Top Pheasant Shooting Locations
The pheasant shooting season takes place between October 1st and February 1st in England, Wales and Scotland. There are so many great locations for pheasant shooting across the UK that sifting through them can be a lengthy task.
Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you. From the beach drive in Mulgrave to the renowned Castle Hill, we’ve handpicked the UK’s top pheasant shooting locations.
With varying landscapes and shooting difficulty, there’s something for everyone here, whether you’re a seasoned shot or a beginner.
We’ve selected the best hotels too so you can get the full experience, including spas and top-notch cuisine.
The Brigands, Snowdonia National Park
The Brigands has earned its reputation as one of the best pheasant shoots in the UK.
The 12,000-acre site at the foot of Snowdonia boasts some stunning and dramatic scenery.
Birds are flushed from the mountainside, as the foliage functions as natural cover from which to drive the birds.
Notorious drives such as 720 and Humble Pie continue to make an impression, and new drives such as Tommy’s has made the Brigands an elite estate for high pheasant shooting, enticing shooters from all over the UK.
The variety of drives is perfect for Guns of all ability - some offer extremely high birds and others more manageable ones. The Brigands really do cater to all talents.
While you’re there, here are some places you could stay…
Bettws Hall is made up of sporting lodges within close proximity to Brigands. These lodges have been renovated to a very high standard and Bettws Hall offers luxury in abundance.
Some of its features include log burners, a hot tub, a garden space, catering and a dining area.
The chefs deliver exquisite food all day, which is ideal after a long day of shooting. If you stay here, there are other shoots nearby you can try out too, such as Maesmawr or Vaynor.
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel
The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa is around a 40-minute drive from The Brigands.
It has a beautiful view of the North Wales countryside and 34 of the 52 rooms have a lake view, so you can appreciate the scenery from the comfort of your bedroom. There’s also a luxury spa on-site, if you really feel like unwinding.
Then there’s the hotel’s award-winning Tower Restaurant, which overlooks the iconic lake of the hotel’s namesake. With fresh, well-sourced ingredients, you can expect to experience some of the UK’s finest country-house food.
Once you’ve filled your boots, head down to the hotel pub, The Last Grouse, and reflect on the day’s shoot.
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel also has a multi-stand, fully automatic clay pigeon venue, with beginner sessions starting at £47 per person and clays costing £32 per hundred for experienced Guns. Alternatively, you can venture out on foot to discover local waterfalls, or go sailing on the lake.
Castle Hill, Exmoor
Exmoor in Devon is well-known for many famous shoots, but the 9,000-acre Castle Hill takes the top spot.
It presents some of the UK’s highest pheasants, so it’s great for seasoned shots who want a challenge. With breath-taking views of steep valleys and the River Bray, Castle Hill lives up to its reputation.
If you’re heading to Castle Hill on a shoot, we recommend…
Tarr Farm Inn
This small, traditional inn is set in 40-acres of woodland and is just a 30-minute drive from Castle Hill.
The inn sits by the River Barle, so you’ll wake up to the sounds of the river below and the birds above as you look out onto the beautiful gardens.
Dating back to the 16th century, Tarr Farm’s rooms are cosy and traditional. It also has a restaurant that was listed in the Top 50 Gastropubs by Estrella Damm – where better to refuel after a long day’s shooting?
You can even opt for reflexology or an Indian head massage to really wind down.
Angmering, West Sussex
In the heart of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, the Angmering Park Shoot covers 6,000 acres of spectacular countryside. Its thick forest, steep combes and open fields make for ideal shooting topography.
With so many incredible drives, you’ll want to savour each one. That’s why it’s common practice to stick to just four in a day. You can expect predominantly high and fast pheasants due to the nature of the landscape, so the drive is suited to more experienced Guns.
Angmering is a top pheasant shooting location and just a few hours’ drive from central London. It’s little wonder, therefore, that it attracts shooters from all over the UK.
Here are our picks of the best nearby stop-offs…
Park House Hotel
The Park House Hotel is around 40 minutes from the Angmering shoot, making it a great place to stay for prestigious local shoot days.
It has an English country feel and offers accommodation in the Main House, Polo Cottage, Baytree Cottage or Little Oaks House one mile away. Don’t worry about which one to pick; the bedrooms are equally luxurious.
