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YHA St Briavels Castle YHA

UK England South West England Gloucestershire

St Briavels Lydney Gloucestershire GL15 6RG
One of the YHA's most atmospheric hostels, in an ancient castle on the edge of the Forest of Dean.

It's not every day you get to stay in a grade-one listed historic monument, let alone one that's over 800 years old and has its own ghost. Yet at St Briavels you not only get all that but at a budget price too, and a tremendous bucolic location on the edge of the Forest of Dean to boot.

The nice thing about YHA St Briavels is that you're always aware that you're staying in a castle, with characterful rooms that pay great respect to the building, from the mysterious 'Oubliette' room (ask about the contents of the dungeon below) to the State Apartment with its so-called 'King's Seat', as well as two spacious dormitories at the top of each of the two castle towers.

So in many ways, it's a boutique hostel experience, but in other ways it's one of the YHA's more basic hostels, since there are no en-suites, most of the beds are bunks, and shared washrooms can be a bit of a walk from the bedrooms. There is also no TV and wifi is only available in the public spaces, so you really do have to make your own entertainment – not hard in a building straight out of Camelot. To that end, the chapel has been turned into a family lounge, with dressing-up, toys and books, while the main banqueting hall is an amazing dining space that hosts medieval banquets and communal supper clubs.

The Wye Valley is a just a few miles distant, plus there are excellent kids attractions within easy driving distance, from the homespun Puzzlewood theme park to the old mine workings of Clearwell Caves, and a branch of the high-wire adventure outfit, Go Ape.

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