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“Unique experience in fabulous hostel”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of St Briavels Castle

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St Briavels Castle
Certificate of Excellence
Twickenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unique experience in fabulous hostel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

Being American, I was very excited to stay in an 800 year old Norman castle and the hostel did not disappoint. We are a family of four with two young boys and we had a lovely, bright room (Isobel's room) on the first floor. The shower facilities and toilets were nearby and well maintained. The lounge was large and comfortable with a great selection of board games. The grounds were safe for the children to run around on their own. And the location was fantastic with easy access to Clearwell Caves, cycling in the Forest of Dean, Puzzlewood, and walking trails. The village of St. Briavels is very picturesque and the one pub had decent food.

The highlight of our stay was the medieval banquet and archery lessons for our boys. Simon was fantastic in teaching the kids archery, he could really relate to the kids and made my shy, timid boy come out of his shell a bit. He was also fantastic at the medieval banquet. My boys still talk about the dinner and how they ate without cutlery. We laughed, we ate, we wore fancy dress and we enjoyed every minute of it. After the dinner we had a brilliant time playing medieval Cluedo. All of the staff at the hostel were helpful and very kind. I especially want to say thank you to Simon for his helpful information and overall cheery disposition. He's a real laugh that adds more character to the castle. And thank you to Linda for running a great family establishment.

Just to inform potential guests, the self-catering kitchen is very small. Also, don't count on the wi-fi. You pay a fee and can only access it in two areas of the castle (neither one being your room). A weak router makes for non-existent streaming capabilities. But, neither of these issues affected our stay. The castle has so much character and the staff are so brilliant you don't need wi-fi. I would highly recommend this hostel for a fabulous family weekend getaway.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jessica W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

This YHA hostel as a castle deserved a very good review from myself. I went with 2 others for a few nights in order to walk, canoe and cycle around the surrounding area on budget. We were greeted by the hostel "duty manager", the friendliest person you will ever meet, only closly beating the breakfast server. The two of them would have done anything and everything for all guests and made everyone feel most welcome. If it's the great outdoors you're after, then this place is the perfect location for kayaking, caving, canoeing, mazes, walking, cycling, you name it. Everything is a stone's throw away. The hostel is basic, but adds to the mystical novelty of being in a Castle. Definitely making this an annual occurrence.

Room Tip: I've given "Average" because what do you expect from a youth hostel? Value for money a...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2013 via mobile

This Youth Hostel was King John's hunting lodge. Large dormitory ( to myself) with friendly staff and reasonably priced food if you don't feel like self catering. Convenient for Offa's Dyke or Wye Valley walk but worth visiting for itself.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Hepsebar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, England
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2013

Just had to pop a few words down to say that we had this trip arranged as part of my dad's birthday celebrations - It did not dissapoint in any way, the medeival banquet was great fun, and dressing up was part of this. Simon who is the "Peasant" played his role very well as well as the other roles of assisting and running the place, so thank you to you and to all the rest of the staff who made it all in all a thoroughly unforgettable experience in only a good way! The tour that we had on Sunday morning is very worthwhile, and I strongly advise people that visit to make this part of their experience and do the tour which lasts about an hour and a quarter, which is very interesting and fun at the same time.. Many, Many Thanks to ALL the staff and hope to visit at a later date.... for more hilarity and shannigans. Also, the cooked breakfasts to order were very good, thanks chef! Sent on behalf of All the Huntley's.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jessica M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2013

We hired the whole castle exclusively for a joint 30th birthday celebration weekend, It was the best weekend ever. The staff are absolutely fantastic, worked so hard to make the weekend perfect. The kids loved running around the castle. We did archery which was great and a medieval banquet on the saturday night which we all got dressed up for. The food was really really good for all the meals. The bar was reasonable priced and what better setting could you ask for than a haunted castle...we had a couple of spooky happenings...all adds to the fun.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank roo1605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masuda-shi, Shimane, Japan
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

I stayed at this hostel with some friends over the Easter Weekend, it was almost to capacity, but it didn't feel that way because the facilities are quite large. The facilities had a 'used' feeling, but it didn't bother me at all.

If you have a family and you go over a weekend, they usually host night activities such as Cluedo or have a medieval banquet. I never participated in it, however it seemed like a good option for others. They also cook dinner and breakfast for a charge.

The draw of the Castle is the access to Wye Valley for great hikes and walks. Which was the highlight of my trip, as well as staying in a castle.

We got there by public transport by taking a bus from Gloucester to Bream and then walking the 3 miles from Bream to St. Briavels. Look at the bus timetable because the buses are infrequent and you could wait up to an hour if not planned properly.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank nihoncaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

A typical (and slightly run-down) YHA, with fairly basic and well-worn facilities (thus the lower rating), which is redeemed by the fact that you get to sleep in a castle, which is really excellent fun!

The staff are great - friendly, helpful and welcoming. They seem very keen to assist where they can.

Note that there is an 11:30pm lockout, and the dorms are split male/female, so couples and mixed groups will be split up, and you can't stay out late.

Internet access was quite expensive and only really accessible in one area of the castle.

You ideally need a car to stay here, although parking is limited.

The (only) pub in the village is excellent - although you probably need to book a table, especially for the weekend.

I'd definitely stay again, as the novelty is absolutely worth it, but it's more suitable for school or youth groups and families or older visitors, and the decor really is very worn and outdated, making it less pleasant than it could be. It's not at all a "party" hostel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank emmerage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St Briavels Castle

Property: St Briavels Castle
Address: The Castle Church Street | Lydney, Saint Briavels GL15 6RG, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Gloucestershire > Forest of Dean > Saint Briavels
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Saint Briavels
Hotel Class:3 star — St Briavels Castle 3*

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