Fabulous falconry days from IntotheBlue! These falconry experiences give you the chance to go ‘nose to beak’ with many different species of birds of prey at centres around the UK, many of which are not normally open to the public. This is your chance to appreciate those incredible eyes, those sharp claws, that brightly coloured beak and those gorgeous feathers at close quarters - with plenty of opportunity to take photos. Hosted by experienced falconers who are all passionate about their featured friends, it’s amazing to see the working relationship between raptor and falconer first hand. And nothing can beat the first time a majestic bird of prey swoops down to land on your gloved hand. All our falconry experiences include meeting, handling and flying these magnificent creatures. Read more...
• Falconry at a farm shop & park nr Abingdon in Oxon • Tour the aviaries & mews, fly & handle the birds • Centre run by Sharon & James houses 90+ raptors • A variety of family-friendly experiences offered
• Enjoy a hawk hike or an owl ramble in Kent • Experiences take place at Groombridge Place Estate • Spend time at this long-established raptor centre • Experiences limited to just two people per session
• A range of falconry experiences in Shrewsbury • Lots of hands-on time handling & flying the birds • Exclusive access - this centre not open to public • Plenty of time to take photos of the raptors too
• A two-hour falconry experience in Nottinghamshire • Hosted by knowledgable & entertaining falconers • This is a family-run collection with a passionate team • Meet, handle and fly several species of raptors
• Falconry at Risley Garden Centre estate in Derbys • Learn from host Bob Morley & his talented team • Witness hunting & flying & go on walks with birds • Tasters to in-depth falconry sessions available
• Choose between Tavistock or Okehampton venues • Both idyllic locations on the edge of Dartmoor Pk • Go hawk walking, watch free-flying displays & more • Lessons run in groups of up to 4 budding falconers
• Falconry lessons at Llangarron nr Ross on Wye • Hosted by Mike Hill head trainer & centre manager • Swing lures for falcons, fly owls and much more! • Hawk walks to see birds flying in natural habitats
• Private falconry collection not open to the public • Feel like part of the family as you learn falconry • Experience takes place in Fife nr Kirkcaldy • Head out in a Land Rover to fly falcons & eagles
• Falconry at Greetham Valley Golf Course & Hotel • Owl experiences & full/half day falconry sessions • Lots of hands-on time handling & flying the birds • Lovely rolling Rutland countryside to explore
• Meet and fly owls near Eastbourne in East Sussex • Experiences run as private bookings just for you • Vouchers for one, two, three or four people offered • Indoor & outdoor arenas for flying in any weather
• Photograph birds of prey at at falconry centre • You will be given unrivalled access to the raptors • Staff assist with the birds so you get the shots • Snap birds in flight, in hunting mode & portraits
Falconry is a fabulous activity for all ages. It’s a great way to get outdoors, learn something new and have fun with friends or family. It’s utterly mesmerising being able to get up so close to the birds of prey and being able to fly them to your gloved hand is really very special.
Who it’s not for
If you’re scared of birds falconry won’t be much fun for you. These magnificent birds often have very large wingspans, making them an impressive sight in-flight that can be a little intimidating to anyone not comfortable with birds and the flapping of wings.
Often referred to as the ‘sport of Kings’, many say falconry is the oldest field sport in the world. Originally it was all about using birds to hunt, but modern falconry for most is about the sheer pleasure and enjoyment of looking after birds of prey. Some have roles as natural pest controllers, others take part in film work and weddings, whilst falconry displays and experience days such as the ones we offer are really popular.
Will I get to fly the birds of prey?
Yes! The fact that you get to meet, handle and fly the birds is what makes these hands-on experiences so different to just attending a falconry display.
What should I wear when taking part in a falconry day?
Most falconry centres are outdoors,so you’ll need to dress for the weather with comfortable shoes for walking. You should also makes sure you wear ‘earthy’ colours such as blacks, browns, beiges and greens. Bright colours should be avoided. And if it’s sunny and hot and you’re wearing a hat, you might need to remove it when the raptor is flying to your hand.
Is falconry expensive?
Actually owning and looking after a raptor takes money, time and lots of knowledge! However, we offer a full range of falconry experiences for all budgets. Meet and fly a bird on a great value taster experience, or book on a more costly full day course where you shadow the falconer for the day. These more in-depth experiences are ideal if you’re thinking about getting into falconry with your own bird.
Are these falconry sessions suitable for beginners?
Yes! Even if you’ve never even been within pecking distance of a bird of prey before, all experiences are geared towards those with no previous experience. If you book on a one-to-one experience, your falconer will tailor the session to you.
Can I bring people to watch?
Check each individual venue for their policy on spectators, but most centres charge a nominal fee (usually payable locally) for bringing a limited number of friends and family to watch. As spectators they’ll be able to take photos and listen in, but they won’t be able to handle the birds or fly them. We also have private falconry sessions that you can book exclusively for your group.
Will my falconry experience go ahead if it’s raining?
Some birds of prey centres have indoor flying arenas they can use if it’s raining. Otherwise, if the weather is deemed too poor for the raptors to fly safely, your session will be postponed.
Are dogs allowed at falconry centres?
No, you won’t be able to go with your four-legged friend. Whilst the falconers themselves may have dogs, they are familiar with the birds of prey and have been trained to work with them.
How much walking is involved on a ‘hawk walk’ experience?
Most hawk walks are more of a gentle stroll around the countryside than a frogmarch through the fields. You take time to chat and learn about the birds as you walk, with plenty of stops to observe the birds in their natural habitat.
Am I likely to get bitten by one of the birds?
When you handle the birds you’ll be wearing a long, leather falconer’s glove to protect your hand and you’ll be shown what position to adopt when waiting for a bird to fly to the glove, so even if you’re holding a tasty titbit for them to devour on landing, you won’t be part of their meaty treat!
Will the birds hunt live prey?
Raptors are naturally ferocious hunters. But nearly all of our experiences are about getting an insight into the work of a falconer and discovering how birds of prey are trained and bred. A couple of our venues do offer walks where birds such as hawks of falcons will be allowed to hunt for prey such as hares, pheasants, mice or rabbits. If this is the case it will be detailed on that location’s page.
Where can I go on a falconry experience in the UK?
Falconry is one of our most popular outdoor experiences, which is why we’ve got birds of prey centres the length and breadth of the country. Some are in the grounds of stately homes, others are in farm parks and many are deep in the countryside. Here’s just a selection of our many falconry experience locations in the UK: