Mary has been secretly planning Russell’s birthday bash and she came to you for help, it’s his fiftieth and she wants to do something different – some sort of getaway, but this year she isn’t sure what is available, or if it would be safe to go.
The Glorious Twelfth is upon us and it is time once again for the start of the Grouse shooting season, here in the UK.
Russell has always fancied himself quite the country gent and he often goes clay shooting at the weekends and last time you went with him, you struck up some friendly rivalry over Sporting Clays. The next step on from Sporting Clays would naturally be game shooting.
Mary is delighted. “Sounds like a plan, Teddy!” She exclaims.
“When shall we book?”
Enquire about Experience
Across England, Scotland and Wales, the game shooting seasons vary from game bird to game bird, although traditionally seasons run through the autumn to late winter.
Pheasant is October 1st to February 1st
Grey Partridge and Red-legged Partridge are September 1st to February 1st
Red Grouse August 12th (known as ‘The Glorious Twelfth’) to December 10th
Black Grouse August 20th to December 10th
Duck and Goose (inland) September 1st to January 31st
Game shooting mornings are exhilarating. As you arrive you will be greeted by keepers, beaters, pickers-up and of course introduced to your guns and the gun dogs. Day itineraries will vary, but generally you will expect birds that are suitable for all shooting abilities.
Settled in usually with a round of coffee, it will be time to meet the shoot host, who will talk you through the day’s procedures, safety briefings and staff introductions. Instructors will be available for those who are beginners, or for guests who wish to grow their skills.
From here on the shoot begins, with varying flights to allow you to learn and practice different shots.
At the shoots we arrange, we include catering so that your guests can be fully sated before you either carry on for the day or take advantage of the many other countryside activities we can arrange for you.
Dressing for the occasion can always be a worry, what is expected, or classed as too much? We have put together a shooting dress-code guide for you, so you will look the pro from the moment you set foot from the car.
To really take Russell’s birthday to the next level you will want to pick something a bit special, plenty of luxury and opportunities for guests who do
not want to participate in the shoot to have something else to do.
At Humphreys of Henley we have a close connection to the best luxury manor houses and hotels in the UK and we have picked just a few to highlight the options you have for your weekend getaway.
Hampshire is a great area for game shooting and we have created a fantastic list of luxury Hampshire stay options that will give you plenty of things to do;
1. Chewton Glen - here you can experience the beautiful tree house apartments set in the New Forest. Activities range from yoga, to golf, as well as hiking through the magnificent forest.
2. Four Seasons – this beautiful building is set on 500-acres of land and is delightful from room to room. Activities range from falconry to horse-riding.
3. Heckfield Place – a beautiful Georgian Manor with stunning signature rooms, looking out across the grounds and lake. The Little Bothy Spa is also a delight for those looking for relaxation after the shoot.
4. The Newt – this Georgian property is something quite different with its Turkish spa baths and herbal garden treatments. Rooms are sumptuous and the food amazing.
5. The Vineyard – just outside Hampshire in Newbury is the beautiful Vineyard. With its spacious lounges and elegant rooms, you will be delighted by the further activities which include wine tasting.
Venturing into the Chilterns we have some delightful luxury stay options
1. Monkey Island – set on the river Thames, Monkey Island is an idyllic retreat, offering beautiful seclusion. There are spa treatments and a secret whiskey snug on hand after your shoot.
2. Cliveden Estate – this well-known National Trust property is full of glamour. You will feel like you can get lost in your room, they are so divine. Outside, the 376-acre property is simply breath-taking and the spa has all the latest treatments.
3. Coworth Park – remarkably close to Ascot this Equestrian themed property is the perfect stay to mix all manner of country pursuits.
4. The Langley – with its Royal connections, the Langley is nothing short of elegant. The deluxe suites are simply gorgeous, and the spa also features the famous Matt Roberts gym.
5. The Hand and Flowers – With two Michelin stars for its restaurant it was not hard to put this quintessential English pub on our list. Each room here is a cottage situated close by, so seclusion is quite possible.
The South West/Cotswold borders are well known for their
Game shooting experiences and so we have a short list of options here too:
1. The Royal Crescent – Bath is a beautiful destination, with so much to see and do in this great city, but a luxury stay would not be complete without booking into the world-famous Royal Crescent.
2. Whatley Manor – A quaint manor set in twelve acres of stunning gardens; Whatley Manor is bound to impress. The Grand Suite is our favourite room by far and of course you simply must try chef Niall Keating’s tasting menu.
Finally, we cannot talk about Grouse shooting without mentioning luxury places-to-stay in Scotland.
1. Forss House Hotel – The main house, set in Caithness, is exquisite, but for those seeking more seclusion we recommend the River House bedrooms, each with their own private entrances.
2. Glenfinnan House – on the shores of Loch Shiel, this National Trust property stands in full view of Ben Nevis, not too far away from the Glenfinnan viaduct, the setting for scenes from the Harry Potter films.
3. Coul House Hotel – this 18th century property is a delight in the tranquil landscape, just 25 minutes away from Inverness. You can expect a family welcome here with lots of good food and wine.
Scotland is of course known for its luxury golf courses, so if you stay here you will need to take your clubs with you.
Our guide to your safety post lockdown
We completely understand that as lockdown slowly lifts you are feeling the tension, so we want to take the time to assure you that our staycation getaways are planned to the finest of detail. We liaise with manor and hotel staff to make sure our guests experience the best of hospitality and this includes attention to government guidelines. For this reason, each property has taken the necessary measures to ensure you a relaxing stay during this time, whether this is through extended rigorous hygiene, social distancing measures, in restaurants and spas, or on the activities we provide you.
If you have any concerns, please email these to us along with your booking information requests. We want you to find safety in your break away and confidence to truly relax. You deserve it.