While camping, if you’re looking for free, extremely fresh and healthy food to cook around your tent in the evening, go on a small adventure during the day in the hunt for fresh seafood?
The shores of Cornwall are littered with numerous spots where you will be able to forage a wide variety of delicacies – and all you need to know is where to look.
It is easy enough to find mussels amongst the rocks on the beaches of North Cornwall during low tide – and Trevaunance Cove would be a good place to look. Ideally you should try to avoid any mussels that look partially open or damaged in some way, and for the best finds you may even want to try snorkeling to look for the biggest and juiciest ones that often lurk just below the waters, there is a great spot at low tide, beyond the surf at St Agnes.
Many beaches in Cornwall offer an excellent harvest of cockles, with the Helford River estuary being particularly renowned. Take a rake along with you and you should be able to easily find cockles buried a few centimeters beneath the sand. Odds are you’ll even find several clams in the process too – and maybe even a stray oyster or two. Finding cockles is a messy process, as they are in mud. So take old clothes, welly boots and make sure you are aware of the tide-times, as the tide in an estuary comes in very fast. Also be aware of not getting stuck in any deep mud!
If you want to catch some shrimp you will be able to do so in any rock pool in Cornwall, or directly from some of the harbor walls. Frankly there are several spots that are well-known for their shrimp populations, and Falmouth pontoon or the Camel estuary are among them. When you’re catching shrimp in rock pools you can simply use a small net to scoop them out, or use a push net to fish them out of any other shallow water.
Winkles seem to be an acquired taste – but it is easy enough to find them amongst the rocks on any Cornish shore. If you’re collecting them from water be sure the water itself is clean, but otherwise you shouldn’t run into any issues. There are hundreds of winkles and these should be the easiest shell fish to find around the Cornish coastline.
- Razor clams
Digging out razor clams is an art itself, and the first thing you’ll need to do is find a beach with a good population of them. Typically any beach in Cornwall with a lot of razor clam shells scattered around would do, or you could go to Padstow which is known to be an excellent spot. To forage for razor clams, you’ll need to find their breathing holes in the sand and pour a small amount of salt down them till they ‘bubble’ and begin to surface. When they do you can simply grab them and pull them out – and move on to the next hole.
While you’re foraging for seafood, be sure to also pick up any seaweed you may come across. Across the coast of Cornwall you’ll find over 400 different species of seaweed – all of which are edible and are excellent sources of nutrition.
As you can see there’s a wealth of seafood that you can literally pick up from Cornish beaches – so if you have a bit of free time be sure to make a trip of it. Nothing is more satisfying than foraging your own food and then enjoying it at the end of the day.
Before exploring, please ensure you wear the proper clothing, make sure you are aware of the tides and weather, take a mobile phone , inform your family members where you are and don’t go alone! Safety should always come first.