Staying in hotels and eating in restaurants in Switzerland, as in Britain, can of course be expensive. Charming and well-appointed Swiss chalet accommodation, however, can be booked by the week at prices per person well below those of a British B&B (or even Bisley huts). Such accommodation includes kitchen facilities, which then make the differences in living costs negligible.
Geneva and Zürich are among the cheapest air destinations on the Continent, and it is now often possible to get returns to either for around £50. For those preferring to drive out, early-booked ferry prices for a car and up to nine passengers typically begin at about £60; the driving distance to the Bernese Oberland is comparable to that from Bisley to Aberdeen.
The British Alpine Rifles does not seek to offer a substitute for a day on the local club range. Its meetings are best treated as opportunities for a shooting holiday, to be enjoyed with family and friends in an interesting and beautiful country; and as such they offer outstanding richness, variety and good value. The Lake of Thun, around which many of B.A.R.’s ranges are located, was described by Sir Leslie Stephen, luminary of the early Alpine Club, as “the loveliest of all conceivable lakes”, and its waters are still plied by a splendid belle époque paddle steamer, taking visitors to castles and waterfront cafés; whilst the B.A.R. range in Grindelwald stands close beneath the mighty north face of the Eiger. The shooting itself is just part of the attraction of a B.A.R. meeting.
The British Alpine Rifles ranges are in German-speaking Switzerland. Whilst it is beneficial to have some knowledge of the language, it is by no means indispensable. So many Swiss are keen to hone their English skills that it can be quite difficult to get practice in the local tongue!