The Great Outdoors Reader Awards


For information about previous winners, click here.

Here are the shortlists for this year’s Reader Awards. Voting is now closed. We had a fantastic response, with over 12,000 votes – thanks to all who took part! The winners will be announced soon..

Walkers’ pub of the year

Your favourite place for a post-walk pint or quality pub grub.

Walkers’ cafe or restaurant of the year

Anywhere with sit-down dining, from chippies upwards.

Hostel or bunkhouse of the year

Casual accommodation catering for muddy boots.

Campsite of the year

Celebrate excellent locations, friendly staff and great facilities.

Walkers’ app of the year

Anything you use on your mobile device to aid your outdoor adventures.

Outdoor personality of the year

Who has inspired you in 2020 – and who deserves to be recognised? This could be a figurehead with a longstanding commitment to the outdoors or anyone who’s achieved something extraordinary this year.

Outdoor book of the year

Guidebooks, memoirs, photographic books, and even outdoor-oriented novels are all valid.

Campaign or campaigner of the year

Those who stand up, speak out and act on the issues that matter to walkers, from conservation champions to access heroes.

Independent retailer of the year

Retailers who operate independently, with five or fewer stores.

Chain retailer of the year

Outdoor retailers with six or more stores.

Online retailer of the year

Your favourite places to buy gear, maps and books online.

Outdoor clothing or equipment brand of the year

Gear brands with consistently high-quality, good-value kit or with commendable customer service.

The extra mile award

Recognising individuals or groups who go beyond the call of duty to make a difference – from employees who have provided exceptional customer service to volunteers who contribute their time for the benefit of the countryside and other walkers.

  • Captain Sir Thomas Moore: “For showing everyone in the country that lockdown is not the end of the world. By showing how easy it is to get outside and enjoy some simple exercise, he also raised millions for the NHS charities.”
  • Community Rights of Way Service, Calderdale: “A group of 25 dedicated volunteers who maintain paths and bridleways in Calderdale, in the beautiful South Pennines. Local government cutbacks mean the authorities haven’t the resources to maintain paths, stiles, and gates, but these volunteers do the work themselves in conjunction with the authorities. Some are ex-full-time countryside service staff, who love their work so much they now do it as a labour of love.”
  • Dr Catherine Flitcroft: “Cath is the BMC’s access and conservation officer for policy. She is little known by hillwalkers and climbers, even many BMC members, but works with many other outdoor recreational bodies to champion the interests of hillwalkers and mountaineers, lobbying government and other bodies in our interests.”
  • Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team: “All of Britain’s Mountain Rescue teams deserve this award, especially during this year, when the risks of the pandemic add another dimension of personal sacrifice on top of what they do already. But because the Llanberis team – with Snowdon on the doorstep – are Britain’s busiest, recording over 200 incidents in 2019, I have nominated them.”
  • Paul Howlett, YHA: “Every year he challenges himself to do bonkers fundraising missions. Currently he is preparing to complete the Three Peaks in aid of Blackpool Carers Centre. Paul being Paul he can’t just leave it at that; he is doing it with Big Ted (a gigantic stuffed bear) strapped to his back. At the start of lockdown Paul cycled 29,030 feet (the equivalent of mount Everest) in fancy dress and raised a fantastic £1160 for Blackpool Carers Centre.”
  • Rory Southworth: “Rory got people involved in a series of outdoor-inspired lockdown challenges. In addition to never-ending outdoor challenges and inspiration, he is shining a light on people from ethnic minorities doing good things outdoors.”
  • Scotland’s Countryside Rangers: “Your typical Countryside Ranger does it all with a smile, despite the growing pressures on them to provide an excellent service while a lack of appreciation from higher powers is shown time and time again through Ranger job losses and drastic cuts – all in a time when, more than ever before, more Rangers are needed!”
  • Summitfit: “For their work supporting people with mental health issues to access the outdoors for walking and development of mindfulness skills.”
  • Tom Richardson, part time in Outside shop, Hathersage: “Tom has so much knowledge to offer based on his years of experience. He leads expeditions to the high mountains, so can advise on that aspect, but he’s approachable and happy to chat about your own adventures and the best kit to buy for that. So many times, I’ve gone into the shop after researching products to talk about a specific item and he’s come up with alternatives that may work better or cost me less. His advice is always welcome. Despite all his incredible achievements and experiences in the mountains, he’s one of the most friendly and humble people you could wish to meet. Every outdoor shop should have a Tom!”