The Wild Boar has 72 acres of woodland adjoining the Inn which offers lots of exciting activities for people of all ages. Our family enjoyed an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting with experienced instructors Steve and Michael, from Michael Coates Clay Shooting. Here’s what led to our choice of afternoon out, and what the family thought of the experience.
With the restrictions on travel this year, it was difficult to plan a holiday abroad. As a family of four with two teenagers, we needed to find activities and days out that we would all enjoy. In the past we’ve taken part in Go Karting a few times, going over the border to Lancashire. We make a decent day of it coming back home through Austwick, dining in a fantastic little gastro pub called The Game Cock. Here we enjoy a post-race meal and compare lap speeds! When you have teenagers, it’s all about the competition – can brother beat sister, and vice versa, who had the fastest car, whose fault was it that when one of them went into the tyres and stopped the race for a while … and so on.
It was great to discover an activity right on our doorstep along the Crook Road that ticked all the above mentioned boxes – action, adventure, competition, and fun for all the family. The Wild Boar is a traditional Lakeland Inn with its own private woodland that includes the excellent Mike Coates Clay Shooting.
Clay shooting instruction from either Steve, or Mike himself, is first class, whether you have shot before or are a complete beginner. It’s pretty much a leveller for all ages and genders. To take part in the woodland activities you do have to be a guest at the Inn, either resident or eating there, or guests at English Lakes Hotels sister properties, Low Wood Bay, Lancaster House or The Midland. We booked in for The Wild Boar Alternative Afternoon Tea, but more of that later.
At the purpose-built shooting range, Steve gave us excellent clear and concise instruction. There was the obligatory safety spiel and questions about any custodial time against our names. Glad to report that we were all clean, with no previous to declare, so we could handle the 12-gauge shotguns.
Steve checked whether we were right or left-handed and which was our dominant eye. Well, I am not sure that either Steve or Mike had come across a family of four like ours before, and can’t say that we knew previously what we discovered about ourselves that afternoon! Three left handers, one of which had right dominant eye, two had left dominant eye, and one of those was right footed. To add another challenge to the mix, two of the left-handers couldn’t close the non-dominant eye! So there was a little more thought went into our imminent shoot, and one or two suggestions to try, including a few eye patches. We were then good to go.
Here’s what I remember about how to hit the target. Set up in the trap, sideways on, weight over front hip leaning forward to maintain balance, follow the line of the clay and as soon as reaches its peak, and before it starts to drop, squeeze the trigger and watch the dust and shards of clay explode in the sky…hopefully!
We spent a great hour honing our skills and aiming for the targets, with differing levels of success at different times. We all had the thrill of hitting the clays and, of course, there was the inevitable brother sister rivalry and discussion about who reigned supreme, which continued over our teatime treat at the Inn.
The Alternative Afternoon Tea is rightly called alternative! It offers brilliant sample of many of the items this Grill and Smokehouse restaurant is famous for. We checked out the recent Trip Adviser reviews and this one pretty much summed up what we had, and our sentiments about it also …
“Best afternoon tea we’ve ever had
Came here for their alternative afternoon tea. Every item was so tasty and well made. Pork scratchings, soup, cheese scone, salmon tart, fish and chips, burger, popcorn chicken and sweet cakes. So filling, will definitely come back”.
To book a session of Clay Pigeon Shooting at The Wild Boar please call Mike Coates on 07814 030249 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reserve your Alternative Afternoon Tea at The Wild Boar call 015394 45225.