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YHA Spotlight on YHA St Briavels Castle
    21/03/2016 03:54

Spotlight on YHA St Briavels Castle

Spotlight on YHA St Briavels Castle

Medieval banquets, over 800 years of history and fun activities galore - it can only be YHA St Briavels Castle! Our very own Hogwarts, this magical hostel has everything from a real dungeon to archery classes.

Join us for a candlelit feast, take a tour of our grisly past, or let your imagination run wild at one of our historical events. We're perfect for an outdoor adventure holiday in the Forest of Dean too.

Hostel History

As you walk through the gatehouse into YHA St Briavels' courtyard, you realise this is NOT a normal hostel. Our 12-century castle has been a Norman fortress, a hunting lodge for King John and lodging for everyone from royalty to prisoners. You won't believe some of the incredible (and often downright spine-chilling) secrets we hide within our walls. Dare you sleep inside The Oubliette, a room with a genuine dungeon hidden beneath? Or maybe you'd prefer The Prison; a room with graffiti carved into the walls by 16th and 17th-century convicts. We even host paranormal investigation nights if you're feeling brave. Despite our spooky past, the building's unique atmosphere and period features never fail to enchant people of all ages. Join our tour to hear the story behind our "Turnspit Wheel" (powered by a now-extinct dog) and how the castle was defended. Whether or not you're a history buff, you're bound to leave feeling inspired by this piece of heritage. In fact, this Grade 1 listed ancient monument could be the jewel in YHA's crown.

Fun at St Briavels

Want a family holiday you'll never forget? YHA St Briavels is fantastic for kids and we've got plenty of on-site fun to keep them entertained. Our themed suppers are one of our star attractions - expect merry tunes, banging on the table and food fit for a king. These regular banquets are events in themselves, integrating medieval costumes and storytelling or Gatsby glamour and real-life Cluedo. You can go to bed full and happy after solving a medieval riddle or finding the murderer within your midst. There's not a TV in sight either, but with imaginative activities and a cosy lounge to make friends you won't mind. Look out for top events in our grounds too such as Shakespeare plays, our fabulous WW2 weekend in April and a Heritage Open Day. Not to mention our quirky seasonal events - trust us, we're the ultimate place to spend Halloween or Christmas. With so much going on, it's no wonder we're so popular with schools, groups and wedding parties. Book a stay to experience the magic, or drop in for a cuppa or an ice cream to see what we're all about. We'd love to hear your story.

Outdoor Activities

Dream of firing a working trebuchet or of shooting arrows like a medieval warrior? Our hostel offers activities in the grounds, such as archery lessons for fledgling Robin Hoods and history packages for school trips. Venture further into the Forest of Dean for a day of woodland trekking, or bring your bike to tackle the Royal Forest Route; its bluebells look amazing in spring. The enchanting Puzzlewood is only a few miles away too - its winding pathways and bizarre scenery have inspired everything from Tolkien to Dr Who. In fact, families are spoilt for choice for days out nearby; there's a Go Ape for high wire antics and Inspire2Adventure for activities like canoeing and gorge scrambling. Even our local walks are packed with history, with the Offa's Dyke Path running right past our hostel. This epic National Trail follows an 8th-century earthwork, and an oak tree planted at YHA St Briavels is "marker 7" on the Agincourt Wales Trail too. And don't miss the nearby Chepstow Walking Festival for a chance to explore the stunning Wye Valley AONB.

Local Attractions

There's so much to see near YHA St Briavels and we're neighbours to some brilliant indoor attractions. Find out about the Forest of Dean's rich history at the Dean Heritage Centre - it's got plenty of interactive stuff for the little ones. Or grab a hard hat to discover a warren of underground caverns and some of Britain's oldest mine workings at Clearwell Caves. If our wonderful castle has inspired you to get creative, Taurus Crafts is a hub for local artists and offers regular workshops for you to join. You could even head to Gloucester, Bristol or Cardiff for a cheeky city break - we're in the centre of all three of them! So what are you waiting for? Get the Hogwarts experience for less and join YHA St Briavels' history.

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