Have you ever watched with wonder as fishermen, standing at the water’s edge of a local beach, land fish after fish? Would you love to be able to catch those fish then know how to prepare and cook them.

This course has been designed by myself, in conjunction with River Cottage, one of the most famous cookery schools in the country, to take the novice shore fisherman and teach them all the tips and techniques required to be a successful beach angler, capable of creating fantastic fish dishes.

After spending the morning on the beach, we bring you back to River Cottage HQ where we will teach you how to fillet and prepare your catch. You will then cook your own fish supper to be enjoyed in our 16th Century farmhouse, home to Hugh’s kitchen and the set for the River Cottage TV series.


Your day at the beach/River Cottage HQ

Arrive: We will meet you at a local beach; one that offers the best chance of catching the most fish on the given day. We will endeavour to use beaches no further than half an hour’s drive from HQ.

Welcome: Meet your host and tutor  over a morning tea or coffee and enjoy a brunch picnic snack.

Before we start throwing our lines out into the open sea, we will walk you through some basic skills, such as setting up your rods and reels and baiting up for that first cast. I will talk about what we will be targeting that day, to help you on your journey to become a successful fisherman/woman for life.

At the beach: Now it is time for the exciting part. We will spend the rest of our morning and early afternoon attempting to catch our lunch. During this time we will be on hand to help you with any questions, and cover a range of different topics which will include:

Reading the water (water craft);

Species identification and looking at what we are likely to catch and at what time of year;

Making up a rig that you can take home with you;

Preparing and baiting up rigs with different baits;

Casting and improving that casting technique to get more distance;

Most importantly of all, hopefully helping you land your catch.

Cooking on the beach: There is a good chance that you will be successful and plenty of fish will be brought in. We will have a hot smoker with us and we will teach you the finer points of smoking your fish, fresh from the sea. We may also try a little sashimi.

Back to HQ

Fish Skills: Once back, a River Cottage Chef will be on hand in the River Cottage farmhouse to teach you how to deal with the fish you have caught. Don’t worry, if you are unlucky enough not to have caught anything as we will have fresh fish standing by.

Supper: Having prepared and cooked your catch it is time to sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour. There is only one thing better than eating freshly caught fish – that is eating fresh fish you have caught, prepared and cooked yourself! You will have created the first two courses and we will finish off your meal with a delicious, seasonal pudding.

Close: Have a chat with fellow course attendees and members of the River Cottage team, before jumping on the tractor to take you back up the hill.

This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on the season as well as the group’s interest.



Location: This course starts at the beach. We will send you details the day before the event to inform you of the location. The afternoon is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon border. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We cannot guarantee that fish will be caught on the day. We will have fish standing by at HQ for the fish skills and cookery session.

We will run this course in all but the very worst weather conditions; we strongly recommend bringing enough clothing to cover any inclement conditions.

Wine/drink: We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines.

Age: We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Once you have booked, you will receive email confirmation of your places purchased along with all of the details of the event including the address, map and directions to River Cottage HQ.


Click here for further details and to book on the River Cottage  website

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