If we judged clay grounds on aesthetics alone, Dovey Valley Shooting Ground would top the list as one of the UK’s best.

Its location in the foothills of Snowdonia affords stunning sightlines stretching across rolling hills, meadows and the valley from which the ground draws its name.

Thankfully, beauty here is more than skin deep. This is a passion project, helmed by a man who hopes to make the most of this stunning valley while following in the footsteps of his forward-thinking grandfather.

“My grandfather started shooting here more than 60 years ago,” says Richard Jones, the man now charged with running this stunning venue. “He always had a passion for game shooting and enjoyed leading and instructing others. He realised that a section of the estate he worked on was not great for agriculture but lent itself well to clay shooting, so he set about creating a small shooting school for friends and family.

“His small school built up over the decades and by the 1990s was the largest attraction in the Dovey valley. The business was then leased out for a few years until I was able to purchase the estate in 2019.”

Rather than sit fondly on the memories of his grandfather’s work, Richard immediately set about building his own legacy. “Our original vision was to recreate what my grandfather had achieved. We had a 10- year plan to rebuild the shooting business, integrate a ClayMate system, build a

shop and create all new simulated game presentations. We’ve managed all this and more in just a few years and are now continuing to evolve beyond what we had originally envisioned.”

Dovey Valley’s Sporting offerings have seen particular attention paid to them over the past few years, with Richard’s team of setters working hard to create a varied and challenging course.

“Since the lifting of Covid restrictions we’ve been able to introduce an array of 17 ClayMate stands, open exclusively to licence holders. These stands offer a diverse range of targets, ranging from straightforward to exceedingly challenging.

“To really make the most of the landscape here we enlisted the expertise of renowned pro course setters Bob Clarke and William Evans. They’ve ingeniously integrated the natural landscape into the course. We take great pride in regularly altering the targets to ensure each visit brings a fresh experience for returning shooters.

“Of course the ClayMate system allows licence holders to shoot the course solo, but we recommend booking onto one of our caddied sporting packages if you really want to make the most of everything on offer. Designed for groups of shooters, these packages offer a guided and scored unforgettable shooting experience. We have a range of options available, with visitors able to shoot more than 100 targets without encountering the same one twice.

“We’ve seen a lot of repeat business from these packages as they are so adaptable. Shooters can work with their caddies to create the ideal bespoke day and can even add on a range of optional extras, including fully customisable food and drinks packages.”

Alongside the extensive Sporting course, Dovey Valley is perhaps best known for its innovative simulation days. Richard and his target setters have developed a reputation for deftly hiding traps over the ridgelines of the hills and mountains of the Brynmelin Estate to create a fantastically authentic in-field day.

“We currently provide two immersive options for simulated game adventures,” explains Richard. “The first is a five-drive day, meticulously designed to offer a thrilling and varied experience.

Alternatively we offer a four-drive option in which shooters will still benefit from our exceptional hospitality and have the opportunity to indulge in our chef- prepared meals for elevenses.

“Whichever option you choose, all of our simulated game days treat shooters to awe-inspiring views and can be experienced either alone or as a group. To participate, simply contact us and we will find a suitable date to accommodate you as a solo gun or a full group. However, it’s important to note that our availability fills up quickly, so it’s best to secure your spot as soon as possible.”

While the in-field catering is exceptional, there are other options. “We recently renovated our clubhouse café/bar,” says Richard. “We offer a much-loved full Welsh breakfast and the Dovey Valley burger shouldn’t be missed.”

The food is only the beginning in the clubhouse. There’s also a full gun room selling new and used shotguns and accessories. “We’re dealers for Browning, Guerini, Yildiz, Kofs, ATA, Dedito, Jack Pyke, Hoggs, Swatcom and more,” says Richard. “We also have a local gunsmith, a former Purdey engineer, whom we regularly work with. So whether you’re looking for something new, or to have some work done on a gun you already own, we can help.”

If you’re looking for an opportunity to run a new gun through its paces, look no further than Dovey Valley’s events calendar. “We hold various WCTSA registered Sporting and FITASC competitions throughout the year,” Richard explains, “as well as a monthly DTL competition that has been growing at pace.

“Last September we also hosted the International FITASC final, which was a huge success and, in the words of the shooters, ‘One of the best yet!’”

Whether you’re looking for competitive action, authentic simulated game, a varied Sporting course, or simply an excuse to take in the beauty of the Welsh mountains, Dovey Valley has it all.

“We’ve been lucky enough to shoot at some really spectacular grounds over the years,” concludes Richard. “We feel that we’ve been able to take little ideas from each of them and combine them with top targets and a focus on customer service, all in a stunning location.

“We know we might be a bit out of the way, but we will definitely make your visit worth the journey!”

Valley of Plenty

Richard Jones and Nia Witts are the owners. Richard’s parents, Trish and Alan also work on site, with Trish working culinary magic in the café and Alan mainly running the simulated days. Charlotte welcome visitors with open arms from reception, while Stuart Claire serves as the in-house instructor. Keith Hiatt and Morris Jones compliment the team as simulated day hosts.

Sporting, ABT, DTL, skeet and simulated game on the Brynmelin Estate.

Wednesday-Saturday: 09:30-16:00
Sunday: 10:00-16:00

Dovey Valley Shooting Ground, Llanwrin,
Machynlleth, Powys SY20 8QJ Tel: 01650 511252
Email: info@doveyvalley.com Web: doveyvalley.co.uk

Lessons are available from £40 for one hour, excluding clays and cartridges. Additional students can join individual lessons from £25 per person.
Discounts are available for young shots, students and young farmers.