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St. Briavels Blog - 2016


Day 1

An exciting start to the week!

We visited Hopewell Colliery. We had a tour from a real free miner (one of 6 left in the forest), put on hard hats and lamps and went 100m under the ground and saw how hard it is to work the mine.

We also visited the Dean Heritage Centre and learnt how to build a charcoal-burning stack and found out some more about what rocks there are under the ground in the Forest of Dean.

We walked up to the castle like invaders would have done hundreds of years ago – it’s a long way up!

After dinner, we were all so tired that we settled into our rooms for a chat, a read and a shower and settled down to sleep to get ready for day 2 of our adventure!!

(Pictures to follow)


Day 2

We spent the morning investigating the castle after having a tour from the youth hostel staff. We went across the road to the church and had a look round and investigated the graveyard. 

We walked up the Kymin and looked across over Monmouth and compared it to our map - it wasn't easy to find the different features we thought we would find. We then went to Puzzlewood and we all got lost! Eventually we found the exit!!

This evening we had fun at the park before collapsing into our beds!!


Day 3

Another lovely day today! The weather has been so kind to us – we’ve had no rain so far and today it was bright and sunny!

Our first stop, after a hearty breakfast, was Raglan Castle. We enjoyed exploring the ruins of this enormous castle and we had fun working out what each ruined room would have been used for. We had a go at drawing part of the castle and we got to spend some money in the gift shop! Hurrah!! *Tacky Gift Alert*

After lunch we did not go to Big Pit, as originally planned. The museum staff, we found out two days before we broke up for half term, are on strike so we hastily changed plans. Instead we headed to Newent, near Gloucester, to The International Bird of Prey Centre. We were treated to a flying display of eagles, falcons and owls followed by a guided tour of the aviaries.  It was fantastic to see so many beautiful birds of prey up so close.

We had pizza for dinner and ended up the evening with the Year 6 Big Quiz! 


Day 4

Today we went for a long walk in the beautiful countryside, made replicas of St Briavels Castle out of bits of wood and leaves and crossed over the River Wye twice in different ways! We walked to the top of Symonds Yat Rock where we were hoping to buy an ice cream but the shop was CLOSED! Fortunately the lady, who had just locked up to go home, felt sorry for us and opened the shop again, especially for us!!

This evening we had our medieval banquet. We looked fantastic all dressed up! The banquet was exciting and we learned how a banquet in medieval times worked and had to answer riddles and listened to stories about King John.

Tomorrow, after we have packed the coach with all our belongings, we head to Clearwell Caves for a tour and we will eat lunch there. We aim to be back at Walton Oak at 4 o'clock - ish but this really depends on the traffic.

We will let school know if we are going to be delayed by a long time and they will contact you by text.


We hope you've enjoyed hearing about our week at St. Briavels!