Located in the heart of Devon's bandit country (not!), Dragon Archery is a fun all-weather adventure near Holsworthy on the Devon/Cornwall border. This historic market town was mentioned in the Domesday Book back in 1086 and you can just imagine the area being defended by archers from its Saxon hilltop location.
Dragon Archery is one of Devon's top attractions
If you fancy sharpening your archery skills or trying your hand at something fun and new, archery is a great day out for families or groups of friends wanting some competitive fun. It's within easy reach of holiday cottages in Bude, 9 miles away, or Bideford and Barnstaple. I would definitely recommend it is well worth travelling to even if you are staying further afield.
Dragon Archery is one of the best places to spend a morning or afternoon session and was recently awarded the “Most Loved Day Out or Attraction” award. It is also one of the top Devon attractions according to TripAdvisor and is thoroughly deserving of its popularity. The family-run attraction is fully insured and provides all the equipment and tuition you will need to have a really fun session of outdoor activity. The staff are enthusiastic and make sure that everyone enjoys the experience, whatever their level of ability.
Shoot dragons, knights and orcs at Dragon Archery
Each session starts with some basic information about the ancient fighting skills of archery under the expert tutelage of the instructors. Once you are reasonably proficient with holding the bow, inserting the arrow (there is a right and a wrong way of doing this!), lining the bow up against your cheek, then letting fly, you are let loose to enjoy some of the centre's themed ranges.
Whether you want to shoot dinosaurs, knights, orcs, castles or dragons, there's something to fulfill your wildest imaginations here! The ultimate foe is the Great Red Dragon and if you manage to slay it, you join the elite ranks of the Company of Dragonslayers in Devon.
What's great about Dragon Archery is that it can still be enjoyed even on a drizzly day as you take aim from covered areas so you stay relatively dry, along with your bow and arrows. Hopefully you will visit on a glorious sunny day when the views from the location can be fully appreciated.
Prices for adults are around £29 (2014 prices) with concessions for children who must be accompanied by an adult. However this covers all the equipment, safety gear and targets for a couple of hours AND includes complimentary hot and cold drinks and snacks when you fancy taking a break.
Dragon Archery is ideal for beginners
Dragon Archery Centre was set up to give visitors and locals an introduction to this ancient mediaeval sport. It's suitable for anyone over the age of 8, and advance bookings are required. The technique of archery is more about skill and accuracy than strength, so I can personally recommend it as being fun for women too!
Once you get the hang of aiming and shooting, it gives you quite a buzz as the arrow flies through the air and lands hopefully somewhere close to where you were aiming. If not, there are plenty more arrows in the bucket! One of the highlights for me was seeing owner Andy demonstrating an ancient longbow. Truly amazing!
There are also plenty more themed ranges and as you move from one to the next, the challenges and set-ups are truly awesome. Castles, dragons, dinosaurs, Lord of the Rings and more provide new thrills to keep the interest high for the full three hours.
Have you ever tried your hand at archery? Did you feel the sense of history of this ancient sport? We'd love to hear from anyone who has visited Dragon Archery, so feel free to leave your recommendations or observations below.