If you’re serious about relaxing, Park House’s spa received the Readers’ Choice Award in the 2017 Luxury Spa Awards, in the UK, Europe and Mediterranean Luxury Spa category. This is definitely worth a visit, even if you’re not going on a shoot.
The hotel endeavours to source its food locally and you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in the dining room or conservatory overlooking the gardens and croquet lawn. Traditional English afternoon tea is also available in the drawing room or terrace.
What’s more, the hotel goes above and beyond to arrange your transport to and from shoots. You only need to worry about the pheasants.
Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa
Situated by the coast and only a 20-minute drive from the Angmering shoot, this hotel is certainly charming.
You can choose to stay in either a cottage overlooking the grounds or a thatched house looking out to sea.
The hotel has a total of 39 bedrooms each possessing their own character, with design styles ranging from medieval to contemporary.
With the Tapestry Restaurant and intimate lounges on-site, you can enjoy traditional afternoon tea, a sophisticated dinner or a relaxing lunch – or if the weather’s fair, you can take a stroll in the courtyard.
The spa is evocative of a Sussex barn and has a variety of treatments to choose from. You might even be tempted to take a day off from bagging pheasants and explore the 30 acres of parkland, play tennis or croquet and maybe head to nearby Climping Beach. Although, it might be a bit nippy for a swim.
Alnwick is home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, who own the iconic Alnwick Castle.
This served as a filming location for Downton Abbey and doubled up as the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films.
The shoot is rather magical too. It spans 2,500 acres over three valleys with incredible views across the Chariot Hills.
The eye-catching scenery of Hulne Park and dramatic backdrop of the castle make Alnwick hard to beat. As well as providing one of the UK’s most picturesque settings, it’s home to some renowned drives with fantastic birds. Some are incredibly high and others are tantalisingly tricky.
Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa
Originally built in 1818, this restored country house and its 10-acre grounds are just a 15-minute drive from Alnwick.
With extravagantly furnished bedrooms, the hotel is grand and impressive, yet the ambience remains welcoming and serene.
The spa offers numerous treatments and it’s just a 10-minute drive from sandy beaches. Choose from a dinner menu in the George Runciman restaurant, relaxed bistro dining or afternoon tea.
Mulgrave, North Yorkshire
Mulgrave provides arguably the most extraordinary scenery in driven shooting. At the foot of the cliffs and on the edge of the North Sea, the sounds of the crashing tide present an added challenge for any Gun.
The varied topography of the drives offers remarkable shooting, from The Point – a beach drive where high-flying pheasant soar from the cliff above – to Footman’s Leap, believed to be the highest and most challenging drive at Mulgrave.
Bear in mind, though, if you do want to drive on the beach, it’s a steep walk down. Tough drives and exceptional scenery describe this shoot to a tee – it’s a truly unique pheasant shooting location.
If you’re sticking around, you could head to…
If you want to stay as close as possible, Mulgrave estate boasts 15,000 acres and has 9 self-catering holiday cottages of different sizes.
With parking, a private garden and Wi-Fi, you’ll have all the amenities you would at home. You can also explore the nearby Mulgrave Woods, the historic fishing town of Whitby around 3 miles away, or the beach.
Raithwaite Estate has a different feel to the cottages of the Mulgrave Estate.
Situated a 15-minute drive from Mulgrave Castle, this luxurious coastal retreat covers around 100 acres.
Itis comprised of two hotels, quaint stone cottages, a private lake house and a tranquil spa with four treatment rooms. Take your pick.
Built as a hunting retreat at the end of the 18th Century by the 3rd Earl of Hopetoun, Raehills is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s finest pheasant shooting estates.
This historic mansion sits amid 500 acres of parkland but the shoot spans over 7,000 acres. There are 22 drives of varied terrain, but many are in the heart of deep valleys which makes for thrilling shooting.
The huge assortment of drives means birds are driven from cover crops, moorland and mature woodland, lending themselves to Guns of all abilities. By the same token, it can really take you out of your comfort zone if that’s what you’re looking for.
Nearby Drumlanrig in Dumfriesshire is another top shooting spot for pheasants too, with over 25 drives.
