Six of the best: chances to go foraging for your own food

Tuesday 13 March 2018

From rugged coasts surrounding sea teeming with crabs, shellfish and edible seaweed, to fruitful hedgerows and wild mushrooms on forest walks, Britain’s delicious landscape is abundant with tasty morsels – if you know where to look. Join some of Britain’s best foragers and follow your food’s journey from land to plate.

Coastal foraging in North Yorkshire, north-east England

Join Taste the Wild on its one-day coastal foraging course in Staithes, North Yorkshire, where you can learn about the diversity of edible seaweed and shellfish on Britain's rocky coasts. Start your day exploring the foreshore and find seaweeds that can be harvested for food, while discovering different species of crabs and shellfish in the rock pools and gullies. If the sea is calm you’ll pull lobster pots from the sea at low tide and check the catch for size. After a morning of exploring, return to Staithes with your foraged food and enjoy lunch in the Smugglers Gallery or Old Sunday School, where your wild harvest will be served.

Getting there: Staithes is on England’s north-east coast, and is a four and half-hour journey by public transport from London, or a five-hour drive.

Feast with a wild cookery school, in Cornwall, south-west England

Set up by Caroline Davey in 2007, Fat Hen is a wild cookery school. It will take you back to basics, teaching once-vital skills on how to forage, cook and feast on your findings from the wild. Enjoy a two-hour foraging trip to west Cornwall's wild landscapes, including seashore, hedgerow, woodland and farmland, and learn how to forage safely and legally. After your exploration, Caroline will take you back to Fat Hen where you’ll be taught how to cook a series of wild dishes before enjoying them for lunch. 

Getting there: located in Penzance, Cornwall, Fat Hen is a five-hour drive from London, or less than six hours by train.

Get back to nature with Galloway Wild Foods, Scotland

Join Mark, founder of Galloway Wild Foods, in the wild and be inspired by his passion for foraging while you learn about the delicious and nutritious food you can gather in the great outdoors. A full-time foraging tutor, Mark offers an abundance of foraging walks and teaching events for novices and improvers alike in Scotland and northern England; these include specific themed events such as spring plants, coastal foraging, fungi, drunken botany and wild gourmet days.

Getting there: Galloway Wild Foods will be hosting events around Scotland and northern England, check the website for details.

Go seashore and hedgerow foraging through beautiful Welsh countryside, Pembrokeshire, west Wales 

With the Llys Meddyg restaurant and rooms as a basecamp, the estuary, seashore and forest are yours to explore when foraging with Don Lawrence and Ed Sykes through the Welsh countryside. Running on selected dates throughout the year, the four-hour seashore and hedgerow foraging course will take you on a tour of the beautiful local landscape, for a fun and informative guide to food foraging. Taste wild food along the way, as you source ingredients for your lunch while learning how to safely identify and gather your finds.

Getting there: Llys Meddyg is in west Wales, and is a two hour drive from Cardiff.

Return to your wild self with Monica Wilde, locations across Scotland

Join Monica in the wild landscapes of Scotland on one of her foraging walks or day courses, where you'll learn about native plants and their uses as both wild foods and herbal medicines. Head to the East Lothian coast in the winter and identify tasty, edible seaweed and coastal hedgerow plants, while enjoying the crisp stillness of the Scottish coast on a frosty day. If you prefer something a little warmer, head to Edinburgh to celebrate the spring equinox, and hunt for early wild garlic, wild leek, hairy bittercress, dandelion, sweet cicely shoots, and other spring vegetables. Here you'll understand more about edible and medicinal wild plants and how to prepare and cook them. 

Getting there: East Lothian is a 35-minute drive from Edinburgh, which is a 70-minute flight from London.

Tuck into home-foraged food, The Forest Side, Grasmere, Cumbria

Set in a 19th-century Victorian hotel and just minutes from the village of Grasmere, The Forest Side hotel is a serious foodie destination, with Kevin Tickle, former chef and head forager at two Michelin-starred restaurant L’Enclume, heading up the kitchen. Kevin’s menu changes daily according to produce available within the abundant 46 acres of forageable grounds, and the extensive Victorian walled kitchen garden.

Getting there: located in Grasmere, The Forest Side hotel is a five-hour journey from London by public transport, or five and a half hours by car.

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The Forest Side
Exterior of The Forest Side, Cumbri
The Forest Side Kitchen Garden