If there was a league table for shooting then the Yorkshire and Northern Dales would be in the Premier League, it boasts acres and acres of some of the finest grouse moor in the country. Whether it be driven grouse, pheasant, grey partridge, woodcock and snipe, then the Dales has it all. In fact we can boast that we have four of the top fifty best sporting estates in the country as produced by “The Field”

GUNNERSIDE ESTATE

If grouse-shooting were an Olympic sport, this would be the venue for 2012. Half-marathons have been run in the time some drives last on this trophy estate of more than 30,000 acres. It has been described as a Highland Estate in England. The shooting is exhilarating across a breadth of moors and the low ground shooting is worth telling everyone about.

SWINTON PARK ESTATE

The Swinton estate in the Yorkshire Dales offers some of the most extensive shooting in the UK, with 20,000 acres of woodlands and valleys that stretch from the river Ure in Wensleydale and up onto the moorland dales.

The Cunliffe-Lister family acquired Swinton estate in the 1880,s. At the time Swinton was one of two premier sporting estates for sale, the other being Sandringham. The story goes that the Royal family (after inspecting Swinton) decided that the pheasants were too high and plumped for Sandringham instead. Since then the excellent sport and hospitality at Swinton has been legendary and has attracted many great people including former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Harold Macmillan, to American singer and actor Bing Crosby and other European Royals.

BOLTON ABBEY

A 30,000 acre sporting playground on the banks of the River Wharf with 13,500 acres of moorland. High pheasants and quick grouse that whet the shooting appetite.

BARNINGHAM AND HOLGATE

Like a bit of everything? This well managed estate on the edge of the Northern Dales produces an infinite variety of birds including red grouse, pheasant, partridge, duck and goose flighting and also throw in roe-stalking.

Whilst the Field Magazine highlight these shooting estates to be the four best in the country the Yorkshire Country Sports Tourism Alliance believe that Yorkshire is home to some of the most fabulous pheasant shoots in the country and there can be no county with more high bird destinations which offer terrific sport. North Yorkshire is home to high pheasant, some of the drives of the very best shoots are staggering and most are situated in the triangle between Malton, Hull and Whitby, although there are a handful of top shoots in The Dales to the West of the A1. We are sure that every top shot will have their firm favourite but we have compiled what we believe to be the Yorkshire top twenty shoots, with no order of preference.

Cotterdale

A shoot which has gone from strength to strength under the ownership and guiding hand of Michael Cannon (also the owner of Wemmergill), with key assistance of solicitor and shooting partner Richard Johnson who lives in the area and is very much hands on. Now offering some exceptional partridge and pheasant. Some private days but mostly let. Agent Jim Gale.

Duncombe Park

One of Yorkshire’s most famous shoots, and justifiably so. Duncombe Park is at the heart of he Helmsley estate, and much of it is prettily laid out parkland. Owned by Lord Feversham it has two grouse moors plus a large pheasant shoot. There are a few family days, but most are let out and the estate has a big season. Always a strong demand for places. Head keeper is John Masterman. Resident estate manager Ian Saggers is the man to contact.

Farndale

Owned by famed house builder Sir Laurie Barratt, the family has two or three days, but the shooting is leased to well known local game farmer Mike Wood. Has some excellent drives - other than Barratt family days, all other shooting is let.

Garrowby

On the same range of East Riding hills as Warter Priory, about 20 miles inland from the east coast, Garrowby boasts some extremely deep glacial valleys, both sheer and wide, with plenty of hanging woods. Beyond the beech stands are cover crops. Extreme range pheasants to challenge the best. Owned by Lord Halifax, most of the shooting is private with the odd let day. But don’t hold your breath – it’s a very hot ticket and we are talking dead men’s shoes.

Ganton

Owned by Nick Wrigley and justifiably famous as a pheasant shoot. Has one of he most sensational drives called The Peak. The birds are driven from a v-shape wedge of beeches at 500ft on one side of the valley and head for a 240ft high wood on the opposite side. The line of guns is double banked at 300 feet and 200 feet. The birds rocket downwards from one side to the other, but at great height - you can hear them whistle through the air. Very challenging. Some let days.

