This blog is the first in a series but a twist on an old one on Morecambe and More. Instead of Review Tuesdays, we plan to create a feature of local establishments throughout the area, varying from things to do, to places to eat and drink. Some will have the additional help from the establishment's owners, and others will be based on our own experiences. With these blogs, we hope to explore all the local areas have to offer.
Who is Black Axe Throwing Co?
Black Axe Throwing Company owns four axe throwing establishments across the UK, with Belfast, Lancaster, Edinburgh, and Margate locations. They were the first official Urban Axe Throwing venue in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Black Axe first opened in Lancaster in January 2022 because it is home to some of the already established legends of the sport, and they wished to bring something new and exciting to the area.
Both Ben and Levi, the two leading instructors at the venue, love the sport because of its uniqueness and ability to bring people together whilst having a more unusual but entertaining time with friends. Levi also found the appeal of the historical element that axe throwing has, dating back to the Viking era.
Ben explains, "It is a brilliant sport and an alternative night out, bringing people together for an excellent team-building experience."
So far, they have taken the event to a boutique camping festival called Cloud 9.
"Unfortunately, this was the only one we have attended to date as we had a small issue called a pandemic, but I believe we are planning on doing more festivals and events in the future." – Levi (Venue Manager).
So, What is Axe Throwing?
Well, it very much is what it says on the tin, the throwing of axes. However, there is a particular technique to learn before doing so. Whilst it sounds straightforward, it was highly amusing watching my 6ft 3inch fairly robust husband look disappointed when he realised that no matter how powerful he threw the axe, it would rebound near his feet if he didn't find the proper stance. It was even more amusing when I, a measly 5 ft 4 build with fewer muscles than a jellyfish, got it stuck into the board before he did.
The set-up is relatively simple. Walking into the dimly lit space, you are met with two lanes. Each lane has a kickboard at each end about a foot high, and the lanes were filled with sand. Hanging at the end of each lane were two wooden boards, each with what used to resemble a target but with plenty of abuse from the axes, were very much disfigured black circles and two red dots equidistant from each other.
The aim is very clear, throw your axe and hit the target. The closer to the centre you get, the more points you receive, and the two red dots are the bonus targets. These scored you higher points due to their small circumference and challenging position.
What to Expect?
After being greeted by the very friendly Levi and Molly, our two instructors, we found ourselves two of eight and were separated into two groups of four for each lane. Levi then went through all the safety instructions and directions.
Now we must admit, after hearing all the do's and don't's and whys, we were a little nervous. Although the axes were about 12 inches long, the damage they could potentially do was pretty nerve-wracking (don't worry, we all left with all hands, fingers and feet intact).
They offer corporate packages too, allowing you to settle that workplace opposition once and for all or blow off some steam in an enjoyable but competitive sport in which no one has the upper hand (unless you have been before, of course). It is an excellent idea for a date night in Lancaster or just a friendly spar with a friend.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your stance), most of their sessions are for over 18s only. Due to the nature of the sport, it isn't quite suitable for younger children.
How It Went …
Our instructor, Levi, made it look effortless and clean, but what followed when stepping up to the lanes was something else. Axes were thrown, axes missed. Axes were thrown, and axes rebounded back. Of all the axes we threw, we can safely say less than half actually made it onto the target and stuck into the wooden boards.
Even though the session's success was certainly nothing close to competition worthy, the experience was more than enjoyable. The atmosphere was incredible as you stood and cheered for your team, and even though we were put to the test at the end with a healthy competition, everyone came away laughing. The winner was crowned victorious and was given a Vikings helmet and giant axe to proudly display for the session photos.
Overall, if you are looking for something unusual filled with great laughs and an experience you won't forget, then we thoroughly recommend booking a session at Lancaster Black Axe Co, situated at Kanteena, Brewery Lane, Lancaster. Sessions are £22 pp, and are worth every penny!