All About The Bare Bow

 This week, here at Landed Houses, we’re learning all about bows and arrows (ha! Did you read it as a verb?!), and we have a great teacher – Matthew Nimmo, of Birds Hill Days. We asked lots of (quite girlie) questions, and he answered as straight-faced as he could manage…

So, Matthew, archery. Are we talking cross-bows with steel bolts, or long-bows with er…long arrows?

Well, we teach Bare Bow, by far the most natural way to shoot. 

Bare? Golly. So, very Naturalist?

No. Bare as in just you and the bow. We teach without using aids, such as sights.

Oh. So it’s much harder to hit stuff?
No, not at all! It is all about body positioning. If your body is in the right position, the arrows will go where you look.

Ah! Like shooting a 12 bore? But quieter.

Er, yes.

And where do you shoot? In the woods, Robin-Hood-survival-stylee? Bambi watch out?

Well, not really. The majority of Archery we do is at our training ground or at the houses we work with, like Northmoor.  And we use large round targets, rather than the Field Archery style of using dummy animals. Beginners need to be able to hold a bow and shoot straight before they can progress to Field Archery.

Ah. Understood. Well, tell us more about how it works at the big country houses – we’re Landed Houses, as you know. We have a particular obsession with beautiful manor houses in particular.

Really? I wouldn’t have known. I work with a few Stately Homes too…

Oooo, stop…focus! Archery.

You really are quite odd. Anyway. We work with big houses, mansions and estates in the West Country – so Devon, Cornwall, Somerset… a few in Gloucestershire and Dorset. The houses host the parties (usually for at least a night, but also over weekends, or for a week’s holiday). If the guests would like sporting entertainment, we either send equipment and instructors over to the house, or we bring them to our base on Exmoor.

Is it good for big groups, like for team-building, or as a family and friends competition? (Get us…we’re being all serious).

Yes, it’s perfect. We can teach up to 6 at a time in rotation so, larger groups can stay together and the time between go’s is minimal. For a group of up to 24, I would allow a min of 2 hours for them to get the best out of it. And it’s great if there’s a competition element with prizes or whatever.

Prizes! We love prizes. Right – final question… which houses do you work with?

 Too many to list! But some of our favourites are 

 Bath Lodge, Bath

(Archery/Laser Clays/CO2 Pistols)

Ston Easton Park, Somerset

(we’ve only just met these, but it looks like a great house)

Northmoor House, Somerset

(Archery/Laser Clays/REAL Clays/Co2 Pistols)

Huntsham Court, Devon

(Archery/Laser Clays/CO2 Pistols)

Eggesford Barton (Devon)

Archery/Laser Clays/ REAL Clays/Co2 Pistols

Waterhouse, Bath

(Archery/Laser Clays/CO2 Pistols)

Thank you Matthew, for your patience!


To find out more about Matthew’s country sport business, do visit his website –


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