Let the glorious games commence

The grouse-shooting season is nearly upon us. Fondly known as the Glorious Twelfth, this weekend marks the start of the red grouse shooting season that runs until mid December. Since the Game Act of 1831, which made it illegal to shoot out of season, this date brings shooters from all over the world to Scotland and Northern England to participate in this traditional sport.

Sporting estates across the UK have spent months creating the perfect environment for sociability, merriment and serious competition.

This quintessentially British pastime not only continues hundreds of years of lineage but also provides a welcome boost for local businesses.

Unlike many birds, grouse are not artificially farmed but are left to roam wild in their natural moorland home, providing a picturesque background to these shoots. Special care is taken to ensure the conservation of wildlife and that the countryside is protected. Sportsmanship, courtesy and safety are all key characteristics of this gentlemanly sport, with country codes and etiquettes diligently adhered to. And, of course, events are carefully governed, with guns placed in butts whilst beaters drive the birds over the shooters.

For the dapper huntsman, William & Son offers a range of finely crafted hunting gear, from guns to tweeds, that gives British tradition a modern twist (see right).

And if you want to celebrate the tradition without getting all muddy, there are plenty of places to enjoy game without having to stray north of the M25 (see below).

WILLIAM & SON GEAR

ULVERSTON COAT
This jacket is the personification of countryside chic. Sporting the traditional green with navy and claret overcheck, elbow patches and large cartridge pockets, it’s the ideal coat for getting among the grouse.

BAMBURGH JACKET
This olive green women's waterproof jacket juxtaposes practicality and style. The charcoal wool lining provides warmth while the large gold buckled waist belt creates a sophisticated silhouette.

OVER –AND-UNDER SHOTGUN
Both beautiful and elegant, the over-and-under shotgun is not only perfect in design but is famously reliable and easy to maintain. For more details log on to williamandson.com