Gateway to England

Last week I had lovely holiday down in England in Gloucester area.

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Forest of Dean

It is historical land in the West of Gloucestershire in England. The forest is located between the River Wye in the west and north, Severn in the south and the city of Gloucester in the east. The forest is massive as it covers of 100m square with mixed forest and it is the second biggest largest forest in England. We have been discovering different trails and the dogs loved it. A lot of car parks around to stop and discover different parts of the forest. Ohh and the boars are awesome.

Mallard’s Pike Lake

Lovely place for picnic or just walk with dogs. We did spend a lot of time there, trying to teach miss Lafie how to swim, walk around, eat lunches or run the trails around. Most ponds in the forest were made to supply water wheels that powered the mills and iron forges of the Forests industrial past but these were made by the Forestry Commission for the community’s pleasure. The larger, lower pond is used for water sports, the upper pond is left undisturbed for wildlife.

One of the interesting runs we did was Adidas running trails, which is apparently challenging for any runners of 3.4 miles.

Gloucester city

It is a city and district in Gloucestershire, England, of which it is the county town. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest. I had a lovely walk around city centre with dogs and also found a lot of place were dog-friendly which was really extra bonus to nice walk around.

For the first time I had so much attention with those two, as a lot of people were stopping and asking about them. Surprisingly they both behaved, but maybe it was due to that we were already after our training camp.

Ross on Wye

I think this was my most favourite place that we visited during our holidays. Ross-on-Wye is a small market town in south eastern Herefordshire located on the River Wye, and northern edge of forest of Dean. The city promotes itself as a birthplace of British tourism. Lovely walk down the river allowed dogs to be off lead and had a paddle in a water. River Rye is the 5th longest river in the UK, stretching some 215km.

Absolutely awesome place to visit with your 4 legged friends. A lot of places to walk, run and hike.

Glamis Castle Fur Nations weekend

Last weekend was very spontaneous, after few chats with friends, I have decided to sign for Fur Nations races at Glamis Castle as it wasn’t really far away from home. Oh boy! It was one of the best weekends.

Weekend away

We love the weekends away with dogs and even better with couple friends and their dogs too! Have a look at our post how to prepare for your camping with dogs: http://dogxplorescotland.com/camping/

Luckily for us the weather was just amazing! We now have much bigger tent, so there is a lot of space for everything really. Although dogs discovered how to escape from it!

Surroundings

Glamis Castle is a living, breathing monument to Scottish heritage, hospitality and enjoyment for all. The family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Glamis Castle is the legendary setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the birthplace of Princess Margaret.

Glamis Castle has evolved over the years to create a stunning architectural treasure that is full of vitality to this day. Once inside, every room has its own story and the evolution of the castle and its legendary tales and secrets are brought to life by your own enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guides.

Every painting, every piece of furniture, every little detail along the way is a sharp reminder that this is not a museum but an incredible family home that has witnessed everything from Royal births to being the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The gardens surrounding Glamis Castle are beautiful all year round. Walks have been created to take in a mixture of habitats ranging from park land and policies in the immediate vicinity of the castle to the formal Italian Garden, mixed woodland and Pinetum to the North East.

Unfortunately I couldn’t take any photos of inside while we did our tour around the castle. However the staff was lovely saying hi to my dogs asking their stories.

Races

So we had two days of races, it was Laferra turn as Roger still building up for running in the harness. The trails were 5.2km and the start was at the small incline and then via water to then through the woods. Absolutely lovely soft and nice trails.

A lot of overtaking and being overtaken as the categories started in mass start and we were in 4th wave. Laferra loved the mass start and all the dogs around. We worked well together finishing 7th overall in our category (out of 42 runners). 9 weeks training with Ben Robinson proves it works, it made me stronger runner in head but also physically! Ben also supported me with preparation prior to the races (nutrition). We loved it so much I have decided we are going for English leg to Cannock chase in two weeks time!

I know Roger would have loved a run and he is very good with his commands, so he ran with our friend’s little girl (6) and loved it. I think she loved it too.

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Amazing time to be out with our dogs and friends. Chilling all days outside. Absolutely lovely atmosphere and zero politics. That what racing should be all about… fun with dogs 🙂 Looking forward to Cannock Chase!

 

 

Camping with your dog

This post will give you all important information that you should know when camping with your dogs. Hopefully, the list can help you to pack more efficiently. Enjoy reading.

Camping area

Check if the camping site that you are planning to go allows dog and what is the charge. Also, a lot of campsites don’t allow your dogs to be off lead, so make sure you keep them on a lead. It is also worth checking if you have more than one dog if the camp site allows you to bring more than one dog. Check facilities around, as for example one of my dogs is anxious around kids, so I wouldn’t want to have a camping pitch nearby playground for kids. It is worth checking if there is anything nearby where you could go and let your dogs off lead, but not going far away from the campsite.

What to pack when going camping?

I will try to list that you can use this as a tick list for when you are planning a trip with your furry babies:

For your dog:

  • Food for dogs including treats: chewy cow ears or tiny high value treats.
  • Water for dogs. You don’t want your dog to have upset belly while you away.
  • Any supplements or meds that your dog eats/needs.
  • Bed and blankets or even a crate if your dog likes to sleep there at home.
  • Toys, I always take few toys, as you can still play with your dogs while they are on a lead (tug game).
  • Towels to dry after a muddy or wet walk.
  • Coat in case it is cold during the night.
  • Extra collars and lead.
  • Poop bags.
  • Stake out or rope.
  • Baby wipes.

For yourself:

  • Tent.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Mattress.
  • Food: breakfast: cereals and milk, or yogurt, lunch: pasta, dinner: BBQ.
  • Stove and gas for it.
  • Pans and wooden spoons for cooking. Dishes such as plate and forks/knife/spoon.
  • Camping chair.
  • Table.
  • Torch with fully charged batteries.
  • Bank battery for your phone.
  • Whistle.
  • Map.
  • Hiking boots.
  • Thermals.
  • In case of competing: your running gear: shoes and clothes, wheels.
  • Gloves and hat.
  • Winter jacket (I know it is only September, but I always have one in my car).
  • Waterproofs.
  • Warm clothes for night.
  • Spray for midges if you are in Scotland.
  • Water.
  • Stuff to clean your dishes.
  • Emergency Card.
  • Know the number for an emergency in the area.
  • The number for the local vet.
  • Everyday clothes.
  • Cosmetics bag 😉
  • Towel.

Road trip

Make sure your dog is well hydrated for the road and during it. You might want to check in advance where are the dog-friendly services that you can stop. Your dog needs to stretch legs just like you. I wouldn’t feed my dogs for a road just in case it would upset their bellies. However a lot of water all the way to the destination. Even if that means I need to stop more often. It is very important.
Have a good music and nice snacks for yourself and enjoy the road trip.

Rules at campsites

  • Exercise your dogs- tired dogs = quiet dogs (no one wants to hear yapping dogs at campsite).
  • Always clean after yourself and your dog.
  • Dogs must be kept on leads.
  • Keep dogs under control.
  • Enjoy.

 

Happy Camping. Watch this space for our post about our camping in Aviemore. Wishing the runners and bikers clean runs and have fun!