Reviews

Reviews

We Feel reviews help others make informed decisions on our courses and products, please take a read of the genuine reviews of our clients below. Thanks. Phil 

 

Will Sirett 2021

I thought it might be fun to introduce my kids to longbow archery and imperss upon them their English heritage of which they can be proud. I put an order in with Phil Brooke Longbows since a local friend had a bow and had done a course with Phil Brooke . Phil largely helped determine what I needed and I ordered 3 bows; big one for me, smaller one for my Son (9) and smallest for my Daughter (7). The cost was higher than I had in mind but then we are talking about handmade longbows made by a man who knows what he is doing in the heart of Sussex and came highly recommended. These are likely to be fairly special. Well, I underestimated this. Just handing the bow to any red-bloodied human results in enthusiasm. The heft, the craft, the detail, the finish; it all sings of quality items. No one can resist stretching out their arm and looking down to the bow.  I had initials placed on the bows and I won't be surprised to find these on my wall for decades to come. They are art. I've become very dull on the topic of the English history of longbow archery and I've almost got my St Crispin's Day speech down to heart. The children loved hearing the stories of English perseverance, daring and victory and they spent hours in the sunshine popping arrows off proper longbows at least in the direction of and very occasionally into the target. It was massive fun. I'd order it again just for that day. These things are going to last years and I only hope I can develop some skill before my kids realise that Dad talks a good game but is perhaps less dangerous than he should be. Truth is, the kid's bows are a little heavy in the draw for them today (they will grow into them, get stronger and more skilled) and I'm already eying a warbow to thump a few big ones down field. This is huge fun and thanks Phil for your passion and craftsmanship. 

Joe Scanlan 2021

"The Longbow making course is amazing. Phil is a great instructor with huge amounts of knowledge, came away with a great first time longbow and will definitely be going back on other courses." 


Paul Store 2020

Omg Phil, It arrived this morning and it is absolutely beautiful!
I'm so speachless over it, all I can say to you is thank you! I will look after it and let you know how I get on with it.
Do you ever make target arrows?

Best wishes,

Paul

 

Rob Marr 2020

Hi Phil

Thank you! I managed to get out today and shoot my new longbow for the first time.. and what a pleasure it was! So just want to say thank you very much for making me such a beautiful bow. It looks absolutely fantastic and feels great to shoot. I also like that you put an arrow pass on both sides. My right handed shooting buddies might be lucky enough to get a go..

Once again , thanks so much!

All the best

Rob.

 

Toby Dower Longbow making workshop 2020 

Below is the review but I also want to say thank you on a personal level too. It was a really amazing experience, the whole setup was awesome. If any arrow workshops come up then I’m there. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any real passion in the UK so for that I am supremely grateful.

Thanks for a  epic workshop! A huge thank you to Phil Brooke and his team for their incredible guidance during the 3 day Longbow making workshop. I am not confident in woodcraft, I asked countless questions, pestered him and his team constantly and was initially very cautious of my tools in case I damage my bow in the making process. But Phil's knowledge and skill was only surpassed by his ability to share both so simply and effectively, having the opportunity to learn from someone with so much passion and devotion to the art was an honour, and an incredible insight into the life of a bowyer. On top of that he's a great laugh and has some awesome life experiences and stories. Definitely one of the best workshops I've ever attended, a lot of hard work involved using traditional techniques but the result is amazing. I have an Ash Longbow made with my own 2 hands, her name is Lucy. 

 

Joe Garnett Traditional bow Making level 4 - 2020

The Level 4 Traditional bow making course is a fantastic insight into the world of the bowyer. Phil is excellent at passing on his depth and breadth of knowledge to help you produce a range of bows, to a quality you never thought you could. The hands on nature along with the emphasis on self experimentation gives you the confidence to practice what’s been taught in-between sessions. In short, this course gives you all the opportunity you need to be able to produce bows that can be enjoyed for many years to come. Thank you Phil!

 

Jack Warren 2020 Traditional bow making level 4 

This is a fantastic course for anyone who wants to delve deeper into bow making than just the experience of making a single bow. From felling your own timber and splitting out multiple staves across several species, you'll learn how to craft both functioning and beautiful bows. You will get a deeper understanding of the properties of wood and experiment (sometimes to the point of failure) how efficient a bow can be. Mastering not only the carpentry but also the skill of tillering along with fit and finish, by the end of the course you will have the skillsets to carry on making bows with a much deeper understanding of how to make them shoot well and last. This was a challenging course, which a level 4 should be, but very rewarding. Covering multiple styles of bow construction across varied woods I feel that I've not only got a new skill but am better connected to my ancestors and can appreciate just how knowledgeable and skilled they were. 

