Regular sessions at a shooting ground will not turn you into a Lord James Percy or a George Digweed, but they will make you better and a lesson or two will iron out those bad habits to which we are all susceptible. Here's Shooting Gazette's round up of some of the best top grounds for game shooters, in no particular order
Top grounds for game shooters
Nestled into the foot of the Marlborough Downs just a few minutes from Junction 15 of the M4 this picturesque ground is well run by Huw Stephens and his team. It’s open every day of the week and it is loaded with rural charm. With a full range of simulated days to offer in the surrounding area, as well as all the shooting at the ground, game shooters are at the forefront of the offering here at Barbury. And they are guaranteed a warm welcome from the friendly team.
E.J. Churchill, Buckinghamshire
This Buckinghamshire ground near the M40 at High Wycombe won the best shooting ground in our very own Shooting Industry Awards in 2014 and hosted the World English Sporting Championship in 2014 and 2016. Set amidst 40 acres of attractive woodland on the historic West Wycombe Estate the shooting ground offers a wide variety of shooting and a warm welcome to all visitors. Layouts include three high towers, skeet, multisport, DTL and purpose built grouse butts and MD Rob Fenwick’s team are always on hand to ensure a great shooting experience.
Royal Berkshire Shooting School
Long seen as one of the flagship game shooting grounds in the UK the RBSS continues to deliver an exceptional level of shooting instruction and competition. It hosts the Handicap Challenge, sponsored by Shooting Gazette, and one of the premier competitions in the country. And The Sunseeker/Boodles high tower competition received huge attention earlier this year, and it was ultimately won by Huw Stephens from Barbury Shooting School in Wiltshire. And since the school was established in 1991 it has helped raise more than £23 million for charities through charity clay shoots. Dylan Williams and his team continue to strive for excellence in everything they do.
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Bisley, Surrey & Scotland
Not to be confused with the National Shooting Centre (NSC) at Bisley, which is an excellent facility for skeet and trap shooting, Bisley Shooting Ground extends into the attractive woodland behind the NSC, 10 minutes south of the M3 at Junction 3. In keeping with most of the buildings at Bisley, the lodge is a colonial style building and shooting here can only be described as a pleasure, with the high tower and the grouse butts providing a particular highlight. And its sister ground Bisley at Braidwood in Scotland offers a similar level of experience at the other end of the UK.
Holland & Holland, Middlesex
Holland & Holland in Northwood has long been one of the leading venues for game shooting instruction in the UK. Legendary instructor Ken Davies plied his trade here for many years and Steve Denny’s team continue the good work today. Shooting here is a grand experience and the ground has been renovated this year, resulting in some superb new facilities, including an indoor rifle range – the “Schiesskino”.
Lady’s Wood, Gloucestershire
Set amid the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside with easy access from both the M4 and M5, the shooting stands are set in 65 acres of natural woodland, with an attractive Cotswold stone lodge setting the perfect tone for a game shooter’s clay ground. You will also be guaranteed a colourful welcome by any one of the peacocks which roam the drive and car park! With Sportarm of Dorchester also running a branch of their well-respected gun shop here you’ve got another reason to visit…
West London Shooting School, Middlesex
The nearest shooting ground to central London, West London Shooting School lies just south of the A40 in Northolt and offers a surprising oasis of old school calm and charm in this hectic part of the world. Intelligent use of sound banks has created an idyllic venue for an hour’s lesson or a day with friends at the home of legendary instructor Percy Stanbury. Although Alan Rose, who can still be found on the grounds if you are lucky, is not too far behind Stanbury in terms of reputation. Shooting here is always a pleasant experience.