Bill Thomas heads down the South Coast to look at what’s on offer, and where you’ll be able to find a good day’s gaming whether you’re a veteran player or a newcomer…
Sometimes, it’s really worth the effort to plan a good old day trip and airsoft is most certainly something that encourages you to look further afield. Although I have some great sites that I can reach in under an hour from my front door (and in one particular case just a matter of minutes!), searching out new places to play and new players to play both alongside and against is what keeps the game fresh for me.
All too often, I’ve seen individual players and even whole teams become entrenched at their local site, rarely, if ever, venturing further afield, which I believe is sadly their loss. Although you do need to support your local sites, especially if you have a site membership or that site is where you play to gain your airsoft defense in law, in my mind, it’s always a good idea to go and play other sites.
Taking on different terrain challenges and coming up against different styles of play and if I may say so, sometimes unusual tactics will improve your own game no end. Yes, your personal admin and ‘skills and drills’ will remain the same (and will also be all the better for regular practice!), but playing at a different location and against players with perhaps a different mindset will help to open your own mind to new possibilities, and help you to become more open to new input and experiences.
Living far down in Kent, as I’ve mentioned before, means that pretty much anywhere is going to be a bit of a hike for me, but I really like to plan with the guys in the team I belong to, looking at games and sites that we all like the look of, and then working out how we can make an enjoyable trip. Sometimes, that will mean an overnight stay somewhere, but of course, that means you also get to see a new place and spend some time with your mates, and I have to say, I’ve had some memorable pre-game nights!
Sussex is an easy day-drive for us though, and there are some great sites to explore, run by some really cracking people, and enjoyed by a great player base. The sites are varied in terms of terrain and facilities, but you can rest assured that a trip to the “Elle of Sussex” will be worth your while, and if my experience is anything to go by, you’ll be made very welcome!
I’ll be widening this overview out around the UK, month by month; so, if you are running a site, please do get in touch with me, as I’ll endeavor to visit you, and I’ll look to see you featured in the future!
(Please note that all Site Limits for power are MAXIMUMS, measured using an industry standard .20g BB)
Address: Adams fruit farm, Ivyhouse Lane, Hastings, East Sussex.
Tel: 01424 440 211
My friends at 1066 Airsoft are relatively new to the airsoft scene, establishing their woodland site back in 2015, but the last few years have really seen things move on for them and they continue to thrive! 1066 Airsoft have a busy shop in St Leonards-on-Sea, which I reported on not so long ago, and this is really the hub of the whole operation and base to The Dogs of War 1066 Airsoft Club, who have made a real effort to involve younger people and their families, to help them understand that through education and support these new players can enjoy and reap the benefits of the sport. The woodland site is ever-developing but you’ll find a great field with a varied mix of thick woodland and structures to play through. The Safe Zone has a fully enclosed shelter, with toilet facilities, and a well-stocked shop selling snacks, drinks and essential airsoft gear; of course, being a real ‘bricks and mortar’ shop too, 1066 Airsoft can bring along specific items for you if you pre-order with them in advance. 1066 Airsoft also offer some superb ‘theme days’ (just check out their Facebook page for some superb pictures!) and also offer training packages for players old and new; you can find full details of these on their website.
Full auto: 350fps Pistols: 350fps DMR: (Semi Locked): 450fps Sniper: 500fps DMR and sniper: Subject to minimum engagement distances
Address: Crawley Road, Faygate, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4SE.
Tel: 01293 852 314
Holmbush Events has been established as an outdoor pursuits activity centre for over 20-years. They are a family run business and pride themselves on offering a bespoke professional outdoor activity centre experience. Set in a private estate of over 2500-acres of beautiful Sussex woodland, Holmbush Events has excellent transport access, being only two minutes away from the M23. They offer one of the most tactically challenging and engaging combat woodland arenas to stage airsoft events at, and whilst not a dedicated airsoft site, it’s another great day’s play to experience! Holmbush Events are also a fully insured and UKARA affiliated Skirmish Site, so regular attendees can be validated into the UKARA operated defence scheme.
