Hey friends!

Welcome back to the blog! Since the lockdown restrictions in England have been easing, I’ve been getting my airsoft fix and trying new sites. On the 25th of April, I made the journey to Dirty Dog Airsoft and here’s what I thought:

Dirty Dog Airsoft is a 25-acre woodland airsoft site that has a 2 storey container CQB village located in Shildon, in County Durham. From my home in Derbyshire, it took around 2.5 hours to get to the site. Most of that time was spent on the M1 northbound so it is a relatively unremarkable but easy drive. The postcode on the website took me to a residential street however if you follow the additional information on the ‘Find Us’ page on the website you will arrive at a dirt track with a Dirty Dog sign - the site is just a short drive up the track.

On arrival, players are met by a Marshall and temperature tested in their cars. Once you pass the temperature check, you will be pointed in the direction of a parking space which is where you will set up for the day. It might be an unpopular opinion, but I like to set up out of my car boot because then all my airsoft kit is in one place and it’s lockable. It’s worth noting due to COVID restrictions you have to wear your mask in the safe zone if you’re near anyone not in your bubble. The car park is spacious and has all the site amenities located within its boundary including the sign-in desk which has a small onsite shop where you can buy consumables, a seating area (which has a small portacabin next to it, but I’m unsure on what this is for) and of course the toilets. Whilst there are some chairs in the safe zone, it’s advisable to bring your own camping chair. I was really impressed with the toilets at Dirty Dog, they have a new male and a new female toilet (that aren’t just portaloos) that are very clearly looked after which is a nice touch. They even had some great smelling soap. Food isn’t served onsite at the moment so be sure to bring food for the day.

The site consists of a pretty open area of woodland that has various barricades, trenches and bases, at the very back of the site there is a snatch Land Rover which serves as a respawn. The CQB village, however, is really what won me over at DD - it is made entirely from shipping containers which means the BBs bounce in all directions! The village houses 2 double story sniper towers, 20 and 40 ft steel containers as well as numerous 32 ft portacabins that players can fight around and through. There is also a fort, various cars and caravans that are dotted around the game zone to provide additional cover.

Briefing is around 9.45 am and site staff member Ritchie gave a very comprehensive safety brief - explaining the dos and don’ts of the site, what smoke and bangs are allowed onsite what to do in an emergency etc. DD is a single and full-auto site (full-auto can only be used outside the village unless it is otherwise specified in the game brief). The site limits are as follows: AEG 350 FPS, DMRs must be locked to semi 425 FPS and bolt action Sniper rifles 500 FPS. The site rules are in line with most other sites. The safety brief is delivered well, with confidence and humour which puts you at ease.

For the first game, we played an attack and defend game with us, the attackers, starting at the village and taking on the defenders in the woodland. The woodland on-site is varied - from trees to small bushes, to brambles spread over hilly paths which make it an interesting terrain to fight through. On the day I visited it was quite dry so the terrain was easy to move through, and the defenders put up a great fight but we moved quickly as a force and reached our destination which was the stretcher with the mannequin. Attack/defend games are a great way to get a feel for the layout of the site!

The second game was my favourite of the day which was an attack/defend game in the village, the attackers' mission was to infiltrate the village by taking out the defenders and pressing a button in one of the first floor containers in the middle of the village that releases a smoke grenade, attackers then need to fight their way to the second button that detonates a BB moscart mounted to one of the containers. The village is well constructed and feels sturdy. The one thing I will say is that the BBs were bouncing off every single wall in the container and the sound is savage. The ricochets also come sharp! The village is a large area of the site and is different at every turn which varies gameplay, the windows and bridges also give some great vantage points.

There was a short game in the village before lunch, then the games were reversed in the afternoon. The last game of the day was a full-auto game in the village which I respectfully sat out (haha). The staff onsite are knowledgeable, friendly and they were attentive during games.

I thought the walk-on price for the day was excellent - just £20 for none members (£10 for members which is fantastic) and they do offer rental packages for those without their own gear at an additional cost. It is also worth noting that they only accept cash on site.

Overall, I think Dirty Dog run a great day of airsoft and utilise their site well - the village is a really cool space to fight through and was definitely my favourite area of the site. Walk on fees are super affordable and a lot lower than other sites which is a huge selling point. It was thoroughly worth the drive! I’m looking forward to visiting DD again in the future!

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