Here’s where we recommend staying…
Cally Palace Hotel
Set in over 150 acres of grounds, this hotel was originally an 18th century country mansion and retains its grand style with added comforts.
The 56 bedrooms offer beautiful views of the grounds and surrounding countryside. You can choose whether to relax in the leisure facilities or swap the gun for a club by enjoying a round at the hotel’s golf course.
After, a drink in the conservatory bar and some canapes will go down a treat. Later, dine with a four-course meal and a pianist.
The Wrackleford shoot, renowned for being a top pheasant shooting location, is nestled in the deep chalk valleys of Dorset.
Taking place across 1,700 acres, with each drive set in a valley, it’s guaranteed to provide a memorable shooting experience.
With signature drives like the Wrackleford Plantation, where high pheasants come sweeping out of the trees, the birds and setting are sure to provide a fantastic day’s shoot.
Wrackleford prides itself on creating a cheery, welcoming environment that everyone feels comfortable in, so you don’t have to worry about not settling in.
These are what we consider to be the best hotels within close proximity of Wrackleford…
Wrackleford Estate Shooting Lodge
This remote 4-bedroom self-catering lodge set in a small grove provides stunning views towards the coast. With a large open fireplace, it exudes so much comfort you just won’t want to leave.
You can fish for brown trout on the River Frome, play pool in the lodge’s own games room or go on a clay pigeon shoot on the Estate.
If that’s not enough, there are plenty of pubs within walking distance and the coast is only a 20-minute drive away.
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa
Named one of the Best Country House Hotels in Britain in 2019 by the Daily Telegraph, the five-star Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa leaves a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to visit.
This picturesque location is just a 15-minute drive from the Wrackleford shoot, is encircled by rolling hills and features a modern indoor pool and spa.
Choose from characteristic floral cottages to timeless luxury boutiques and treat yourself to award-winning fine dining. After all, who doesn’t want the five-star treatment after a long day’s shoot?
Warter Priory, East Yorkshire
Warter Priory was home to many historical figures and still attracts members of the royal family, the aristocracy and prominent public figures, including Winston Churchill back in the day.
The shoot is spread over 12,000 acres of varying topography, with beautiful scenery and over 50 drives. It’s noted for its deep valleys and hanging woods, so even seasoned Guns will be tested.
Guns are encouraged to travel to the drives together in a custom-made gunbus, which enhances the experience with homely luxury. However you experience Warter Priory, it will definitely be a shoot to remember.
Once you’ve experienced it, head down to…
Pipe and Glass
This is a former coaching inn situated in the amazing surroundings of the Dalton Estate only a 20-minute drive from the Warter Priory.
Its friendly pub has plush, boutique garden rooms, or you can opt for the Old Lambing Yard five minutes away.
In keeping with the building’s original purpose, its rooms are named after breeds of sheep and retain traditional décor with some modern flourishes.
Unusually, the pub is also an award-winning Michelin star restaurant. National restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin described the restaurant as a “Michelin-starred must-do.”
If you have a large party, you can even opt for private dining in an exclusive suite with customised tasting menus.
West Wycombe Estate, Buckinghamshire
The 5000-acre West Wycombe Estate in Buckinghamshire offers varied and somewhat challenging pheasants.
If you want a shoot that’s easy to get to from London, the estate is less than forty miles away.
This traditional English driven game shoot presents high pheasants that cascade over beech trees across the stunning Chiltern Hills.
If you need some extra practise, E.J. Churchill Shooting Ground is situated on the Estate to provide you with expert tuition. In fact, it recently won ‘The Best Shooting Ground’ at the 2019 Shooting Awards, so it’ll set you in good stead.
For the final time, we recommend…
Danesfield House Hotel and Spa
A 20-minute drive from West Wycombe Estate is this four-star hotel, which is surrounded by 65 acres of land and boasts a stunning view of the river Thames and Chiltern Hills.
The hotel features 79 rooms –some are more traditional with four-poster beds, while others are more contemporary in style.
Put your feet up in the award-winning spa or enjoy delicious British food in The Orangery or Oak Room.
A hotel with a calming and relaxing atmosphere, this place offers everything you need after a day of shooting.
Now that you know about the best pheasant locations, you might want to check out our Pheasant Shooting Top Tips.