There are many places where one can shoot clay pigeons in Britain. There are, however, not so many establishments that might properly be called shooting schools. The latter are distinguished by their broad expertise,by their facilities (which allow for the simulation of gamebird-shooting as well as conventional clay-busting) and, most of all, by their reputation for effective instruction at all levels. Some are known for teaching a particular style and some have a speciality, or a quality, that sets them apart from the mass.

Our Top Ten may be described as the universities of our sport, centres of excellence for higher shooting education (and a “grand tour” of them might be deemed part of the journey to becoming a complete shot). They are repositories of shooting wisdom where you might go yourself or con-fidently send your son, daughter or an old but inexperienced friend to learn the art and the science of shooting well.

I have not included my excellent home ground, Fennes, in Essex, lest I be accused of bias, nor have I, with two exceptions included a ground at which I have not shot frequently. It is appropriate,meantime, to give honourable mentions to some grounds/schools that have many admirers but of which my own experience is old, limited or absent: Southern Counties (the official training ground for the 2012 Olympics); East Yorkshire Gun Club (renowned for trap); The Joe Neville Shooting School at Matlock (Joe was the first man to shoot 200 straight at Olympic skeet); Bywell in Northumberland; Mid Wales, near Wrexham; Southdown in West Sussex (fa-mous for Dave Peckham’s testing sporting targets); Howard Kirby’s welcoming Lains Shooting School; David Olive’s Apsley (David was taught by Percy Stanbury and the Rose brothers); Doveridge in Derbyshire; Mark Russell’s Grims-thorpe; Mike Meggison’s Kelbrook Shooting School; Mike Reynolds’s Mid-Norfolk (scene of many a championship), the late Michael Pinker’s Lady’s Wood; and, in Scotland, North Ayrshire and Gleneagles.

The Top Ten are given in alphabetical order(because we could find no fairer way to do it).

Bisley Shooting Ground

EJ Churchill

High Lodge

Hodnet (West Midlands)

Holland & Holland

North Wales Shooting School

Royal Berkshire Shooting School

Sporting Targets

West London Shooting School

West Kent

  • Dr. Nicol Murray

    Sirs, While I accept your views and editorial license with regard to Shooting Schools, I fear that you have missed one particular and highly regarded School. I refer to Long Acres Shooting School, located just outside Newmarket and run by the owner Mr. Sam Grice of some not inconsiderable repute. Ignoring the fact that I also coach there, Sam is a very well regarded Coach and CPSA Staff tutor of many years standing and his reputation for teaching and indeed writing about shooting is, I suggest, second to none. Might this exclusion be viewed as perhaps, unfair?