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Seashore Foraging

Join us for an edible adventure along the beautiful Jurassic coastline, before returning to River Cottage HQ for a forager’s feast.

At River Cottage we are lucky to be sited in the most stunning East Devon countryside and yet only 10 minutes from the coast. So as well as offering fabulous foraging courses in hedgerows and woodland, we also have a brilliant opportunity for you to learn about gathering wild food from along the seashore.

This one-day course is led by our resident wild food expert and forager John Wright, author of our River Cottage foraging handbook series, including, of course, The Edible Seashore. You will receive a signed copy of this brilliant book as part of your foraging day with John.

John will show you how to safely identify and gather food from the beach and sea with respect and responsibility for the environment. Depending on the season, you might find shellfish such as cockles and crabs, several varieties of edible seaweed including sea lettuce and dulse, and various edible seashore plants, such as sea spinach, samphire and Alexanders.

On your return to River Cottage HQ you will enjoy a delicious two course seasonal forager’s lunch prepared by our chefs. John will stay with you for an afternoon session, where you will learn more about the seasonal bounty you have picked, the rules of conservation, and some of the harder to find exotic, lesser found species. There will also be a cookery demo using some of the bounty you have picked. At the end of the day you will leave with new-found skills, a keen eye for foraging opportunities – and of course a signed copy of John’s book, Edible Seashore.

Your day

09:30 - 17:00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    On arrival you will be greeted by our friendly front of house team with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen. Your host John Wright will introduce the day before you head off to the coast to begin your forage.

  • A morning forage

    You will spend the morning exploring the local seashore and collecting wild edible treats. John will teach you how to safely identify, pick and prepare your harvest. We can’t guarantee what you will find on the forage, but there will always be plenty to see and to talk about.

  • Take a Break

    We’ll keep your energy levels up with tea and coffee and some delicious snacks on location.

  • A further forage

    After your snack, there will be further foraging opportunities along the shoreline.

  • Late Lunch

    Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a delicious seasonal two-course lunch will be one of the highlights of your day.

  • Demo session one

    John will teach you simple ways of identifying plants, how to spot poisonous species, conservation issues and the laws of foraging too.

  • Demo session two

    John and/or one of our chefs will demonstrate some of the delicious dishes you can create with typical seashore-foraged ingredients and you’ll get some tasters along the way too.

  • Departure

    At the end of the day you’ll head back up the hill at around 5pm, with new found knowledge and a signed copy of Edible Seashore to boost your foraging confidence and get the most out of your seashore strolls.

  • Further information

    If you would like to go into the sea above welly-level, please feel free to bring a pair of hip or chest waders, or a wetsuit. However, these are not essential. Depending on the tide times, we may stay at River Cottage HQ in the morning and then go off-site later in the day, before returning to HQ.

Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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Further information...

This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

We’re afraid this course isn't typically suitable for those with fish and seafood allergies, however please do get in touch before booking to see if we can accommodate you.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018