 

Stuart Barrett 2020 Traditional bow making level 4 

Having made a longbow on the Bushcraft Leadership course a few years ago I thought I would be well prepared. However, be under no illusion this course was time consuming and hard work. At times I was frustrated, but the adage of ‘remove wood where the bow isn’t bending and leave it where it is’ eventually makes sense. Ultimately, the satisfaction of independently making bows from start to finish, bending to full compass is extremely gratifying. I can’t imagine any other provider doing a better job than Phil Brooke. His knowledge, craftsmanship and personal interest in the subject is exceptional, this said, he won’t be making the bows for you! 

 

Phillip Painting 2019 Longbow workshop

Just completed the 4 day bow making course with Phil Brooke at the Wilderness Gathering. A very knowledgeable Guy with a real passion for the subject of bow making and the history of bow making. Had a great time working with Phil and his staff and learnt a lot from them. Best part of all though, is that I came away from the event with a tremendous ash English Longbow. I would highly recommend the course to any one interested in bow making or working closely with wood and getting stuck in. One of the best courses I have ever attended.

Dave Anderson 2019

A happy customer 🏹: "First real test this morning and hit 252 with 42 arrows 🏆 so well pleased. Very nice bow; loving it. Couple of people asked about it so passed on your details. How's the Dragon Bow coming?

 

Bill Eldridge-June 2019 - Longbow workshop

I wanted to record my thanks to both you and Joe, please pass on my thanks to him.

I do not think I could have wanted a more knowledgeable and supportive pair of trainers. Lesser mortals would have given up on me and my heavy weight stick. You didn't and I was able to go home with a functioning bow. Your sense of humour and optimism never flagged and you kept a diverse bunch of trainees with very different levels of skill and experience on track, amazing.

Thank you once again.

 

Gareth Owen-June 2019

I just wanted to say thank you so much for such an awesome few days! I wasn't sure what to expect but you exceeded anything I could have imagined.
Your course was interesting, insightful and seriously good fun. I am grinning even now thinking about firing the bow I made!
You and Joe are great at teaching and helping us all to succeed. But more than that you are both great people full of amazing facts and interesting stories. You especially, a real legend!
The venue was truly brilliant with all you need, in a lush green woodland.

David Pye 2018

The Bow arrived safely and I must say she's a beautiful piece of craftsmanship! Looks stunning and feels good in the hand, haven't had a chance to shoot her yet but hope too later in the week and she will definitely have a good outing at the ILAA championships at the end of June. Many thanks for a great job and when it's time for another bow I'll be back.

Graham Weller 2018

My Bow arrived safe and sound in a very sturdy black tube which will be handy for storage. The bow is a beautiful bit of craftmanship, the Ash has features from the tree that make it a very unique bow to look at, tough and shoots well. Im very pleased and love shooting my new Bow!    

 

Rosemary Thomas-Woodcraft June 2019

I have thoroughly cherished and been inspired by the experience of completing the Level 4 Applied Bushcraft with Phil Brooke of Woodcraft School. An extremely varied and informative course taking everything to the next level compared to week long bushcraft courses. A really great mix of practical experience backed up by solid theory and self led learning. I always enjoy the challenge of assessment which I feel pushes students to really embed the learning enabling them to study a subject area in depth. I have come out of the course having learnt so much, but even more special than that is having had my eyes opened even more to the wonderful world of natural living and bushcraft inspiring me to go forward and continue to learn even more. I would thoroughly recommend the course to those who have a drive to learn and the time to dedicate to enable you to embrace and get the most out of this course. I feel I have come away from the course with brand new skills; a deepening of knowledge in skills I already had explored; and a fantastic group of friends who I know will continue to support each other in the years to come.

 

Alex DeWitt-Woodcraft May 2019

This course shifted the way I see the world around me, putting me more in touch with my environment that I used to walk blindly past. It gave me tremendous confidence and experience to teach bushcraft myself, and also the curiosity to extend further and learn more about all the many subjects we covered, from ancestral skills to craftwork and wildlife tracking.

The team spirit and camaraderie that formed over the course was amazing and I learned something from every other student, who all have their own different life experiences to offer.

