Knaresborough & tips for foraging



One of my favourite things to do with the kids in Spring and Summer is go foraging for things that we can cook with. I love showing the children the concept that they can collect parts of their own dinner, and we then head home and make something from what we’ve picked or found. The best place I seem to have found for getting some amazing wild garlic is Knaresborough, which we recently took a little trip to and visited Mother Shipton’s Cave again.It’s such a beautiful place, the scenery is beautiful and at £18 for a family of 4 I really think it’s reasonable for a good afternoon out. You get a tonne of history, a great museum at the end of the trail and they are redeveloping a new play area right in the middle, which will really help spruce up the one they have already.

Foraging is also another really good way to explain children that you should never way things that you find in the wild without being sure what they are. Right from a young age the boys have been taught that you mustn’t just pick up berries and eat them, it’s so important to respect nature and understand how dangerous it can be.

Here are a few of my foraging tips:


1.) Get Educated!

There are thousands of advice pamphlets that you can download online that will give you descriptions and diagrams of what is safe and what isn’t safe to forage for. Not only that but you will be able to find out what is suitable to collect with kids and which season is best to find these things in. If you don’t want to grab printouts and you plan on making foraging a more frequent thing then I would suggest grabbing a book or guide on the topic. There are hundreds out there and they are often pocket size to take with you out and about.



2.) Make a plan on a known route

The pictures we have are of our little trip to knaresborough, a place that is known for its wild garlic and has some beautiful wild garlic that you can grab and take home to prepare. The walk ways are all pretty safe, not to mention beautiful, so you aren’t straying too far from the beaten track.

3.) Stick together

The boys have a tendency to wander, which is fine, however we make it expressly clear that there is one BIG rule in foraging: NEVER pick anything without a grown up. We keep hold of our guide and if the boys find something, even something as obvious as blackberries, we don’t let them touch them until we have come over, checked the guide and made sure, unequivocally, that it is the right thing. Safety is first!


4.) Talk about what you see

As we love foraging so much, we do it often and we talk a lot about what we are planning to make when we get home. The children understand that what we are foraging for is going to go towards our dinner so we talk about making our favourite foods and adding to them – like cottage pie with wild garlic chopped up for flavour. I also let the boys prepare or chop whatever we gather up. They did this with the apples we collected at their grandparents house.

Do you go foraging? What’s your favourite thing to find?

Harriet x


  1. Avatar April 23, 2016 / 6:24 am

    Aw I love that you guys do this! Last summer Toby ‘helped’ us to dig up and pick our fruit and veg from our garden but we’re yet to go out foraging. Where we live there are so many great spots to get herbs and berries, we also like going out for elderflowers to make tasty cordial for over the summer xx

  2. Avatar April 22, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    Wild garlic sounds amazing. I definitely think that being educated is such an important part of foraging x

    • Harriet April 22, 2016 / 6:06 pm

      It is Rhian, you can never know too much about what you are gathering.

  3. Avatar April 22, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    Ahhh, we use to go Foraging when we were kids, with my dad! We use to find mushrooms and berries and other things to cook! It was great fun. It is so important not to pick anything without an adult! This is a fab post and great tips 🙂 xx

    • Harriet April 22, 2016 / 6:07 pm

      It’s great fun isn’t it?

  4. Avatar April 21, 2016 / 10:27 pm

    I’ve driven past Mother Shiptons Cave so many times but have never actually visited!

  5. Avatar April 21, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    Lovely photos! I think foraging is a great idea and something we would enjoy but I definitely need to get educated as I wouldn’t have a clue where to start!!

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks Alice, it’s great fun!

  6. Avatar April 21, 2016 / 9:02 am

    I love parks, forest and all outdoorsy things that are close to nature. But we do not have a park that looks this epic, with a bicycle and a boat in it, in Ireland and I am totally jealous right now. What a gorgeous and whimsical idea! x

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:38 pm

      This is actually at Mother Shipton’s Cave Zoe, so all its quite a big tourist attraction, but the park is next door! H x

  7. Avatar April 21, 2016 / 7:00 am

    Oh I llove be the fought for foraging but I’m a little by scared the only things that I’ve ever eaten from the wild is blackberries! X

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:38 pm

      It is a bit scary but with the right guide its so fun! H x

  8. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    These are really good tips! I love days out in nature like this. Tip number 1 is definitely a good starting point!

  9. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    Looks like you and the litte ones had fun, what a great idea.

  10. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    What a lovely place to visit. Your photos are awesome.

  11. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    Gorgeous photos and great tips. I don’t go foraging for food but I do love heading out and looking for interesting rocks, sticks or leaves. I guess I’m a hippy.

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:53 pm

      That sounds lovely to us too Lynette – we’ll hippy it up with you! H x

  12. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Great post, and yes a great way to teach them to respect nature and be aware of her dangers as well as the ability to provide yummy food 😉

  13. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    You guys looked like you had a lovely time, looks like a great spot!

  14. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    I’ve never been foraging before but it sounds like a lot of fun and it’s always great to know that you cooking is something you got yourself! Great tips!

  15. Avatar
    Jessica McDonnell
    April 20, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    Those photos look lovely. I love Knareborough and I used to love foraging with my parents when I was younger.

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:54 pm

      It’s a beautiful place isn’t it Jessica x

  16. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    I grew up in rural Canada and we did LOADS of foraging as children – wild apples, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, mint – but here in Shetland there’s very little I know about that I can forage. There’s one place where wild garlic grows, but it’s mostly seaweed. Not very exciting stuff! You’re lucky to have such beautiful woodland near you to explore.

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:55 pm

      Oh wow that sounds amazing Elizabeth – truly wonderful! H x

  17. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    Oh wow what an amazing looking place to explore, nothing quite like seeing what you can find 🙂

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:55 pm

      Exactly Sarah – it was lovely!

  18. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    love this post Harriet! I was born and raised in Knaresborough – a former King James’s school girl! I know just where you are in these pictures x

    • Harriet April 21, 2016 / 1:56 pm

      Ahhh wow – oh it is stunning there, we’re in Malton right near York so not far at all! H x

  19. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    I don’t really but I do love walks like this. What beautiful photos x

  20. Avatar April 20, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    Lovely! Looks like you and your family had a great time!

    And great tips! I totally agree about teaching kids to not pick anything up from the ground without adult supervision, you never know what it can be.


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