I got drunk at a Bristol axe throwing experience and it was funnier than expected

Deadly weapons and craft beers: What could go wrong?

Whistle Punks is an instructor-led axe throwing bar located in Bristol city centre.

Up to 10 of your mates, during a 70 minute session, can learn all there is to know about axe throwing. From hitting a bullseye to mastering “trick shots” while enjoying a range of craft beers and pizzas.

The axe slinging and pint sinking venue is targeted at beginners. It even has a student night every Wednesday, where you can get a full session and a drink for £15.


When you arrive you’re given a lane and an instructor who, from the outset, surprisingly encourages you to drink as much as you want. After a lager and a few safety instructions, we got throwing.

A session is made up of two practice rounds, one for each type of throw and finishes with a high-stakes competition. 

We were taught how to lift and position the axe for throwing and how to aim, both of which became harder to do with each pint that was consumed.

“How likely was I to get injured”

I had two main worries going into the experience: whether or not I was going to be able to actually pick up the axe and how likely I was to get injured. 

Luckily the axes weren’t as heavy as I was expecting and the whole evening didn’t require too much physical exertion (thank God). As for injuries, there were none apart from the bruising to my ego from coming last. 

But I couldn’t stay too sad for long with everyone working there being so social and energetic. After chatting with the instructors we were given nicknames for the rest of the session. We were referred to (endearingly I like to think) as “Fake ID” and “No job prospects” for the entire evening. Read into that however you like.

“Nips or Nothing”

My personal highlight was learning the catchphrase “nips or nothing” which is used when a player is so far behind, that their only chance of winning is to hit one of the “nips” on either of the top corners or loose miserably.

There was even a bonus points system, which seemed entirely rigged and almost completely down to who laughed the most at the instructors axe-related jokes.

The combination of axe throwing and drinking turned out to be the perfect amount of controlled risk and excitement that everybody needs to get them through another week of blackboard related stress.

It is also the place to be if you need to let off some steam about your failing situationship because imagining someones face on a bullseye is much cheaper than a therapy session, and so much more fun.

“Not allowed to bring your own axe”

A few things you need to know before your session: come in clothes you can move in as well as closed-toe shoes and unfortunately you’re not allowed to bring your own axe due to unfair advantages. I know, I was as disappointed as you are. 

If you can’t give up one of your precious sports nights to make it on a Wednesday, ticket prices range from around £20-£30 depending on the day of the week. There are also other ticket bundles available for larger groups. 

The venue is on All Saints Street

A stones throw (or maybe an axe) from SWX and Strangebrew in Lewins Mead. It’s easy to get to on foot or by public transport depending on where you are. 

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