- Enjoy a tour of your chosen venue (depending on location).
- Learn about the birds with an informative talk by your instructor.
- Learn the basics of bird handling and how to fly them to the fist.
- Your day will last around 2-3 hours.
What happens on the day?
Falconry has been perfected over centuries, allowing man and bird to hunt together in perfect harmony. Learn this ancient craft at any of 14 locations across the UK; don the gauntlet and stare into those fierce yellow eyes. A knowledgeable guide will show you around the centre and introduce you to a variety of birds, their capabilities and natural history. You’ll have the opportunity to fly some of the birds from your fist in true falconer style, encouraging them to soar, pounce and mantle.
What else do I need to know?
- Voucher valid for 10 months.
- Minimum age 10 to 16 years (depending on location).
- At Derbyshire under 16s must be accompanied by an adult, for a spectator fee of £10.
- Group size will vary depending on the venue.
- The Perthshire and Kent venues do not include a guided tour of their centres, but access is provided.
- The species of birds flown will vary depending on the time of year.
- Spectators are welcome (max of one spectator at Cornwall; £35 per spectator at Yorkshire; at Chichester guests can accompany participants for £40; max of one spectator at Kent and Dorset where they must be over 14 years and cost is £20).
- Dogs are not permitted at some locations.
Where can I do it?
East: Bedfordshire (Biggleswade)
East: Essex (Castle Hedingham)
Midlands: Derbyshire (Risley)
Midlands: Warwickshire (Sutton Cheney)
Midlands: West Midlands (Stourbridge)
North East: North Yorkshire (Ripon)
North East: North Yorkshire (Skipton)
North West: Cheshire (Knutsford)
Scotland: Fife (Kirkcaldy)
Scotland: Lanarkshire (Biggar)
South East: Hampshire (Andover)
South East: Kent (Eynsford)
South East: West Sussex (Chichester)
South West: Dorset (Marshwood)
Hawking GoodReview by battryman, St. Albans
My half-day Hawking Experience was spent at Hawk Conservancy Trust at Weyhill, nr Andover in Hants. An introduction to hawking put us all (6 of us) at ease and we were then shown how to receive the hawk. Each of us had two attempts at landing the hawk on our left wrist (the correct side). We then went to a large arena at the edge of the compound and were given a display by many types of raptors which flew from one handler to another, skimmed our heads as they screamed over us (vultures!!) and a Sea Eagle which appeared on the Horizon and slowly made it way across country to the safe wrist of one of the handlers - a majestic flight!. We then went and had further handling of some Harris hawks before a welcome hot cuppa and finally we all handled a superb Great Owl which silently flapped once, then soared onto our wrist. It was a magnificent bird as was the experience as a whole.
(Posted on November, 2012)
An experience to rememberReview by BrianD, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
I was initially disappointed when I learned that my experience was not to be in a centre. I turned up at Bridge of Cally and met my host Stewart along with two other guests. Stewart then informed me we were going to hunt with hawks. We were taken further up the glen and then introduced to our two Harris Hawks - beautiful birds.
No one can imagine the experience of walking the hills with a hawk on the arm - pride, anticipation of the hunt, and a little trepidation. Walking with the bird on the arm the hills melted away and we were well up the hills before I knew it.
During the afternoon of hunting we did not have any kills, but that was irrelevant - the anticipation, excitement of the hunt, learning the skills of the hunter from Stewart more than made up for the failing; everyone agreed we could use our imagination to fill the gaps. It also gave us the opportunity to realise the birds personalities and mannerisms.
On the final stretch to the vehicle can you imagine walking up a road with two hawks hopping from post to post beside you - I can say I have been on a walk with a hawk.
We came home tired, wet and exhilarated. We had shared an experience that will be with us for the rest of our lives.
Can you do it? I am 65-years old reasonably active but not a serious walker due to joint problems.
(Posted on September, 2012)
A fabulous day out! Everyone should tryReview by Minxy-Moo, London
I booked this on a 2-for-1 as a day out for my partner and I and it was fabulous! We visited the centre in Kent (Eagle Heights) and can't recommend it enough. They had a huge variety of animals and extremely knowledgable staff. We say many birds of prey - including the eagle from the Kings Of Leon cover. Our experience lasted well over 4 hours and we learnt vast amounts about the birds while learning to fly them and then taking them for a walk/flight throughout the Kent countryside before giving them their dinner on the way home. The staff and the other people on our experience was so friendly and it really was an amazing day, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to a friend and I'd happily do this again!
