Airsoft Sites: Dorset and Devon
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- Last updated: 22/10/2018
Last month, I talked a little about the ‘National Airsoft Festival’ that runs each August Bank Holiday, courtesy of Zero One/Ground Zero, and I’ve just returned from this year’s event. As this is right on the border of Hampshire and Dorset, I feel it’s worth another mention here, as it was an absolutely first-rate event.
I’ve always been put off huge games, and with nearly 3000 players on site the ‘NAF’ certainly qualifies as that, but it’s also a massive celebration of all things airsoft, and for that alone it’s certainly worth a visit! With well-priced food stands, an evening bar and bands performing, and some superb stands from manufacturers like VIPER, Flecktarn, and even the mighty Cybergun this year, it’s a great place to meet airsoft friends and catch up on all the gossip from the community!
I’ve come back thinking that the Festival is exactly that, a cracking weekend event that happens to have an airsoft game at its heart; if the thought of playing in a game of this size is not your personal cuppa, then I’d still recommend it to you as a fabulous weekend social event; if this sounds like fun to you, then keep an eye on www.groundzeroairsoft. com/nae for details of next year’s event.
With such a colossal airsoft event on the doorstep, you might think that Dorset, and into Devon would be rich with sites to feed into it, but sadly the truth is much different, as sites are somewhat limited to say the least. I have no idea why this should be, as the terrain in these counties, from stunning coastal areas to lovely rolling woodlands and even heath and moor, seems ideal for airsoft in all its forms, but it seems that if you want your ‘airsoft fix’, then you’re going to have to travel a bit! And travel people do, as down in Portland there’s another particular site that draws airsofters from around the country, and that’s ‘The Rock’, which is run by Spec Ops Airsoft, so I’ll open this month with what they have on offer.
Please note that all
for power are maximums measured using an industry standard .20g BB.
Address: The Rock, Portland, Dorset, United Kingdom DT5 2EG.
T: 07984 656 947
Although I’ve given the address details for ‘The Rock’, which is where Spec Ops run their well-known and equally wellrespected yearly ‘Tora Bora Raid’ weekend-long game, they offer two sites, the other being Bloxworth, and this is where Spec Ops began. The site is situated in a mature woodland with rivers, trenches, hills, command centers and bunkers, and offers players a broad style of play; whether you’re the lone wolf, or a team player, there is a role for you.
Recently, Spec Ops have been working on updating the site, so there are new trench systems and bunkers for players to fight over, with more in the pipeline! Located just off the A35 outside Dorchester, the site can be a tricky one to find at first, but it’s definitely worth the effort!
The ‘Jewel in the Crown’ though, has to be ‘The Rock’; anyone that knows Portland as I do (I used to rock climb there on a regular basis) will know that the old quarries are a sight to be seen, and ‘The Rock’ makes use of that terrain to give what is as close to a desert warzone as you can find within the UK! With varying terrain leading to CQB encounters, combat patrols and full on adrenaline charged battles, everyone is catered for and players travel from around the UK to experience this totally unique environment!
The ‘Tora Bora Raid’ weekender gives you a chance to join the Coalition Special Forces in the hunt for the bad guys in the Tora Bora caves; or, to play as OPFOR, where you can thwart them at every turn as a part of the Body Guard - the choice is yours! Spec Ops Airsoft bring in industry friends, offer themed movies, and hold their annual zombie game at dusk; there’s also a raffle with great prizes and free camping. If you’re a hardcore MilSim player looking for a relaxing event to blow off steam, or a Sunday skirmisher seeking a fun social event to highlight your year, then this is for you!
As a ‘flagship’ event, this is one of a kind, but Spec Ops offer year-round airsoft games, details of which can be found on their website or via their busy Facebook page; also, check out their regular ‘Help for Heroes’ charity games, where you can ‘get your game on’ whilst helping a good cause while you do it!
Full auto: 350fps
Sniper: 500fps MAX
Snipers: subject to 30m minimum engagement distance
Address: Wattons Lane, St Leonards, Ringwood. BH24 2DG.
T: 0845 116 2830
Contact Front are based down towards Bournemouth and offer some really immersive gameplay in addition to regular skirmishing. On their site, you can fight up to fortified hilltops, or undertake long patrols with challenging missions at the end of them.
Although I’ve not played this site personally, friends have told me that the gaming experience is intense, and that everything is very, very professionally run. On offer, are some great woodland skirmish days, along with a CQB village that offers some real ‘up close and personal’ thrills. Contact Front also offer some righteous looking MilSim events, based around the ‘maritime’ experience of the site owner, details of which are available on their website.
Aeg/support weapon: 350fps
Bolt action: 500fps
Address: Oak Cottage, Berewood, Bere Regis, BH20 7JL.
T: 0800 612 0419
Like many long-standing paintball sites around the UK (and indeed around the world!) Dorset Paintball have teamed up with Drone Airsoft (a group of Airsofters running airsoft games on the first Sunday of the month) and embraced AEGs and BBs, offering some superb facilities for players. Located just 20-minutes from Bournemouth in 800-acres of prime woodland, and with 20 different game zones, Skirmish Dorset offers something really special.
They have over 25-years of experience in running paintball games; so, alongside the guys from Drone, they can run some pretty cool games and guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Whether you are looking for a good skirmish, an unforgettable birthday bash, office outing, stag or hen party or just a great day out with a few mates, you need look no further
Address: Cotley Ln, Exeter EX6 7BH
T: 01392 247 442
Crackshots paintball in Exeter are another established site operator that have embraced airsoft via their ‘Airsoft Exeter’ arm; they have twelve purpose-built game zones set in 120-acres on an ancient iron age encampment, with earthworks and woodland that are totally unique. Crackshots/ Airsoft Exeter is one of the South West’s leading outdoor paintball game sites, only 15-minutes from Exeter’s city centre, and they can cater for any group size.
New for 2017, Crackshots is offering airsoft in Exeter. Their site apparently offers amazing terrain unlike any other, not just some woods sat on the side of a hill! Given their paintball gaming history and as a wellestablished site they have trenches, ravines and ridges as well as level areas. Some game zones are left natural and overgrown, whilst others have man-made structures, crashed planes and bridges.
On-site refreshments and catering are available or the site operators are happy for you to bring your own, and it’s great that they are already offering yearly memberships for £20pp with UKARA registration included.
This is a site I have yet to play, but looking at the comments on their Facebook page (exeterairsoft) like: “Great site run by people who care about airsoft. I didn’t realise how much better a game day could be until I came here!”, makes me think that I should pay a visit next time I’m down in the West Country.
AEG: 350 fps
DMR: 420 fps
Sniper rifles: 500fps
Please note that minimum engagement distances are applied to both DMRs and Snipers.
All the sites listed offer a great airsoft experience, and if you’re a new player or someone that fancies having a go at airsoft then they all provide hire packages that include an eye protection, an AEG with magazines, and BBs. Some will provide protective clothing along with hot drinks and lunch too, but check their websites for details of what is included, along with game day costs. All the sites also have busy, regularly updated Facebook and other social media pages, which include photo galleries of both the site and past games, so these are well worth a look. If there are new sites that I’ve missed, then please do feel free to contact me and I’ll endeavour to add you in a site update at a later date!