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Holidays in St Briavels

A Forest of Dean village with its own historic castle

UK | South West | Gloucestershire | St Briavels
Pretty village cottages (image: grassrootsgroundswell)

Standing 800 feet above sea level, atop a limestone plateau, St Briavels looks down onto the Wye Valley and is found within the Forest of Dean, close to the Welsh border.

Although the village has a population of just over a thousand people, it is home to its own 12th century castle, which was an important royal castle on the frontier with Wales, as well as the administrative centre of the Forest of Dean, a royal hunting ground at the time. It later became one of the centres of the medieval iron industry, making thousands of crossbow bolts.

The Forest of Dean

Another reason that people like to visit St Briavels is thanks to its prime location within the Forest of Dean. The oldest oak forest in England, the Forest of Dean is said to have inspired JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and offers a wealth of activities to get stuck into. One of the most popular activities is canoeing along the River Wye, which skirts along the forest’s western edge, while the forest is also rich in walking and cycling trails.

Being close to the River Wye, St Briavels is also within easy reach of a National Trail, the Offa’s Dyke Path, which follows the historic Welsh/English border from Chepstow in the south to Prestatyn on the north coast.

Once a month the village holds its own farmers’ market at The Pavilions, selling a range of local produce and delicacies, which include organic fruits and vegetables, bread and cakes, specialty meats, and cider and ale.

St Briavels is a very pretty and traditional village, with a village green and St Mary’s Church standing at its heart. This church dates from the 1870s and features Gothic Revival architecture. A pub, The George Inn, can also be found on the High Street, serving up large portions of classic pub grub and a range of beers, ales and ciders on tap.

“Atop a limestone plateau, St Briavels looks down onto the Wye Valley…”

Close to St Briavels you will find a number of other lovely villages and towns worth exploring for the day. These include Tintern, home to a famous 12th century abbey, Chepstow with its impressive castle and well-known race course, and Monmouth, a market town with a varied events calendar throughout the year.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your Gloucestershire and Wye Valley holiday, take a look at our full collection of St Briavels cottages.

While you’re there

St Briavels Castle

A small 12th century castle which acted as a stronghold and an administrative base

Forest of Dean

England’s oldest oak forest, with a wealth of outdoor activities on offer

Offa’s Dyke Path

A 170-mile-long trail that follows the Welsh border, which runs close by to the village

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