Jervaulx

Excellent shoot, bordering Swinton and Bolton estates. Productive 2,300-acre grouse moor and good dales partridge and pheasant. Imaginative use of valleys, hills and game crops for quality shooting. Owned by Marquess of Downshire - head keeper is Kevin Jobling. Mixture of private days and repeat bookings. Cancellation offers only hope of booking.

Kepwick

Owned by Alex Guthe and leased to Sir Rocco Forte, situated on the Cleveland Way just south of Thimbleby. The shoot leases three Hawnby drives from Lord Mexborough, so that they can shoot two days back-to-back. There is a private syndicate on the lower ground and this is another excellent shoot. In fact the three Hawnby drives are exceptional. Birds are driven off the edge of the moor over big grass valley bottoms - the valleys are 3/4 mile wide, the birds are very high and fast. They let the odd day. Keeper is Trevor Bailey.

Mulgrave

Owned by Lord Normanby (whose Phipps family also owned Warter Priory until 1998), enjoyed some high profile publicity when leased in 2005 to banker Arpad Busson and his partner supermodel Elle Macpherson. A beautiful estate just north of Whitby, with extraordinary drives where guns stand on cliff sides and birds are driven out to sea (if unshot, they fly back!).

Murton Grange

The late Sir Tom Cowie’s pheasant shoot. As one might expect, top quality too. Much of the shooting is let.

Nawton Tower

Owned by Lady Clarissa Collins, sister to Lord Feversham. Primarily pheasant shooting, and very good too - Hastie Banks is noted for presenting serious pheasants. Let days through Julian Boddy at Sportselect.

Place Newton

Near Wintringham village, and developed under ownership of Major George Cholmley, but now run by Michael Wood (of Farndale). Wooded valleys and 53 named drives - high pheasants, and some exceptional partridges too. A family syndicate plus let days. Some pretty drives, and practically all shooting for the forthcoming season was already sold before last Christmas. Might be odd slots come available.

Raisthorpe

Owned by an insurance company but farmer David Medforth has the shooting and has developed an outstanding partridge shoot over Wolds valleys. Later on some very good pheasant shooting too. Some of the early season partridge shooting is let to Lord Petersham. Raisthorpe has earned a big reputation. Head keeper is Robert Pitt.

Ramsgill

Just above Pateley Bridge is this very nice private shoot owned by James Briggs. An area better known for grouse, but offering good quality pheasant shooting. There is another similar shoot up the same valley.

Ravenswick

Another shoot near Helmsley and famed under ownership of Nick Holt, for good pheasant shooting, in both wooded valleys and on open ground. Let through Sportselect.

Rievaulx

Very close to Helmsley, and developed along a series of three valleys by Melvyn Birkett, but now run by his son Justin. A commercial shoot which has a lot of days (like many others) and does it very well. Nice settings and mixed shooting of pheasants and partridges.

Sawley

Situated close to Studley Royal, Sawley is owned and run by Liam Botham. Very pretty with first class partridge and pheasant shooting in the hands of a very genial host, who also happens to be an excellent Shot.

Spaunton

Again familiar to many as a grouse moor, but in fact has good pheasant shooting. Let days through Sportselect often taken with some of the drives at nearby Ravenswick. Head keeper is Ted Wass.

Swinton

Owned by the Cunliffe-Lister family, near Masham, the shoot has two grouse moors and a very good pheasant shoot, with some spectacular birds off the edge of the moorland.

Thimbleby

Very picturesque, a lovely estate which under the ownership of Andrew Shelley has cut back substantially to 24 days’ shooting. The new owner tells us he is hoping to bring back grouse on the tops, and has adjusted the partridge release programme accordingly. 12 private days, 12 let - all sold, with waiting list.

Warter Priory

One of the most famous of all Yorkshire shoots. Stunning valley drives and brilliantly run by Frank Croft for owner Malcolm Healey. A big programme of high quality partridge and pheasant.

 

 

 
 

4 Comments

  1. Ian Lawless says:

    Any days available Dec 3 for 4 guns? Ian

  2. asad says:

    looking for a rabbits and pigeon shoot around yorkshire area.

  3. Accredited Lantra loaders training in full swing again at the close of season. Industry recognised theory & practical course incl grouse which can be delivered on the estates to keep costs down. 100% feedback from all keepers; loaders and agents who have attended from Scotland to Devon!

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