EC Christmas Party Weekend
Friday 14th - Sunday 16th December 2018
"Small cheer and great welcome make a merry feast" - William Shakespeare
Come celebrate Christmas with your EC family this December - stay in an 800-year-old castle, walk the Wye Valley, try your hand at archery, enjoy a traditional medieval banquet and dance into the festive season!
Brace your elves for this great weekend to wrap up the year - get some time away from the Christmas crowds with Explorers Connect staying in a Grade 1 listed ancient monument in the middle of the beautiful Wye Valley. Yule enjoy a variety of local walks, the chance to try your hand at archery and enjoy a hearty medieval feast...
The Wye Valley attracts hikers from all over the world - straddling the border between England and Wales, it is very near to the famous Offa's Dyke pathway and is one of the most dramatic and scenic landscape areas in southern Britain. Your accommodation, St Briavels Castle, sits on a hill so from just outside the walls you can get amazing views of the River Wye and rolling landscape beyond. The castle is one of the most unusual hostels in the UK - with a mysterious but charming character, containing lots of interesting and well-preserved historic features - staying here you'll really feel like you've been transported back in time. This weekend you'll be spending your days hiking, exploring, and testing your hand-eye co-ordination at an archery taster session, and on Saturday evening you can don a medieval costume, grab a glass of mead and sit down to enjoy a full banquet before burning it all off on the dance floor.
EC adventures are informal, friendly and great fun! They're made up of singles, couples and small sets of friends with ages typically ranging from mid 20s to mid 40s but anyone over 18 years old and young at heart is welcome. Whether it's your first time exploring the outdoors or you're an adventure professional, EC adventures are a great way to meet like-minded people in a safe, welcoming and fun environment.
You're welcome to arrive from 6pm on Friday evening where your hosts Belinda, Simon and Alex will welcome you and show you to your room. Due to people arriving at different times, we won't be offering dinner so we'd recommend bringing something with you to eat or eating before you arrive. We will have welcome drinks and nibbles available - you'll spend the rest of Friday night relaxing and getting to know everyone.
On Saturday morning after breakfast there will be a choice of three different local walks which will range from easy to challenging, so you can join whichever you feel like! You'll need to bring a packed lunch, drinks and snacks for your time out in the hills, but on your return the bar will be open (please note that only alcohol bought on site is permitted). After a chance to relax after your day out you'll make your way to the banquet hall for dinner, and if you feel like channelling your inner princess or court jester you can pick a medieval-themed costume to wear! You're also more than welcome to bring and wear your own costume too. Following an introduction to medieval etiquette from the host, dinner will be served in a series of courses in the banquet hall with entertainment in between. Your challenge for the night will be eating everything without cutlery!
You'll start your meal with a glass of warming mead or soft drink, pottage (medieval-style soup) and bread. The main course is served as sharing platters of vegetables (roasted parsnips, carrot batons, sprouts, green beans, roast potatoes & stuffing balls) and meats (turkey, roast beef, pigs in blankets). The vegetarian option is the same vegetables with a vegetarian sausage, served with stuffed pepper and a savoury pastry. Dessert is homemade honey cake and Christmas pudding, followed by your last course of cheese and crackers. Please note that special diets can be catered for, just let us know when you book. We'll give you a bit of time to digest before we clear the tables and crank up the music for you dance the rest of the night away...
On Sunday you'll have a slightly later start, and then after breakfast you can choose between two shorter local walks before heading home mid-late afternoon, or if you'd prefer a more relaxed day you can stay in the castle grounds and try your hand at archery between 11am - 1pm (weather-dependent).
We'll be taking over the amazing 800-year-old St Briavels Castle - just 45 minutes from Bristol and an easy drive along the M4 from London.
The Castle is a Grade 1 listed ancient monument, a rich piece of our heritage and an inspiring location offering a real 'wow' factor. Accommodation is in dormitory style rooms ranging from four to 14 single beds or bunks. All bedding (pillow, duvet and linen) is provided but you'll need to bring your own towel.
Download our recommended kit list for hiking weekends HERE.
- Welcome drink and nibbles on arrival
- Two nights accommodation in the Grade 1 listed ancient monument of St Briavels Castle
- Two cooked breakfasts with continental options
- Medieval Christmas-themed banquet with entertainment
- Access to medieval costumes to wear during the banquet (optional of course!)
- Late-night music and dancing on Saturday night
- A choice of three different walks on Saturday and two walks on Sunday led by experienced walk leaders
- An archery taster session on Sunday morning (weather-dependent)
- A team of EC Hosts for the weekend
BOOK NOW to take advantage of our discounted earlybird pricing!
- Discounted Earlybird price for EC CLUB Members - £169 (if deposit is paid before 21st September 2018)
- Discounted Earlybird price for non EC CLUB Members - £184 (if deposit is paid before 21st September 2018)
- Standard price for EC CLUB Members - £184
- Standard price for non EC CLUB Members - £199
You'll need to pay a £75 deposit on booking with the balance due by the 19th October 2018.
If you'd like to know more about this weekend or have a particular question about this or any of our adventures, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 0117 405 7497 during normal office hours and we'll do our best to help you.