The Forest of Dean; with Ruffwear

Ruffwear have just launched their latest products in their AW19 campaign. The launch is based around the theme ‘The Road Less Travelled’, where they’re encouraging as many people as possible to explore new outdoor experiences with their dog, wherever or whatever that may be. It could be a new area of the UK you’ve never discovered before but always wanted to go, or a new trail close to where you live but you’ve never got round to exploring.

Who needs an excuse to find a new dog walk or have a day out? We gladly accepted this task and thought we’d share it with you in case you were looking for a walk whilst in the area.

Where we live in the Cotswolds we are surrounded by beautiful woodland and fields, we don’t need to go far to find an amazing dog walk. One thing we don’t have however is a forest [Or the beach]. We live just over an hour from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, so it’s great for a long walk or a day trip, yet I have never been with the dogs?


We went to Mallards Pike lake, I’ve got so many friends who regularly visit with their dogs, as well as @super.cooper.of.the.cotswolds and @mr_nelson_cockerspaniel on Instagram, it was about time we went to see what it is really like. It is in the depth of the woods, easy to find with a satnav, although you might not have any signal when you get there like me, so driving home I took many wrong turnings. It’s maintained by the Forestry Commission so there is a pay and display car park, I imagine it’s a popular spot at weekends but during the week we didn’t see too many people or picnics. There’s toilets and a cafe on site so you can have a break to split up your journey.


The place itself is a beautiful lake surrounded by forest. It’s actually right next to Go Ape, so you could even send some family or friends there to have a go whilst you watch or walk the dogs [I’m scared of heights so I’d definitely be walking the dogs]. There’s a map with all the possible routes you can take and the length of time needed for each one. Around the lake is the shortest which is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, then different length walks through the forest. There are also longer trails of 3k & 5k for runners, perfect if you’re into Canicross.


I just love the colours within the trees, especially this time of year with the golden ferns against fallen tree trunks. I was in Dog photography heaven, it was also Squirrel central so Wilma kept herself very occupied. The lake itself was dog friendly, [Woody doesn’t need telling twice] as soon as I let him off lead he was straight in!


I will definitely be going back, not only was there so much to photograph but it was a brilliant walk for the dogs & they certainly enjoyed themselves. By finding a new outdoor experience we have found what will now be a regular walking spot of ours.

What were the dogs wearing?

To start off the walk they are both wearing Ruffwear harnesses. Woody is wearing the Front Range harness, both dogs have this style and I absolutely love it. It’s comfortable yet practical for him to run 100mph through the mud, and is easy for him to swim whilst wearing it.


Wilma is wearing Ruffwear’s brand new Flagline harness. Similar in a way to their Webmaster harness with the extra strap around their waist which makes it secure but also harder for dogs to wriggle out of if you have an escape artist. There is more of a strip along their stomach which I believe is more supportive and comfortable than just the thin straps on the webmaster. It also has 3 lead attachment points, the front on the chest, then two on the back so you can choose where suits your dog best.


The handle on the back helps to lift them over fallen trees or through stiles that they can’t quite manage. But the other main attraction is how thin and lightweight it is. When they’re not wearing it you can easily fold it up and pop it in your pocket or bag. If I was to imagine being the dog wearing it I think it would be so much easier running around without a bulky harness weighing you down, which this does extremely well.


By the end of the walk the dogs are often a little wet, if that’s not from swimming it’s usually just from the moisture of the grass. The fleece lining of Woody’s Overcoat Fuse coat was great for that extra warmth, particularly if you’re on a long hike and want to keep them nice and warm so they can happily keep going. The waterproof outer layer means it also keeps them dry from the rain.


But the main attraction for me is the in built harness. Coats on my dogs often slide around, this one firmly stayed in place. If they’re wearing a coat it can be hard to walk them on a collar and lead, or if it has a hole for a lead to go through to a harness it’s not really lined up correctly. However this has an in built harness, so your dog has maximum comfort of wearing a coat but you have the security of attaching  a lead without the coat getting in the way. The Y shape design of the coat has both the chest and back lead attachment points like their other harnesses. On the side of the coat there is also a little pocket which is handy for an emergency poo bag or two.


As always the Ruffwear products are so well fitting and true to size. Woody wears a Small and Wilma an XS. I love their new product range, perfect for my outdoor active spaniels, and I hope you guys love it too – let me know what you think!


If you’re interested to see what else we have tried out from Ruffwear, you can read that blog post here.

Thanks for reading,

Megan, Woody & Wilma xx


These products were gifted to us from Ruffwear. I wouldn’t share anything that I don’t 100% love and recommend.


  1. Teagan says:

    Ooh I do love Ruffwear, I have lots of their stuff (but don’t tell dad, we’ve had it all for ages of course). My favourite thing about it is being able to wear a size Small – with all this rain we’ve had lately mum picked me up a Regatta raincoat in a size LARGE… pfft, me? large? I think not. But there you go, that’s why I prefer Ruffwear. Oh and they also have such great colours which is great for us fashion conscious pups.
    The Overcoat Fuse coat looks rather lovely… Christmas is nearly here isn’t it… I shall go and see what colours it comes in…


    1. Yes you’re totally right! With some brands an Xl doesn’t even fit Woody, but here he is a small and they cater for all sizes!

      I think it’s a perfect Christmas present.

      Liked by 1 person

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