Woodland Walks with Cauldron
March is the perfect time for foraging and exploring, with the sap rising in the trees and green shoots at their vibrant best. Combining the great outdoors and a passion for food, a simple walk in the woods can be transformed into a hunt for wild food, with an abundance of edible plants and mushrooms readily available in nature.
So we’ve selected a handful of our favourite woodland walks from across the country, then suggested a delicious Cauldron recipe for you to enjoy afterwards.
Dodd Wood – Lake District
Around 4 miles north-west of Keswick, Dodd Wood lies on the east shore of Bassenthwaite Lake in the heart of the Lake District. Home to some magnificent old trees, the forest was originally created by Thomas Storey of Mirehouse back in 1790, but these days is leased back from the Mirehouse Estate and looked after by the Forestry Commission.
There are several routes through the forest, ranging from short walks to the more ambitious climb to the summit, where spectacular views over Bassenthwaite and Derwent Water await. On a clear day, as you emerge from the trees, you’ll be treated to a spectacular scene that includes over 40 major peaks. If you’re lucky, you might even spot an Osprey or two – mighty birds with a wingspan of nearly five feet – hovering above the lake.
Post-Walk Recipe Idea: Vegan Wholefood Sausages with Celeriac Gratin
Our delicious Vegan Wholefood Sausages go wonderfully with this filling and flavoursome celeriac gratin. Throw in a couple of handfuls of wild garlic (perhaps picked up on your walk in the woods) and drizzle with fresh pesto to complete the picture.
Whitehill – Surrey Hills
Located just outside London, Surrey Hills and the Box Hill Estate offer a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. This circular route from Cockshot Cottage to Mickleham village via Whitehill has reasonable tracks during dry weather and only one steep hill to climb.
As you make your way along this moderate 4-mile trail, you’ll be treated to forests of beech trees, dense conifers and woodland paths, not to mention stunning views over Box Hill, Norbury Park and Denbies Hillside. Full of twists and turns through beautiful National Trust countryside, you’ll have a hard time remembering you’re only just outside the M25.
Post-Walk Recipe Idea: Moroccan Falafels with Spring Pearl Barley Greens
Relive the experience of dappled sunshine on the woodland floor with warm Falafel Bites resting on a soft bed of pearl barley, adorned with purple broccoli, green spinach and tender asparagus. A small burst of chlili, a squeeze of zesty lemon and a sprinkle of fresh coriander round this dish off perfectly!
Burrs Wood – Derbyshire
Situated on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Burrs Wood is an ancient broadleaved woodland. Part of the Woodland Trust, it’s wonderfully scenic and largely unspoilt, providing a peaceful place to relax and explore at your own pace.
Oak trees dominate, with some specimens likely to be well over two-hundred years old. You’ll also find an abundance of well-loved wildflowers, including – if you time it right – a dazzling array of enchanting bluebells carpeting the forest floor.
Post-Walk Recipe Idea: Tofu Matcha Cheesecake
This bright and beautiful dessert is the perfect treat after exploring an ancient forest. Bold matcha and zesty lime flavours are housed inside a rich, creamy layer of tofu and coconut, which all sits atop a sweet and crunchy chocolate biscuit base.
The Hermitage Woodland Walk – Perthshire, Scotland
Welcome to big tree country! The Hermitage is a National Trust for Scotland-protected site in Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross. Located just to the west of the A9, it sits on the banks of the River Braan in the beautiful Craigvinean Forest. It is home to Ossian’s Hall of Mirrors and Ossian’s Cave – Georgian follies built by the Dukes of Atholl – not to mention several Douglas-firs, some of the tallest trees in Britain.
There are several popular walks through the grounds, which vary in length and terrain. The Hermitage and Braan Walk offers a little of everything and is widely considered a Perthshire classic. At 4 miles long, it begins by taking in the beautiful wooded glen of the Hermitage – complete with its picturesque old buildings and lavish waterfalls – before continuing on to visit the famous Rumbling Bridge and returning via open countryside.
Post-Walk Recipe Idea: Vegan Wholefood Burger with Celeriac, Apple & Kale
Combining refreshing apple, crunchy kale and celeriac ribbons, this seasonal salad recipe will send you wild after a walk in the woods! Dress with citrus, herbs, oil and chili, then let our Vegan Wholefood Burger – packed with beans and vegetables – take pride of place.
Even if you can’t make it to one these areas of outstanding natural beauty, there are plenty of delights to be found in your local woodland. And there’s no better way of rewarding yourself after a stroll than with a hearty, farmhouse-style recipe, courtesy of Cauldron!Blog Posts