On Friday night we were kindly gifted a visit to The Hilt in York. There had been some posts on Instagram so I had seen that they had opened but knew very little about it. Before we went I had lots of questions, how many axes do you throw – do you do it alone? I had anticipated that it would be like bowling but with axes!! That didn’t bode well as I am rubbish at bowling!!
You have to be over thirteen to go so we managed to get a baby sitter and enjoy time on our own.
The Hilt is on Goodramgate in York and easy to find. We had booked in for seven o’clock. There were three other couples and once everyone arrived we went through to the back where the axe throwing takes place. You are asked to come ten minutes before your slot in case you need to complete any of the paperwork (emailed when booking).
Before beginning we ordered some soft drinks and the feast of Valhalla. The Hilt doesn’t serve any alcohol which makes complete sense but before I went I thought i would be throwing axes with a glass of wine in hand. Maybe that would have helped me throw!!
There was plenty of seats and we began with some brief health and safety before the axe throwing began!!
We had seen that we should wear closed toe shoes, have hair tied up and not have had any alcohol. These things were checked before we started.
There are five bays each with two targets in. We all played in the same bay. It was fun and didn’t feel like too many people or too much standing around. You can book a private bay if you would prefer. I liked it being a social session but if you were going as a group more than two it would be fun to be just your group in a bay.
We began by learning how to throw the axe. In pairs we each practiced a couple of times before swapping. You don’t need to go with anyone as you are mixed up throughout the session.
I found it harder than I had anticipated to be coordinated but it was still a lot of fun. There were a couple of things to remember , step forward, elbow in, straight wrist. I struggled to do them all at the right time!! There was mixed abilities between the eight of us and everyone was lovely.
Elliot – or Rapunzel – gave us a lot of help and was really good at pointing us in the right direction. There really is a skill to throwing axes.
After some practicing we had more of a game to see who could do the best – it wasn’t me!! It was entertaining to watch others and to be part of the game. Elliot was focused on everyone’s safety at all times and made sure we were following the safety rules. Once we had finished playing the game we then moved onto less structured turn taking. We were shown several ways to throw the axe- or up to four at a time. I found this the most enjoyable. I was much better standing still and not having to remember to love my feet – who knew I would find that so hard!!
We kept a score depending on where you hit the target. Highest points for the red circle at the top. I didn’t manage to hit it there but I did get several axes to hit the target over the evening.
The food was tasty and plenty for the two of us to share. It was great value and served whilst we played. We ate between throwing axes.
The axe throwing costs £20 per person. The session lasted for an hour and twenty minutes and each bay can takes up to twelve people. Amazing value for an evening out. It was lovey to spend the evening doing something completely different. I was surprised that all of the other people were also couples – it would be a great place to spend a first date!!
We both had a lovely time and I would recommend it as a fun and unusual activity in York.