AEG/support weapon: 350fps BOlt action / Gas sniper: 400fps Bolt action / Gas sniper: 500fps
Address: Guildford Road, Slinfold, West Sussex, RH13 0QZ.
Tel: 020 8150 9284
Sussex Airsoft is the airsoft division of Phoenix Shooting Club. Phoenix Shooting Club has been established for over 20-years and boasts as its members two former National Instructors for The United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association, the governing body for Practical Shooting here in the UK.
The site is based in 14-acres of woodland between the villages of Rudgwick and Slinfold in West Sussex and is approached on the A281. This offers an easy journey, no matter if you are approaching from the Guildford, Dorking or Horsham directions. Access to the site is via a well-made track and 4-wheel drive vehicles are not necessary. Sussex Airsoft offer regular, twicemonthly open days, plus they also host various special events throughout the year. Private group and corporate days are also available and can be tailored to your needs. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own gear, as they offer rental equipment for a small fee. It is advisable to book in advance for this facility, as rental numbers are limited. The ‘Base Camp’ is under a large covered area; there are battery charging facilities should you need them, and you can also get hot food, hot and cold drinks or chocolate to ‘recharge your own batteries’.
Their experienced instructor base allows them to accommodate players from the age of 11 provided parental approval is signed, or the player is accompanied by a playing, responsible adult. All events are fully insured and comply with all relevant recommendations from all the governing UK Airsoft bodies.
Aeg / Pistols / Gas / Automatic weapons: 350fps DMR: 450fps Sniper: 500fps
Address: Arundel Rd, Clapham, Worthing BN13 3UE.
Tel: 07877 210 898
Worthing Airsoft runs a woodland airsoft skirmish site located close to Clapham village and its officials and members have been operating from this location for over 15-years; I’ve had the pleasure to play alongside some of the staff and ‘Worthing Regulars’ in the past, and they are great folk! Their approach is to deliver safe, yet exhilarating scenarios to all players (including themed days), offering them challenging and fun objectives. Equally, their main objective of the day or evening is to keep you in the field, fighting. Worthing Airsoft is a woodland game site that is 45-acres, with a selection of fox holes, trenches, bunkers and thick woodland to wage all-out war in. They are very flexible, so players can decide the style of play, special game rules or even have a go at leading their own themed day. They offer a full woodland day, comprising of a great Safe Zone, super facilities, wellconstructed games and friendly locals.
As a well-established site, Worthing Airsoft are a fully insured and UKARA affiliated Skirmish Site and offer the full range of Safe Zone facilities along with rental packages for new players.
Automatic electric guns: 350fps Pistols / Shotguns: 350fps Designated marksman rifle: 400fps Sniper rifles: 500fps
Please note that minimum engagement distances are applied to both DMRs and Snipers.
Address: Graffham, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0LR
Tel: 07766 770 830
Southdown Airsoft offers a variety of game situations for players of all abilities. With the remarkable topography of the 90-acre ground, you, as a player, will encounter everything from 45-degree slopes on which you have to drive your opposition off the commanding position at the top of the hill in a thrilling death match, to undulating sandy ground, in which teams must attempt to catch the opposition's flag and return it to their base, using the crater-like holes in the ground and fallen tree stumps to help them succeed. Southdown airsoft is primarily a coniferous woodland site, with high bracken to stalk people in, and a large portion of the site is on steep hills, so make sure you’re in good shape, as it can be physically demanding. There is also a large open ‘compound’, with various piles of stones and logs dotted about. Safe Zone facilities are basic, but you’ll find all the usual things that you need for a good game day. Southdown Airsoft also have a scheme in place to enable you to fulfil UKARA requirements.
Full auto capacity: 350fps DMR or semi rifles: 450fps Bolt action or gas snipers: 500fps
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 too!