West Wycombe Estate is consistently referred to as one of the finest shoots in the Country. Today the shoot still ranks amongst the best, and is regularly in the Field’s list of Top Shoots. Certainly it is probably the closest really good shoot to London. Much of the woodland was originally laid out for shooting and it is a classic traditional English driven game shoot. The landscape is undulating and has some really good steep hills, and the combination of this with hanging beech woods and judicious use of game covers means guns can enjoy some very high, sporting birds. The whole Estate extends to some 5,000 acres and the shoot is managed by Sir Edward Dashwood, Bt. an extremely keen shot himself.
West Wycombe has been well known as one of the prime shooting Estates for well over a century. Indeed, as far back as 1917 in his book ‘More Leaves from my Game Book’, Augustus Grimble describes the shoot thus … ’From the coverts here pheasants fly as well as can be desired, especially so from Hells Glen’. The Hellbottom Valley is one of the most famous beats, and the Hell’s Glen drive is still done to this day and provides great sport.
Nowadays, both pheasants and partridges are released. The partridge shooting is excellent and was rated by Sir Geoffrey Palmer in his analysis in the Field as the second best in the Country. The birds are very challenging and the guns will often find themselves lined out in beautiful wide open valleys or with the stunning landscaped parkland as a backdrop.
The Estate aims to shoot days in the region of 250 – 500 birds with a team of between seven and nine guns. Double guns can be used at the clients’ discretion.
The Estate has a delightful 18th Century Shooting Lodge from which most days are based. This has a wonderful rustic atmosphere with lots of sporting memorabilia and is the perfect, cosy place from which to base a day’s shooting. On occasions the main house can be used also. Lunches are cooked by our own chef, making use of the Estate’s game and produce where we can.
The Estate is dominated by the main Palladian House which is quite exquisite and set amidst landscaped gardens with beautiful classic temples, bridges and monuments, it makes a fabulous backdrop. West Wycombe is less than forty miles from central London and is also extremely close to Heathrow (20 miles) and there are a number of good hotels locally which make it most convenient for shooting parties.
In addition the E. J. Churchill Shooting Ground is based on the Estate. The largest such ground in the country and voted several times ‘Best Shooting Ground’ there you can find expert professional shooting tuition, whether at the Ground or in the field on the game days, along with any other equipment, gun hire, cartridges etc.