If you live in or around the capital, here's where you can smash some clays locally
The good news is that many clay grounds have recently reopened after lockdown and more are opening daily.
Below we’ve rounded up clay pigeon shooting grounds near London. We’ve marked the ones that are open again at the time of writing. None take longer than an hour to get to from the centre of the city. Perfect for a half day’s shooting.
In normal times the grounds would welcome novices to learn to shoot clays or brush up on skills. However, in the wake of COVID restrictions many grounds are limiting shooting to experienced Shots and all require you to book ahead. Some may be offering tuition but it’s best to call ahead and get the latest updates on their current policy.
Clay pigeon shooting grounds near London
This well-established shooting ground is just off the A40 leaving, as the name suggests, West London. It has previously been voted best shooting ground in the country and prides itself on giving tuition that matches the individual and improves personal style. (Mark Heath, the chief instructor, regularly reviews guns for us.) Beginners can start with a one-hour or two hour individual lesson with an instructor or take a course. There is well-regarded tuition designed for novice women shooters and young Shots are also welcomed.
The school takes bookings for lessons, rifle ranges and practice. Experienced instructors can teach effectively whilst social distancing.
If you’re looking for clay pigeon shooting grounds near London and somewhere easy to reach from North London, then this could be a good choice as it’s just inside the M25 at Barnet. A family-run shooting club with friendly staff and professional instructors. The club accommodates any level of experience from beginners through to accomplished shooters and is an excellent venue to learn, practice or entertain.
Currently the club is open for pay and play only and is not offering lessons. You will need to book ahead.
A little further out west along the M40 near High Wycombe, this leafy location offers a picturesque view when shooting clays. Deservedly popular with both beginners and for pre-season shooting technique revision, it’s certainly worth going that extra mile. In addition the ground has recently opened The George Digweed Academy to teach the winning method of the world champion clayshooter.
At the time of writing the grounds are open for claymate, caddied rounds and lessons for experienced shots only.
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Voted best clayshooting club in Surrey for several years, this club, near Leatherhead, offers an excellent day for both novice and experienced clay pigeon shooters. The club has an exemplary safety record and aims to give every visitor a positive experience. The grounds are set within an 11 acre forest and include a testing 60 clay, English sporting range, Down the Line and Compak sporting layouts.
At the time of writing the club advises: “We are only accepting bookings from members and guests with licences. You will not be able to shoot on the day unless you have pre-booked. Our shooting school will remain closed until social distancing measures have been lifted. ”
Near Hertford, it still comes within the description of clay pigeon shooting grounds near London.
At the current time the club is allowing groups of up to four people to shoot the sporting and groups of up to five to shoot the trap disciplines. All sessions must be pre-booked.
Holland & Holland (open)
Visitors will enjoy spending time at these beautiful grounds in Northwood. Apparently it was once said: “If Mr Holland is unable to teach a man to shoot then no-one can” and today Holland & Holland hold firm to this boast, having taught shooters from all walks of life with varying amounts of experience, at varying stages of life. Time spent at this shooting ground is an investment in your future enjoyment of the sport. The company also recently opened an indoor shooting school.
If you want to shoot here currently you will need to pre-book, practise social distancing and wear your own PPE.
The Royal Berkshire Shooting School has recently reopened and is offering guided rounds for groups of up to five experienced shooters, by appointment only.
Pete Wilson, GB Olympic Gold Medallist 2012 says of Bisley: “The Bisley shooting ground, clubhouse, grounds and targets are second to none. It is a unique experience that I would recommend to anyone.”
Bookings are open at Bisley again but you will need to have a shotgun certificate.
Oxford Gun Company (open)
This is actually just over an hour from London, but if you live out along the A40 going towards Oxfordshire then it’s well worth investigating. Set in glorious countryside, it’s a well-run school that caters for both beginners and experienced Shots – who all have something to learn. Have-a-go sessions and lessons will start again on 1 July 2020.