Foraging Fun in the Scottish Highlands

Foraging wild food is featured more and more on popular television programmes and social media. And for a good reason. First, it’s fun, relaxing and extremely rewarding. You’ll find wild mushrooms and other delicacies on restaurant menus, all foraged!

So, what’s there to forage in the Scottish Highlands? And where’s the best place to start looking? Are there any guides, and where can you savour the delights of foraged foods in Northern Scotland? What to find out more? Then please read on.

What is foraging?

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors foraged for food to survive. They foraged for seeds, berries, edible plants, mushrooms and many other edible plants and roots. They knew where to look, what wild foods were medicinal and which were safe to eat. 

Scotland’s foraging guidelines/rules

Scotland’s foraging guidelines

Wild food foraging in the Scottish Highlands provides a great excuse to be in the great outdoors. It’s a superb way to relax, enjoy the scenery, and spot the wildlife. The bonus, of course, is you get to savour all the delights of your hard work.

But there are some rules when you forage wild foods in Scotland. This includes:

Take extra care when foraging in Scotland for fungi because some fungi and mushrooms are poisonous. If in doubt, don’t pick a mushroom and always do your research before cooking with foraged fungi. It’s a good idea to read the  Scottish Wild Mushroom Code  before venturing out to forage wild fungi!

You should also only pick what you need. Remember to leave some mushrooms for other people and wildlife. After all, it’s their woodland home!

Why not check out  foraging in Scotland guidelines.

When’s best to forage in Scotland?

The seasons offer all sorts of things to forage in Scotland. For example, September is a great time to forage for wild berries like strawberries, wild raspberries and sloe berries.

On the other hand, January is a good time to forage for nuts and seasonal winter fruits. This includes things like blackberries, chestnuts and acorns.

June’s the time to forage for edible plants and flowers like honeysuckle and elder.

Why not check out  what to look for month-to-month  in Scotland.

Fun times foraging in Scotland for kids

Fun times foraging

Foraging with the kids is an excellent way for the family to enjoy the great outdoors! It’s also a wonderful educational experience for children who get to learn about nature and their surroundings.

Explore new places in Scotland you’ve not previously visited and teach your wee ones all about  foraging!

Foraging courses

There are places around Scotland that provide educational events and courses. All focus on foraging in Scotland.

Foraging wild foods in Scotland

Foraging wild foods


You’ll find there are around ten different edible berries in Scotland. Found in woodlands and along quiet trails and roads, it includes:

  • Wild cherries
  • Blaeberries (bilberries)
  • Blackberries
  • Sloe berries
  • Rowan
  • Juniper berries

Mainly found in Perthshire and, more significantly, in Strathmore Valley and Fife. But you’ll also find some berries in the Highlands, Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, Arran and the  Scottish Borders.

The wonderful thing about foraging in Scotland is that it’s made more accessible by  Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code. This allows you the right of ‘responsible access’ to many land areas and water in Scotland. So make sure you pick the berries responsibly and leave enough for our wildlife.

Wild fungi/mushrooms

There are many edible wild mushrooms found in Scotland’s woodlands. But only a few are commonly eaten. The best time to forage for mushrooms is during Autumn, although some species can be found earlier in Scottish forests and woodlands.

Make sure you know what you’re looking for and avoid any fungi you have doubts about. For example, some mushrooms like fly agaric are highly poisonous and cannot be ingested. So, why not book a foraging break at  Gartmore House  in Stirlingshire?

Or book a mushroom foraging in Scotland course with  Monica Wilde Foraging  in Perthshire and participate in her cookery courses. Learn from an expert on what mushrooms to pick!

Foraging the coastlines in Scotland

Foraging the coastlines

The best quality seafood in the world is sourced in the seas around Scotland. From seaweed foraging, sea buckthorn berries, shellfish, lobster, mackerel, and so much more are found along Scottish coastlines and shores! Savour the delights of dulce, a red seaweed that’s delicious in soups.

But be careful when foraging wild shellfish because of the risk of food poisoning. So always observe the essential safety tips, which include collecting shellfish in pristine, clean waters. Also, don’t collect shellfish during the hotter summer months.

Why not take part in a coastal foraging tour with  East Neuk Seaweed?

The flavours of foraged food

The unique flavours of foraged foods are found in Scotland’s finest produce. These flavours add so much of Scotland to any dish or produce.

A great example is the wonderful confectionary the Loch Tay chocolatier Charlotte Flower, crafts in her home at Acharn in  Highland, Perthshire.

Charlotte forages the lochs shores and woodlands in search of wild mint, wood sorrel Scots pine, and elderflower, which she adds to her exquisite confectionery.

Foraged food restaurants

Want to savour the delights of forage wild foods but not too keen on getting wet and dirty? Not a problem. Some visionary Scottish chefs serve foraged wild foods in their dishes.

The Gardener’s CottageForage and Chatter, and  Wedgwood the Restaurant  in Edinburgh all serve seasonal and sustainable dishes to discerning diners!

Let someone do the cooking for you and enjoy the ultimate Dunalastair weekend experience!

Dunalastair Hotel Suites is more than just a place to stay and relax. Our boutique hotel in Pitlochry is ideally situated in a stunning location. So come and enjoy a memorable staycation that’ll have you coming back again and again.

Discover the delights in our superb Monadh restaurant! There’s something on the menu to suit everyone’s taste. So why not check out our  complete menu online?

Book your next vacation in the Highlands today and enjoy 5-star luxury in a superb setting that’s  Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Kinloch Rannoch.