Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire

When Eastnor Castle is not looking after the 35,000 music-lovers who descend on the 5,000-acre estate for The Big Chill festival every August, guns from all over the world arrive at the Hervey-Bathurst family home for driven pheasant-shooting.

The shooting at Eastnor Castle is run by George Hervey-Bathurst, whose family have lived in the castle for the past 200 years.

“We let around 25 days each season. Our gamekeeper, Martin Walker, is the second generation of his family to run the shoot, so he knows the 30 drives inside out.”

Eastnor Castle is surrounded by a lake, deer park and arboretum, with magnificent views of the Herefordshire countryside. “The 300-acre deer park’s proximity to the house is intended to enhance the impression of medieval authenticity,” explains Hervey-Bathurst.

The castle’s opulent interior is full of antiquities collected in Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean, 17th-century Italian furniture, Flemish tapestries, medieval armour and 15th-century artwork. Preprandial drinks are taken in the Great Hall, which is the main room in the castle.

Guns dine in the State Dining Room, where between eight and 22 guests can be seated at the main table, which is decorated with the family silver and candlelit for formal dinners.

After dinner, guns retire to the Gothic Drawing Room and then the Little Library, where they can make use of the Burroughes & Watts billiard table.


There is a choice of 12 bedrooms, including the Queen’s Bedroom, which was used by Queen Mary in 1937, and the State Bedroom, which boasts a roll-top bath in the enormous en suite.

Pheasant-shooting costs £36 per bird + VAT.

Full board in the castle costs £5,300 + VAT per night for up to 10 people.

For more information, call George Hervey-Bathurst on 01531 633160 or visit Eastnor Castle.

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