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20 of the best UK pheasant shoots that will be open this season

So what's the situation with pheasant shooting next season? We've searched out a number of key shoots that will welcome shooters from September, with social distancing measures in place.

Tregoyd, Powys

If you like the challenge of tricky birds on a variety of terrain then this shoot is one you should visit. Situated to the south of Hay-on-Wye in stunning countryside. Visiting Guns are tested in every possible way in a mixture of woodland and open drives. And if you fancy shooting back-to-back days then you can take another day at Llwyn Madoc, which is Ben’s other shoot to the west of Builth Wells.

Contact: Ben Brown Tel. 07711677726 or email: [email protected]

Angmering Park, West Sussex

Located in the South Downs National Park this is one for high birds.  After  years of careful conservation and planting, the home shoot is very well regarded among those in the know. Shooting takes place over 6,000 acres of that unspoilt, spectacular downland countryside which produces the highest of pheasants during when November comes around.

Email: [email protected]

Bereleigh, Hampshire

Six hundred feet above sea level in the Meon Valley, the 2,500-acre Bereleigh estate has a well deserved reputation for showing fine pheasant over grassland, arable and mature wooded valleys. The Georgian house is home to Bill and Philippa Tyrwhitt-Drake, and can accommodate a full team of Guns with followers. Mascombe Bottom is a natural depression in the chalk downland and shows arguably the best birds on the ground.

Contact: Bill Tyrwhitt-Drake. Tel. 01730 823486 or email: [email protected]

Bowhill, The Borders

The name Black Andrew strikes fear into the hearts of shooters worldwide, but this notorious high bird drive is just one of many on offer at this stunning Borders shoot, less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. Bowhill offers 200-250 bird days for parties of eight to 10 Guns, normally incorporating five drives taken from the choice of 19 in total.

Contact Hawthorn Sporting

Downton, Shropshire

The Downton Shoot, Shropshire 

On the Welsh borders you will find some of the most spectacular shooting in Britain. Steep valleys and high hills make for memorable days and high, testing birds from the cliffs above the banks of the River Teme will stretch the most experienced Shot.

Contact Downton Shoot

Brixton Deverill, Wiltshire

Shooting over the Brixton and Sutton Veny beats, Kim Beddall’s ground carries a fearsome reputation for early season partridge that hurtle off the high banks and are visibly un-phased by wind speed or direction, powering over the line. However, when the pheasant come on-stream, they equal the best shoots found further west. Many guns would suggest that Abyssinia is the signature drive, but Beeches and McSharries shoot as well as any and Horseback on its day is unbeatable. Great shoot lodge and lunches are a given.

Contact: Jeremy Lee Tel. 01747 834488 or email: [email protected]

Combe Sydenham, Somerset 

Combe Sydenham was once the home to Sir Francis Drake. Today it offers traditional pheasant shooting in steep valleys and narrow gulches, bringing testing but not impossible shooting.  Efficiently keepered and professionally managed, it still retains a family feel and victuals equal the sport.

Contact: Loyton 

Whitfield, Northumberland

This shining light in the northern shooting stable has long been regarded as a top destination for the high bird brigade. With a famous category system, the ‘extreme’ days have become the stuff of shooting legend, and if you have enjoyed this unique challenge you really do have a feather in your cap. In the foothills of the Pennines, the 15,000-acre estate generally offers days in the 250-300 bird range, but bigger days are available on request.

Contact: Whitfield 

Gurston Down, Wiltshire

The chalk valleys to the west of Salisbury prove to be good shooting ground. David Hitchings started the shooting here way back in 1966 and this shoot still retains the air of a family day, and that is perhaps the cleverest trick of all. The hospitality is spot on and the whole team clearly love what they do. Happy days indeed.

Gurston Down  (check open)

Mulgrave, North Yorkshire

This visually stunning 5,500-acre shoot has been a favourite for game shooters for many seasons. Awe-inspiring drives at the foot of the imposing cliffs on the edge of the North Sea where Guns line out on the rocks and struggle to hone their senses. As the birds soar overhead Guns get the chance to test themselves in some of the most dramatic scenery in the world of driven shooting.

