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Bow Making Bushcraft Weekend Course

Bow Making Bushcraft Weekend Course


Course Location: Oxfordshire

Course Time: 13.00 Friday until 12:00 Sunday

Course Duration: 3 days

Course size: 12 persons max

Course Age Range: 18 +

Call US: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days) / 07843 064114 (Out of hours)

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Bow Making Bushcraft Weekend Course

The bow and arrow has been one of those accelerating forces in the shaping of mankind's story on Earth firstly allowing our ancient ancestors to ensure the security of food in the wilderness they called home.

As our societies developed and wars were fought, victory often favoured those peoples who harnessed the power of this truly incredible weapon. Whether you have an interest in ancient history or simply share with your ancestors the exhilaration of firing a bow and arrow, opening the door into making your own wooden bow can be the beginning of a life long journey of discovery. 

On this course we will guide you through the whole process of making a green wood bow with hand tools out in the field. There will be a range of handmade bows on hand to high light the diversity of bow design and you can take your pick in crafting anything from a Mesolithic flat bow to a Medieval long bow.

We start with a safety brief on the Friday afternoon and a discussion on the fascinating range of designs from prehistory right up to modern day. There will be time to set up your sleeping system and familiarise yourself with your surroundings and fellow bow makers. We then look at the safe use of the tools that are required for the course and also look at the different types of woods suitable in bow making. The hard work then starts in earnest where we will provide all customers with a suitable bow stave to begin work on but before doing so we will explain fully how to get to this stage - the selecting of an appropriate tree or limb, the splitting of that limb and what advantageous properties to look for before moving on to shaping of the stave. We will break for an evening meal at round 18.00.

We aim to guide you through a range of options for manufacturing a working bow - there will be the opportunity to get to grips with shave horses and draw knives as well as a variety of more primitive means to bracing and working the stave.

The real art in bow making is the tillering process whereby both limbs should flex equally either side of the handle and most people find themselves well into this process by Saturday  afternoon. Once the bow is in tiller we look at cutting the string groves and of course making a string! We aim to break for lunch around 13:00 to give your hands a well deserved break.

Saturdays work will conclude around 18:00 to allow time for cooking your evening meal and relaxing around the campfire.

On Sunday we ensure that everybody is on top of the tillering of their bow. We cover finishing the bow and bow after care. There will also be an opportunity to test out your bow by firing some arrows at some targets.

Please note this is a self-catering course and no food is included you will need to bring food and all cooking equipment with you for the duration of the weekend. Please bring food that is quick and easy to prepare to avoid eating into the course time. Hot and cold drinking water will be constantly available.

Basic eco-toilet facilities are available on site.

Customer feedback for this course:

Really enjoyed the bow making course, Adam and Gary had a real passion for the art and made the process of creating a bow from a sectioned log. Fun and a bit of a history lesson! We finished the weekend with a bow and had some arrows to practice hitting a target with. Fantastic course, experiencing the effort our ancestors went through to make one of this country's most feared weapons! (Jason Plume)

  • Oxfordshire


    Nestling on the banks of the River Thames we have sole access to a 250 Acre Private Woodlands just outside the Village of Appleton, in Oxfordshire. With 125 Acres designated as SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) there is an abundance of flora and fauna. With a mixed canopy throughout the woodlands and a mosaic of habitats this woodlands provides us with amazing resources, with Oak, Ash, Beech, Birch, Hazel, Hawthorn, Cherry, Blackthorn and more. We have resident populations of Muntjac, Roe and Fallow Deer. Plus a huge variety of other fauna with almost daily sightings of Stoat, Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Red Kite and so much more. We operate all of our courses here for individuals to book on to, including our Woodland Ways Weekend, we also offer private bookings, school bookings, stag do's and corporate events.

    Toilet facilities are available my means of composting toilets and a portaloo. There are central covered teaching area's within the woodlands comprising of timber and canvas structures.

    This wonderful wonderful woodlands is situated within 45 minutes of West London and the local train station (Oxford) is less than a 15 minute cab ride away. Please ensure when travelling to the venue you use the directions and not rely on Sat Nav in order to prevent getting lost.

This course can be purchased as an 18 month voucher, to book online choose "36 month voucher" from the options above and we will email the details over to you. Alternatively if you are purchasing this course as a gift we can post you a full colour gift presentation pack for just £4.25, just choose posted instead of emailed delivery option. Or contact us by phone to make the arrangements.

Call Us: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days) / 07843 064114 (Out of hours)

We’re happy to take course bookings and payments over the phone. Simply give us a call and we’ll place the booking for you before emailing through confirmation. Alternatively, drop us an email at and we’ll call you back.

If your course booking is for a gift, no problem, just let us know at the time of booking and we’ll email you a personalised gift certificate or 18-month voucher to print at home. Or, for a small supplement, we’ll print out a gift pack and pop it in the post for you.