Attractions worth the entrance fee #2 – GTS Adventure, York

Attractions worth the entrance fee #2 – GTS Adventure, York

You can always tell the success of an attraction by the number of smiles and giggles by the participants. Our morning at GTS Adventure provided more than its fair share of upturned mouths.

GTS runs a number of outdoor pursuits from the back of the Best Western Burn Hall Hotel in Huby between York and Thirsk. I bought a taster package of rifle shooting and archery for young Tom and myself as a Christmas present via Groupon. £13.90 per person for two hours of activities seemed very good value for money.

GTS Adventure

Booking with GTS Adventure

I called in late January to try and make a booking for Saturday 11th February and worried that I had left it a little late. With no answer on the telephone (it was a Sunday), I followed the instruction to send an email with our requirements.

Early on Monday I received a call from Ebony who promptly took all the necessary details and booked us in. She did explain about other options to bolt on and at first I was sceptical that this upselling would leave us a lot more out of pocket.

I need not have worried though. And at £5 per person for half an hour of air pistol shooting, I got back to her a couple of days later and confirmed our interest.

Air pistol shooting

Eight of us had elected for the add-on and arrived to sign in just before 9.30am. We signed the usual disclaimers and headed down to the range. Fortunately it was covered given the wintry showers.

Our instructor for the day, Andrew ‘Taz’ Taylor, gave us a safety briefing and showed us how to use the weapons without fear of injury.

Just in case, Yorkshire Ambulance Service has a training centre at Burn Hall and there were a couple of vehicles on stand-by.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service

There were three pistols each requiring manual loading after each shot. There was also a fourth which had a magazine and allowed for a more rapid-fire experience.

Pistol shooting

With the adrenaline, I had more movement in my body than Shakin’ Stevens and will admit that I struggled with the faster option.

However when it came to the scoring round, I picked up some form and outscored young Tom by a margin. So much for all his practice on Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto!

Pistol shooting

Rifle shooting

We made our way back to reception where the crowd had swelled somewhat to around 25 people. We were split into two groups and assigned the .177 calibre rifles for the next hour.

Rifle shooting

I think this was my favourite part of the day. There was something quite satisfying about repeatedly cocking and loading of the gun, taking good aim, even with my varifocals and then…nothing as you realise that you haven’t activated the safety switch again.

The size of the group meant that we each had three rounds with five pellets in each round. There were a number of fluorescent targets at varying distances and the constant pinging sound indicated that this was slightly easier than the pistols.

The scoring round came about again and once again I managed to outperform my younger and sharper companion.

So would I make it a clean sweep?


We descended on the reception once more to wait for our archery slot. The number of people partaking in tea and coffee, including ourselves, indicated that the temperature still hadn’t crept above 2 degrees Celsius!

We stayed in the same group for archery and once again Taz showed how it should be done.

He was very good at supporting people with their technique with a view to actually hitting the target. There would be a couple of practice rounds and then everyone would have a set of six arrows to achieve the highest total possible.

Unfortunately, the outer bull I achieved with my second arrow of the day was as good as it got, by some distance.

Outer bull

‘Over-confidence’ and ‘over-exuberance’ led to three of my scoring arrows going ‘over the top’ of the target.

I finished with a paltry 70, while Tom hit a respectable 100. I wasn’t last, but not far off it.


And congratulations to a young girl called Ruth who was joint first after scoring a mighty 200. As the campaign points out – this girl can!


Despite the horrible weather, we had a fantastic, full morning of activities. The staff were all great and everybody went on their way with smiles and lasting memories.

I’d recommend GTS Adventure for a great family day out – it’s fun for all ages. We’ll be back to have a go at archery golf and kayaking at some point in the future…when the weather improves.

Txiki Stu

PS If you’re in this area and you want a tip for a great traditional pub lunch, you won’t be disappointed at the Moor & Pheasant in Dalton, just twenty minutes away.

Roast lunch

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