Episode 31 (Season 3): ‘In Tune’
Let’s jump into our kayaks and explore the wild Galloway coast to forage and wild camp in tune with nature.
‘In Tune’ is a story about an exceptional kayak expedition on the Galloway coast. The goal? Wild camp and learn about local plants from master forager Mark Williams.
We wake up to the most beautiful views, take a refreshing dip in the sea and spend the day paddling from bay to bay. Mark takes us on foraging walks to learn more about Scotland’s plants and wild foods, and we’re heading to the tidal zone at super low tide. Our day ends with a delicious meal enjoying the sunset.
After the story, I’ll tell you some of my top tips to make the most of your trip to the Galloway coast!
Are you ready? Great – let’s travel to Scotland!
Written and hosted by Kathi Kamleitner.
Produced, edited and sound design by Fran Turauskis.
Transcripts and social media by Michelle Payne.
Cover Art illustrated by Lizzie Vaughan-Knight.
All original music composed by Bruce Wallace.
Additional sound effects from Zapsplat.
All photographs by Kathi Kamleitner.
Browse my blogs about Dumfries & Galloway for travel inspiration.
Find out more about foraging and wild foods in Scotland on Mark’s website Galloway Wild Foods.
Join our email list for weekly glimpses behind the scenes and links to further reading, videos to watch and more.
My Galloway Travel Tips
Pick an area of he Galloway coast to explore
Once you start looking into the Galloway coast, you’ll notice that it’s made up of several peninsulas, each worth exploring in its own right. Unless you spend a week or two – it’s virtually impossible to see all of them in detail.
Whether you base yourself in Annan to explore the very tip of the Solway Firth, near Gatehouse of Fleet or Kirkcudbright for the best of Carrick Bay, on the Machars peninsula or on the Rhins of Galloway – I recommend you pick an area and explore that in depth, before moving on to the next.
Explore the Machars peninsula
I spent a day exploring the Machars peninsula before meeting the group for our kayaking trip. A day really isn’t enough, but it convinced me that this part of Galloway is among the most beautiful.
At the top, you’ll find Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town which has more bookshops per capita than any other place in Scotland.
In the middle of the peninsula there is Whithorn, a colourful village that is home to a beautiful priory as well as the replica of an Iron Age roundhouse.
And at the very tip lies Isle of Whithorn, although the causeway along the main road to the actual isle is now unrecognisable. It’s a beautiful place for a walk along the coast and a great homebase for a few days in the area.
Try the local produce
Galloway is a farming region and as you travel through the villages and along quiet backcountry roads, you’ll often come across farm shops or honesty boxes where farmers sell their local produce.
One of my favourite places to sample food from the area is Gather at Laggan, a beautiful restaurant up on a hillside overlooking the Solway Firth.
And if you don’t eat meat or dairy, don’t worry, you can always sample some of the locally made gin instead.
Go kayaking with Adventure Carrick
The company who organised our sea kayaking and foraging trip was Adventure Carrick. They are technically based in Girvan further north on the Ayrshire coast, but they offer water sports all over the southwest of Scotland. You can choose from kayaking and canoeing to paddle boarding and coasteering.
Going out onto the water with a guide means that you don’t have to worry so much about the conditions yourself, but rather you can rely on the knowledge and guidance of a real expert and enjoy the water.
Forage with care
Foraging is a fun and enjoyable way to immerse yourself in the Scottish landscape, but there are a few things to look out for. From identifying edible from non-edible or even poisonous plants to learning which plants and how much is sustainable to take, it’s important to know the basics before you start picking wild foods.
Mark William’s website GallowayWildFoods.com is a great resource for all foragers, no matter how experienced you are. You’ll find tons of ID guides and pictures of plants, fungi and seaweeds, advice on collecting safely and responsibly, and recipes to try at home.
Mark also hosts a series of in-person foraging walks all over Scotland and online workshops which you can do from anywhere in the world.
So, if you’re new to foraging in Scotland, head to Galloway Wild Foods to learn more.