Where do Yorkshire shooters go to keep their eye in and stay in the groove?
We’ve listed some of the best clay pigeon shooting in Yorkshire available. Two of the clay grounds featured here have a cast iron reputation for showing the highest driven clays in the UK. If you can do a job on what they throw into the stratosphere then you’ll be well prepared when it comes to the real thing.
This clay ground is a magnet for trap, skeet and sporting shooters, but it also has a modern high tower that you’d be silly to ignore. Standing almost 100ft tall, it’s well capable of throwing 40 yard-plus targets at speeds and angles to test the best game shots.
Automatic traps fitted to the corners of the square structure can be raised, lowered or angled to replicate whatever sort of bird you need to practise on – even curlers and wide crossers with a deceptive mix of standards and midis to keep you guessing.
It’s best to avoid weekends when it is very busy and try to go midweek instead. Book some lessons too if you want to work on any weaknesses in your technique.
Ranked CPSA Premier Plus making it one of the best grounds in the UK.
OK, this compact little ground isn’t actually in Yorkshire… but it ought to be! It’s within spitting distance of the border and only five miles away from Coniston. The two are a 10-minute drive apart, which means both can be comfortably shot in a day if you get your bookings right.
Kelbrook Lodge has an interesting history as a game shooting venue going back more than a century and is set atop hills giving commanding views of the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria fells. Glorious.
The high tower stands just 12ft tall but then it does have the advantage of being perched on top of a steep 100ft hillside. By angling the traps, the ground can throw targets in excess of that, and you can make things as testing as you like by shooting them from different positions in the valley bottom.
One of the attractions of the high tower here is that the traphouse is hidden by trees on the hillside so the clays appear more ‘natural’ than those thrown from a stark steel structure straight in front. Cottondale also has one of the nicest clubhouses you are likely to find, with good quality catering.
Two high towers capable of presenting clay targets up to 98 feet and 137 feet.
Both towers are fitted with automatic traps that can be raised, lowered or angled at the touch of a button, so you’ll never run short of variety. The set-up also means you can practise on birds you find hardest on a real driven day, such as a dropping crosser, or one curling imperceptibly over your shoulder.
If you lack confidence on tall targets then it probably makes sense to have a tutor stand behind giving advice. After all, what’s the point of banging away at clays you have totally misread and stand no chance of hitting?
Yes, the targets here can be a serious challenge (which is why the big hitters come for practice) but the birds can be instantly adjusted to make any visit a pleasure, not a torment. There are also extremely comfortable facilities on site.
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A small ground in the Yorkshire wolds in a natural setting.
The website says: “The ground comprises of a High Tower, Compak Layout, Grouse Flush, DTL, Springing Teal and Bolting Rabbit. The traps are carefully located around the valley to simulate Bolting Rabbit, Grouse, High Pheasant, Partridge and Pigeon. The layout suits all standards of shots, easily taking the expert to the limit of his capability.”
Don’t worry though, the targets are all hittable with a standard 1oz trap 7½ shot, as proven by a plaque that records an incredible 100 straight by game shooter Neil Ramsey of Boston Spa.