Booking an activity bar in London can be something of a double-edged sword.
On the plus side, you’re going to have a lot of fun mercilessly whipping your friends/date/grandma at a round of crazy golf, UV-lit ping pong or Miami-style shuffleboard. On the downside: so is everyone else. Suddenly it’s Friday night, you can’t get a booking, and everyone’s expecting you – as the cool one of the group – to pluck something totally unique and amazing out of thin air.
And so today we humbly present to you: the single-edged sword.
Specifically, axes – which you can now hurl 12 feet through the air at Skeeter’s, a bad-ass axe-throwing gauntlet perched right by the canal in Hackney Wick.
Axe-throwing’s been popular in the US for a while now (in fact, there are even ranges next to hospitals so patients can be prescribed a visit for stress release). But besides Whistlepunks in Vauxhall, there’s nowhere else you can do it in London. Well, legally.
The set-up here’s pretty gnarly; housed in a giant marquee you’ll find eight throwing lanes, which you can rent privately for you and up to 10 friends or uncomfortable co-workers, or share with a couple of other strangers. After all, nothing bonds a group of people like being able to trust each other with a sharp blade.
We’ll be honest, getting your hands on a half-kilo axe is… intimidating. But the guides at Skeeter’s are total legends. You’ll be assigned your own axe-master who’ll be with you for the full 90-minute experience. They’ll walk you through the different throwing styles, from the overhead double-hander to the Canadian Flick; feedback on your stance and technique with masterly precision; and might even suss out a better axe for you. It’s basically a Harry Potter wand kind of thing.
Once you’ve found the throwing style, distance and axe that works for you, your guide will pitch you and your throwing companions against each other in a series of fiendish games. It’s like high-stakes darts. And like any good darts game, you can even unwind with a brew or two while you throw – you can either BYOB, pick up a pint from Crate Brewery opposite, or scan a QR code to have drinks brought directly to you from a nearby bar.
It’s worth mentioning that the whole set-up’s been designed with Covid security in mind – currently lanes are separated by plastic curtains, there’s disinfectant everywhere, and you’ll need to wear masks while you throw.
It’s also worth mentioning that post-throw you can head to the aforementioned Crate for a bev, Silo for sustainable fine dining, or Barge East for drinks and dinner on the banks of the canal.
NOTE: Skeeter’s Axe Throwing is open for private bookings all week, and shared lanes Weds-Sun. A 90-minute session costs £190 for a private lane (up to 10 people) or £27.50pp in a shared lane. They also offer more casual walk-in sessions of 30 mins (£10) or 1 hour (£20). You can find out more, and book, HERE.
Skeeter’s | Hamlet Industrial Estate, 96 White Post Lane, E9 5EN
Not active enough for you? Arrive via kayak.