting in the bar. We’ve explained that committee meetings don’t normally include alcohol - more’s the pity?

 

That evening there was a fine display of talent in “Killer Skittles” (3 lives each, one lost each time you miss the varying number of skittles). Cathy demonstrated a fearsome determination to beat not only the rest of the field but, most importantly to her, her dutiful husband.

 

A special thanks must go Pauline for all her tremendous work in organising the holiday, us and her dog walking.

Janet designed an excellent walking programme to allow us to see the best of the local area.

Warmest thanks to both.

 

 

* HF holidays were first established in 1913 to provide simple holidays including some abroad (thus becoming one of the first overseas tour operators). Today it provides a range of walking and special interest holidays in the UK as well as around the world. For further details visit

https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/country-houses/locations/selworthy-exmoor