On a bright, cold morning in March, a group of us headed to an activity centre located within a beautiful country estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh for our archery experience. Driving into the estate, we spotted the activity hub nestled deep in the wooded area of the grounds and made our way over to sign in.
We were introduced to Glen, our instructor for the day, who sorted us all out with hot drinks (which were gratefully received) before launching into the safety briefing for our experience. Once we had finished our drinks, we headed out to the practice area to get started. We were kitted out with wrist guards and ‘introduced’ to our bows whilst Glen explained important rules to observe while we were on the shooting range – safety is paramount on this experience!
Firstly, we had a challenge to see whether we were left- or right- “sighted” – as in, which
way we should stand to fire our arrows. Strangely enough, the process for this is exactly the same as the process to find out your stance for surfing! I stood, feet together, and Glen gave me a small push from behind. Whichever foot I stepped forward on would determine which way I should stand. As it turned out, despite being right-handed, I am left-footed (at least for archery, surfing remains to be seen)!
As we were taking part in a group activity, I paired up with Kim and we took it in turns to fire three arrows each and attempt to reach the target – which is more difficult than you’d think. After some initial struggles, with consistent tuition and input from our instructor, we had our bow swapped out for a lighter one. Our aim improved significantly after this change in equipment and with encouragement from Glen, we began to hit the target more frequently!
After a few more practice rounds, the stakes were raised with a group competition. We started with 3 arrows each and the winner would be the last person with an arrow left… We were challenged to aim initially for the first circle on the target (white), and once we’d successfully hit somewhere in this circle, advanced to aiming for the black, and so on. If we successfully hit the ‘zone’ we had been instructed to aim for we progressed to the next ‘level’. If we took more than one arrow to progress, then we lost a life until we had none left, at which point, we were eliminated. I didn’t get beyond the ‘blue zone’ (Katniss Everdeen I am not…!) and after a showdown between Keila and Ray, Ray was victorious!
Surrounded by beautiful countryside in the great outdoors, this is a really great experience that anyone can enjoy. Despite not winning on this occasion I can’t wait to try this fun sport again!
Motor about the countryside on this hour long quad bike safari
Shoot 25 clays on the range. Can you shoot them in time as they come at you from different angles?
A 2 hour field sports experience that combines archery & clays