What is the Glorious Twelfth: 12 Essentials for The Start of Shooting Season

A long standing tradition, the Glorious Twelfth refers to the 12th of August, which marks the start of the shooting season for red grouse in Britain. It is regarded as a key event in the country’s field sports calendar, particularly in the Scottish Highlands which often sees
enthusiasts from all over the world travel to take part. 

The day consists of hunters, gamekeepers, beaters and trained field sport dogs taking to the heather - covered moors to engage in grouse shooting. The date itself is also often accompanied by various social events, gatherings and celebrations. On some moors in the UK, particularly in Scotland, shooting is often suspended on Sundays, allowing the birds and the landscape to have a day of rest. This particular shooting season runs until December, providing four months for shooting enthusiasts to engage in the sport. During this period, many restaurants which pride themselves on seasonal and local produce, will feature grouse dishes. These are often served with complimentary ingredients such as root vegetables, wild mushrooms, berries or hearty sauces all of which compliment the rich flavour of the meat.

What’s the history of the Glorious Twelfth?

With records of organised shoots dating as far back as the 17th century, the Glorious Twelfth has a long standing history in Britain. Grouse, particularly the red grouse, are native to the upland moors and heather-covered hills of the British Isles, particularly in Scotland and Northern England, therefore making it a popular bird for shooting as a sport. 

Gaining prominence in the 19th century, grouse shooting became particularly popular among the British aristocracy and landed gentry due to the esteemed and prestigious nature of the sport. Unlike other forms of game shooting, grouse shooting can be particularly challenging and involves a team of hunters, beaters and gamekeepers. The red grouse is known for its rapid and erratic flight patterns, making it a demanding target for skilled shooters. 

Why is it called the Glorious Twelfth?

The Glorious Twelfth was coined after legislation was passed in 1831 which set particular regulations and restrictions on game hunting. This included the establishment of a fixed date for the start of the shooting season for game birds, including the red grouse. 

The Glorious Twelfth, falling on August 12th, was designated as the opening day for grouse shooting and has remained the traditional start of the season ever since. 

The choice of August 12th specifically, is based on a number of factors, primarily that the red grouse is believed to be in the best condition for shooting at this time of year. Secondly, the heather moorlands (which are usually managed and protected by gamekeepers) are in their prime at this time of year.

It has also been suggested that the choice of ‘glorious’ makes reference to the Glorious Revolution which was seen as a positive change in British history and occurred around the same time as the start of the grouse shooting season. The ‘Glorious’ Twelfth, therefore, evokes a sense of triumph and celebration.

How is the Glorious Twelfth celebrated?

Viewed as a significant date for country sport enthusiasts, the Glorious Twelfth is a highly celebrated event throughout Britain. As well as practising shooting the day itself is widely associated with generous hospitality and fine dining, with shooting parties gathering at country estates or lodges to enjoy traditional meals focusing on game and other seasonal produce. 

The sporting clothing dress code and etiquette for the day is particularly important and is steeped in tradition. Shooters typically wear tweed jackets, breeks, ties and flat caps or shooting hats. This attire not only contributes to the traditional aesthetic of the event, but is also a practical choice for the conditions of the moors. 

Beyond the actual shooting activities, the Glorious Twelfth is seen as an occasion to celebrate the countryside and provides an opportunity for discussions on land management and habitat preservation.

Our Glorious Twelfth Essentials


1. The House Of Bruar Sloe Gin 70cl

Quickly building an enviable reputation for itself amongst those in the know, our House of Bruar Sloe Gin is produced to an exclusive recipe using only the very best sloe berries blended with premium London dry gin. Bottled especially for the House of Bruar, this delightfully warming liqueur is equally at home as the perfect hip flask companion when out in the field.

2. Set Of 8 Silver Plated Cartridge Cups


A luxury beverage needs an equally extravagant beaker to be drunk from - raise a glass to a successful shoot with this set of eight silver plated cartridge cups! They are housed in a cartridge-shaped case, so you can savour your favourite drink in style when you’re enjoying the great outdoors in good company.


3. Grouse Marker 

This beautiful Grouse Marker is a must-have for any serious shooter. Housed inside an immaculate hand-finished leather wallet made from selected vegetable-tanned hide is a marker disc which shows various distance zones, allowing you to accurately mark the position of any felled bird for later retrieval.


4. Mens Saxony Waterproof Shooting Coat

No day on the hill is complete without the perfect shooting coat, and this exquisitely crafted garment in finest Saxony tweed is the ideal piece to keep you going all season. Designed with a zip and popper front closure to keep the wind at bay, this jacket features two front bellows pockets with flap and popper closures, two vertical inset side pockets and a single flap pocket.


5. Sporting Waistcoat

Neatly cut for maximum utility and style, this dashing sporting waistcoat provides generous patch pockets and a single breast pocket for storing essentials, while a smart stand collar and adjustable side tabs complete the look. The perfect sporting companion.


6. Ladies Tweed Shooting Coat


Perfect for a day on the moors, our Ladies Tweed Shooting Coat is the result of endless hours of tireless work by our product development team. Made in our much loved pure new wool tweeds it has all the technical aspects you would expect from a traditional shooting coat, including large bellow pockets (which can be held open with a stud tab for easy access), hand-warming pockets, two way zip and stud placket fastening, storm tab and quilted padded lining for extra warmth: all at a surprisingly low price. 


7. Ladies Harris Tweed Sporting Waistcoat

Handwoven Harris Tweed shines with quality in this immaculately sculpted sporting waistcoat. Ideal for outdoor pursuits whilst remaining stylish enough for all kinds of special events and occasions, this new season creation will add a certain special something to any number of country ensembles.


8. Croots Bridle Leather 20G Cartridge Belt

Make sure that cartridges are always at hand as you roam the beautfiul Scottish hills this season. Don't be hindered as the top speed birds accelerate through the sky - this bridle belt gives you easy access to 25 cartridges– perfect for those challenging driven grouse days.


9. Kyle Shooting Socks

These classic Kyle shooting socks are knitted in eye-catching country colours with matching garter ties, ideal for wearing with boots, wellies or brogues when out in the field. Made in Scotland by House of Cheviot and hand-finished to ensure a premium quality, the Merino wool blended yarn keeps feet dry, warm and comfortable in the British countryside.


10. Mens Cotton Lined Gusset Welly

Le Chameaus have become somewhat of a staple in the sporting wardrobe, and for very good reason. The ultimate boot to ensure your feet stay warm and dry on a Scottish shoot day - available in both Ladies and Mens styles.


11. Mens Italian Printed Wool Shooting Tie

Every set of tweeds should be accompanied by an equally charming tie – and what could be more suitable than grouse for the Twelfth? This wool shooting tie is a beautifully crafted tie that features a series of repeating shooting-related motifs. Designed and produced in Lake Como, a region of Italy famous for its high-quality textiles, this distinctive tie is in a class of its own.


12. Luxury Hamper

Finally, if you really want to impress on the refreshment front, The House of Bruar Luxury hamper is bursting with savoury, sweet and alcoholic treats which will bring an abundance of luxury delights out to the shooting field - perfect for celebrating on the Twelfth!