Contact: Mulgrave Estate (ring to check open )

Pentillie, Cornwall

While Exmoor steals the West Country sporting headlines those who are prepared to stay on the A30 for a little longer and cross the Tamar into the proud county of Cornwall will be well rewarded. Tony Kennedy runs the world-renowned Pentillie shoot near Plymouth and here the pheasants can match some of the best you will find anywhere. But it would be a shame to travel all the way to this rocky and romantic outpost at the toe of the UK and not make a few days out of it, so why not try Boconnoc as well? Sounds like a good trip doesn’t it?

Email: [email protected]

Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire

This shoot is one of the most famous in the country for the quality of the day and the sheer enthusiasm of Frank Boddy, the beating heart of the operation. Days often start and finish at the Boar’s Head in the centre of Ripley, and guns will be treated to an astonishing array of drives in woodland and rolling countryside. Topographically, the Ripley Castle shoot includes the following ground: Ripley Castle, Mountgarret, Eagle Hall and Ashfold Side and Hardcastle and Heathfield Moors.

Contact: Ripley Castle Shoot 

Warter Priory, East Yorkshire

Warter Priory

Shooting Gazette has been singing Warter Priory’s praises for a number of years now. And headkeeper Frank Croft and his team continue to deliver the highest level of shooting amid a friendly atmosphere which belies the sheer scale of this giant operation. There is a genuine local feel to this shoot and everyone knows their roles well. Everything from the Wolds topography to elevenses from a custom-made shooting wagon makes a day at this 12,000-acre gem well worth the wait. Many a reader has told us that Warter Priory is on their bucket list and it is one of two on this list which also featured in our top partridge shoot feature in the September issue.

Email: [email protected]

Duncombe Park

North Yorkshire is a hotbed of high bird shooting and Duncombe Park is one of many shining lights in this stunning part of the UK


Helmsley is the market town at the epicentre of this northern shooting powerhouse, and there are many excellent shoots in the area. People travel from far and wide to enjoy a few days of neck craning and wallet-busting sport every season and it’s really not hard to see why. But the closest shoot to Helmsley is the magnificent and historic Duncombe Park. The shoot featured in the October edition of Shooting Gazette, and it is run by Mount St. John Sporting, a rapidly expanding agency in this part of the world. Headkeeper John Masterman is the maestro and you are guaranteed a good day’s sport here.

Contact: Mount St. John Sporting 


shooting in snow

When winter comes Urra offers even more of a challenge …


On the exposed northern edge of the North York Moors National Park lies the rugged and beautiful Urra estate. Here the harsh landscape makes for some breathtaking pheasant shooting, with steep sided valleys, wild moorland fringe, and strong winds bringing wild weather in straight from the North Sea. The shoot is run by the Reeve family and headkeeper Sean Mason is looking forward to some 60 days this season. It’s a family run shoot with a clear emphasis on offering visiting teams the best day’s sport in an informal and friendly environment.

Contact: Dominic or Patrick Reeve Tel. 01642 778000/778117 or email: [email protected]

Brigands, Snowdonia

Brigands is a name which strikes fear and awe into the hearts of game shooters all over the globe


In the last decade this name has become synonymous with the fashion for stratospheric birds, which is hardly surprising as the flagship of the Bettws Hall empire truly does offer the sort of birds that can give you nightmares and some occasional moments of sheer delight. The shoot lies in the valleys of the Cambrian Mountains and at the foot of Snowdonia national park and the 12,000-acre estate provides endless drives to appeal to all manner of guns and ability. And if Brigands is booked or a bit too scary then don’t forget the other Bettws shoots in the area: Gregynog, Maesmawr, Vaynor and Kempton and the new arrival this season, Plas Dinam.

Contact: Bettws Hall 


Oliver Pope is the sixth generation of his family to run this marvellous 1,700-acre Dorset estate and its famous shoot with equally famous shoot lodge (see pages 70-71 of this issue). Drives like Wrackleford Plantation and Great War provide superb sport and quite remarkably Oliver told us in early October: “Our oldest gun shot with us last week, aged 96, and he still shoots better than many of our other guests.” Headkeeper Mark Valder has been here for more than 30 years, having started on a YTS scheme, and underkeeper Tom Rushton is gaining experience all the time.

Email: [email protected]