The syllabus is packed, keeping you busy at all times without feeling gruelling because everything is so interesting and the instruction is top notch. Each session builds on the skills already learned, giving ample opportunity for each student to practise and become self sufficient in the woodland. This goes way beyond the firesteels and knives that some bushcraft courses are focussed around and teaches you the 'why' behind the 'what'.

I was so sad to see the end of the course, I wish I could keep coming back every month! If you're curious enough about the course to visit this website, hesitate no longer and just book it!

 

Stephen Fletcher-July 2018 - Woodcraft School

The certificate in applied bushcraft builds on the foundation of the advanced award under the excellent mentoring of Phil Brooke

Bushcraft is a vast subject with many facets. This course provided me with the perfect environment to hone known skills and learn new ones. Phil is patient and will guide you in your learning, he will also push you to reach your potential. Taking place from October to June you will experience all seasons and be provided with a comprehensive outdoor experience.

Thank you to Phil, John and the other participants on the course for the guidance, teaching a friendship over those nine months."

Gavin Verebelyi 2017

The bow looks lovely great craftsmanship, I just wanted to let you know I have shot the bow today I absolutely love it and I am not finding it to heavy, its great thanks again.

Irish Davey 2017

I highly reccomend Phil and Chosen Paths, my Longbow is excellent, It openned my eyes to the wonderful world of Archery and our precious woodlands. What I love about my Bow is I know where it came from almost to the Trees location. Felled, split out and made all in Sussex. Thanks again, wonderfully crafted and shoots very well.

Antoney Whitten (Perth Austrailia) 2017

I abolutley love the Bow, (Holmegaaed Flat Bow) and arrows. The crafmanship is fantastic and as a carpenter i apprieciate it even more. Thanks again and I'll spread the word Down under!

Nick Goldsmith 2016

Phil is an excellent teacher with a raft of outdoor knowledge ranging from his qualifications in outdoor leadership, ethnobotany, Wildlife identification and tracking to making Excellent English longbows and Viking era shields using traditional methods. This experience coupled with being a former military man makes Phil the perfect instructor for the instructors Course. His infectious passion for the outdoor world and our native countryside is clear to be seen with a skill set to match. I write this having been taught first hand myself and in more recent times also working alongside him on the woodland Warrior Programme.

Scott Batty 2016

Phil Brooke is a truly excellent tutor of bushcraft and living history skills. He has a broad knowledge base and deep understanding of outdoor living skills, natural history and craft. But key to all of this is his ability to deliver this effectively by being very personable and somehow allowing people to progress at their own pace whilst simultaneously ensuring everyone gets to the end result.
I have had the pleasure of learning from Phil over some time now. Firstly in 2013 when he mentored me to my first ever successful bow drill and in 2016 on the instructors course when he was assessing my own teaching where i taught bow drill to a group (and nailed it!).
On top of his knowledge, personal attributes and experience, from a peace of mind perspective, Phil will also go out of his way to make sure people are safe and comfortable with how things are going.
For all of the above reasons, I would not hesitate in recommending Phil's tuition and look forward to future opportunities to learn from him.

John Doyle 2015  Bushcraft instructor's course

Phils technical knowledge is only rivalled by his ability to put information across simply and logically

A big man with a big heart - Phil's love for both his subject and his students underpins all his courses. He is someone in whom you can place your trust in the full knowledge that you will receive the very best in technical excellence and personal attention.

I recommend him and his company unreservedly to anyone wishing to embark on a journey into the natural world or seeking to further their skills - whether it be in bow making, Shield making, plant and tree lore, Animal tracks and sign or learning to become an instructor in this wonderfully fascinating field.

Jacob Williams 2015

I had the pleasure to be instructed by Phil during a level 4 instructor's course and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment of it. Phil's Viking/mountain man appearance hides a thoughtful and compassionate man who possesses a deep knowledge of his subject, coupled with a friendly and effective teaching style. I was particularly impressed with his ability to utilise differing teaching styles interchangeably to meet the needs of individual students within the group. I often struggle in teaching environments due to dyslexia but Phil always found a way to reach me without singling me out or interrupting the flow of the lesson for other students.

In ten weeks of instruction Phil demonstrated his knowledge and dedication time and time again and on the extremely rare occasions where he didn't know something he wasn't afraid to say so and this, as much as anything else shows the quality of his knowledge and character. As well as being an excellent educator Phil is also a consummate professional who exemplifies the qualities and attributes one would want to see in an instructor who will be guiding students through demanding long and short term programmes.

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