Whether travelling independently, with a family or friends, or with a larger social group, St Briavels Castle is a venue with a real “WOW” factor that will amaze and inspire young and old alike. The Castle is over 800 years old, with bags of character and remarkably well-preserved features throughout, and a magical charm that promotes social interaction and historical interest in equal measure.
The Castle is a Grade 1 listed ancient monument, a rich piece of our heritage and an inspiring location at amazingly affordable prices. The perfect background for weddings, private parties, family holidays, activity breaks, as well as school visits (where students really do “learn outside the classroom” as they are transported back in time to Medieval world of King John and the Magna Carta). Access to the hostel is limited during the day, but we'd love you to join us for a banquet or Supper Club. Late night return to site is available – ask for the daily door code before you head out.
Within this AONB area there are plenty of family fun attractions and outdoor activities; wooded walks, cycle trails, canoe routes, world-famous rock climbing and views at Symonds Yat, watch the Severn Bore, and visit even more Castles! You are in the middle of the Forest of Dean and close to the Brecon Beacons, or if you are looking for a City Break for the day Gloucester, Bristol and Cardiff are all within easy reach. Discounts are available at a growing number of local attractions so please ask for details on arrival.
Free WI-FI in communal areas for guests!
YHA St Briavels Castle has 70 beds in the following layout: 1 x 4, 3 x 6, 1 x 8, 1 x 10, 1 x 12 and 1 x 14
There are six character private hire rooms that include:
- Isobel’s – a modern room, complete with his and hers sinks – the bridal suite of the Castle
- The Prison complete with 16th & 17th century graffiti
- The State Apartment, with the “King’s Seat” at the head of the once great banqueting hall
- The Oubliette, discover its dark hidden secret below
- There are also two spacious “dormitory” rooms – forming the tops of the two towers – which are perfect for larger groups of families and friends who are happy to share. Both rooms are available for private hire by single families during periods of high demand at family room prices, booking direct with hostel is essential as these are not available to book online.
- Constables Room is in the East Tower, with Edwardian window bays with single beds
- Porters Lodge has original stone walls, a feature fireplace and window bays with single beds
YHA cannot always guarantee accommodation within a specific room. This is business dependent. Please call the hostel direct to discuss special requirements.
The social spaces of the Castle were reconfigured in 2015 to create an amazing banqueting hall fit for a King! (This means that the public rooms featured on the virtual tour have now changed). We are looking to update the virtual tour in the future, but we hope that you enjoy discovering the rooms when you arrive!
The Castle Chapel is now a comfortable family lounge; with dressing up, children’s toys and books. There is no TV at the Castle so the emphasis is really on the social occasion of making new friends, playing games together and sharing experiences. The modern world has however breached the Castle walls and there is WiFi available in the social spaces; Chapel, Banqueting Hall and Old Stables.
The Old Kitchen is a quiet lounge; with wood panels, a period fireplace and fantastic historical features (including the original staircase and dog spit wheel).
The Banqueting Hall (formerly King John’s Lounge) is now a spacious dining room, with a grand fireplace and period features an amazing backdrop to the regular feasts held within its walls. With tapestries on the wall, the flicker of candles, a sumptuous feast, and the sounds of Minstrels making merry tunes, the hosted banquet is a wonderful social experience that both entertains and informs guests. Forget your knife and fork and “Rules of Mum”, it is eating with fingers and banging the table with raucous delight that take precedence here.
The Old Stables is a versatile social space; with service of breakfast and supper club for families, a classroom/meeting room for groups, daytime café, banquet craft zone, and relaxing social space in the evenings.
The grounds are an archaeologically preserved site and operate as an English Heritage visitor attractions during the afternoon regrettably no camping is permitted at St Briavels Castle. There is a peaceful walled garden and courtyard area, to soak in the culture and watch the flights of fledgling archers as they practice this noble sport within this magical setting. This is also the venue throughout the year for amazing historical and literary themed events, such as “Shakespeare At The Castle” at the end of July, a WW2 weekend in April and the “Heritage Open Weekend” on the second weekend of September.
The acoustics in the grounds are fantastic for live music events and plays, and are open as a community resource for local schools and youth groups.
Sleep well? Break your fast like a king with a delicious hot and cold buffet breakfast, including all your sizzling Full English faves, refreshing fruit juices, crunchy cereals and mountains of toast. Breakfast is served from 7:30am until 9am, but we can be flexible for groups - just ask. Breakfast is now available at 10% off - ONLY WHEN PRE-BOOKED (in-hostel price: £5.25). Simply add it to your basket at check out to save!
We can provide a packed lunch including a freshly prepared sandwich, a delicious cake, cereal bar, a bottle of mineral water, a packet of crisps and a piece of fresh fruit. Eat in the hostel or take your packed lunch with you to enjoy during your day of exploring.
This hostel offers the YHA Supper Club menu. This is a three course meal served at set times and sold at a set price - we can do a family sitting at 6pm as well as the usual 7pm sitting! Guests in the Youth Hostel will have the opportunity to all sit around the table together and share stories with their fellow travellers - this is the authentic hostelling experience and the public can join us too! We can cater for any special dietary requirements with advance notice.
Medieval and Themed Banquets
Our crowning glory however, and a highly recommended part of any stay at the castle, is the participation in one of our hosted banquets. Starting with a dressing-up and craft session, this sumptuous feast is fun for guests of all ages, and always rounded off with either a Medieval story-telling session or a game of Cluedo in the castle (using the castle as a real life game-board). The banquets are held regularly at weekends and school holidays and are open to guests and non-residents. Join us for themed nights such as pumpkin-carving at Halloween or a Christmas dinner fit for queen. Please call or email the hostel direct for information.
Kids Eat Free
One free children's meal is available per adult main meal from the main menu when purchased at the same time. This offer is not available on breakfast. The banquet is also exluded from the offer.
Our castle café is open daily serving teas, coffees, and a range of cold drinks. Why not enjoy an ice cream with a bottle of cider in our courtyard on a hot day, or try our tempting Cakeaway offer for just £3? We love the chocolate cake.
Got the urge to serve? Cook up your own banquet in our small but well-equipped kitchen.We have two ovens, two toasters, two kettles, two microwaves, two fridges and a freezer. There's a treasury of pots, pans, cutlery and crockery to use too!
We are experienced in catering for large groups, from schools to birthday parties to weddings, and anything in between. Ask about our amazing themed meals, special functions, and buffets, or treat your group to a sumptous banquet - get in touch and we'll tell you the tale of what we've got on offer.