(Posted on July, 2011)
Falconry and Birds of Prey at their bestReview by Horsetay, Loughborough, Leicestershire
We bought a 1/2 day experience for our daughter who is 11. We chose Hawkwise Falconry based at the Bosworth Battlefield Centre in Leicestershire and from start to finish the whole day was thoroughly enjoyable and engaging. Steve Wright the Falconer, his dogs and birds gave an exciting incite and full on, hands on involvement all through the 3 hours, which included my husband and I and other visitors. Our daughter had a brilliant time, some fantastic memories and has learnt a basic skill she says she will revisit in the future, with the owls being her favourite to get close up and work with. Excellent value for money and a unique experience.
(Posted on March, 2011)
Fantastic GiftReview by Adey, Leicester
My brother and I received gift vouchers and chose the Owl experience at Risley in Derbyshire. We had a three hour morning there with various birds of prey and had a fantastic time. We were able to handle the birds after a comprehensive talk which told us all about them. Bob Morley the Falconer was very knowledgeable and contributed to a very enjoyable experience.
(Posted on January, 2011)
My Thanks To Joe - What A Great DayReview by Robert Seaston, Chesterfield
Didn't know quite what to expect but I wouldn't have missed this experience for the world - the closeness and eye to eye contact with these beautiful creatures was awsome. Thanks Joe and all the staff at this venue we thoroughly enjoyed our day.
(Posted on June, 2012)
The best birthday present yetReview by Neville Bridle, Steyning, West Sussex
A day I looked forward to for a long time.
On the day it was more than twice what I expected.
The guide and instructor was terrific, well informed about all forms of wild life and passionate about her birds.
I highly recommend this experience, but be prepared to wait as it's much in demand.
Well done to all the staff.
Location: Eagle Hights
(Posted on March, 2012)
Breathtaking day!Review by Mark, Daventry
Was bought this experience as a surprise gift and rarely enjoyed a day out more. The instructors have depth of knowledge that goes beyond them just doing a job. And the thrill of being able to get so close to these amazing creatures is a memory that will live with me for many years to come. I cannot recommend this experience enough.
(Posted on September, 2011)
Wish I had done this years agoReview by Dorothy Wilkes, Guildford
This really is a lovely village in Kent, it has lovely views and this has turned out to be one of the best pressies I ever bought. I'm even more pleased that I bought a voucher for myself as well.
It was an anniversary present for my husband who is Scottish and used to be interested in falconry when he was a younger man back home. The staff made the day so wonderful that I don't know why we never did this before.
Now I'm a convert and we will most certainly be doing this again. Amazing experience
(Posted on November, 2011)
Already rebooked!Review by Gail Lees, Coventry
I just cannot wait to do this again. We must have 50 photos of our day at Stourbridge and we never get tired of looking at them. What lovely people, our guide for the day made us so welcome and introduced us to such a fascinating world that we are now officially hooked. The forest walk is superb and the birds themselves are just so beautiful. My husband has a real love of wildlife and all his questions were answered with enthusiasm and genuine interest. I would thoroughly recommend this wonderful experience to anybody.
Location: West Midlands Stourbridge
(Posted on September, 2011)
Do it.Review by Chris Wilkinson, Islington, London
My dad hasn't stopped talking about this day since we did it three months ago. he saw the film 'Kes' on the TV, happened to say he liked it and so we got on this site and booked a day for him as a birthday present (he isn't the easiest man to buy for!).
This is real bucket list stuff, he was absolutely blown over by the location, loved the experience of handling the birds and is already talking about doing it again.
Your site made booking this really simple and straightforward so just to say thanks, we never would have thought of something like this for a gift
(Posted on November, 2011)
Cracking day.Review by Joe Gibbons, Darlington
Dragged to Skipton and out into the Yorkshire dales by the wife and kids and told it was all a big surprise. well I never could have expected this - not in a million years.
It was great, I loved every minute of it. The staff really know their stuff and they can tell you anything you need to know about these birds. When you get to handle one it's really an incredible experience and not something I would ever have thought of doing.
I had seen this stuff on TV but to actually get out there and do it for real is just amazing
(Posted on September, 2011)
MagnificentReview by Maurice St John Travers, Knutsford, Cheshire
I live in Knutsford, very close to this venue and had no idea that such an experience was possible. My nephew and niece had booked it as a retirement present for me and having now used my voucher I just had to log into this web site and show my appreciation.
The experts at Knutsford are quite remarkable, I learned how to handle a bird on a gauntlet, was given some fascinating insight into how these birds survive in the wild and (my personal favourite) had the opportunity to feed a condor.
I wouldn't have known where to begin to look for such an experience as this. So well done and thanks.
Location: Knutsford, Cheshire
(Posted on September, 2011)
Is this activity done on a one to one basis with a trainer or is it with a group of people?
Generally the bird of prey days are held as part of a small group, they are not run on a one to one basis.
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