St Briavels

Fork to Wales or England?

Staying in England’s Most Haunted Castle and frolicking nearby at the Forest of the Dean, St Briavels also offers charming and picturesque village life. This Village has undergone a decline in the last 5 years with shops, restaurants and even local services disappearing. All that’s left is a pub, youth hostel and plenty of housing. If you needed anything, you will need to take the 5 mile drive, there’s no bus, to Coleford. It’s in stark contrast when back in the days of yore, this village was right at the epicentre of metal smelting for arrowheads therefore a huge busy town with the castle as an administrative centre.


St Briavels Event

So why are we here? As I explained in a previous post, 2 bright young sparks from the GX94 VSO decided to organise a meet up for 70 people who’s interests were in backpacking, volunteering abroad and teaching. Tom of TomarHawk Travels knew them and asked me if I wanted to come along and meet them as well.

Throughout the 3 days we were there, I’ve really enjoyed meeting them through a whole bunch of activities, whether it was having a game or 2 of ball and frisbee games at the nearby St George’s Playing Fields, sampling some English Ale at the St George Inn, or having a wander around the Castle on the filled in moat.

Probably the best part of the weekend is when we all dressed up for a medieval night. Naturally, as a Rex (which means King in Latin), I went as a King. Maybe King Edward I who crushed the Scots and brought the Welsh to heel. I think I like the sound of that! Also Tom decided to get on the royal bandwagon as well while we looked down our noses at the peasants around us.

St Briavels

King Tommy


St Briavels

King Rexy

Hiring out the entire castle for the weekend was a brilliant coup. We could all relax, introduce each other properly without wondering if there are really just here to go hiking around the area, and possibly make lifelong friends. People playing the Medieval Musical instruments, a huge round of a Celidh that nearly literally brought the ceiling down below the chapel, a fantastic game of Medieval sounding ‘Balderdash‘ was played nearly turning risqué, and everyone enjoying the locally brewed ciders of ‘The Roaring Meg.
St Briavels is a great stop on your travels around Britain. You have all the Forest of The Dean delights at your use, brave the paranormal activity of the castle, and there’s literally Wales just a few miles over the border. But first, make sure you don’t fall down the Obliette…you’ll be forgotten about and left to scream…

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