About The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors is the UK’s original hiking magazine. We have been inspiring people to explore wild places for more than 40 years.

Through compelling writing, beautifully illustrated stories and eye-catching content, across a range of platforms, we seek to convey the joy of adventure, the thrill of mountainous and wild environments, and the wonder of the natural world. We’re here to help you make the most of your time in the hills and mountains.

As well as stunning photography and top class writing, we are famous for the rigour of our gear reviews. Our reviewers are the country’s most experienced team of testers – including world-renowned backpacking experts and long-distance walker, Chris Townsend – and we always ensure gear is put through its paces in challenging mountainous environments. Our essential skills advice is written by top outdoor instructors, guides and experts.

Our roster of contributors ranges from established outdoor writers and authors to younger, up and coming voices who reflect a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

We are also proud to have a long-running association with The Great Outdoors Challenge – a brilliant and unique backpacking event that takes place every year in the Scottish Highlands.

Meet the Team

Carey Davies, editor

Carey Davies, who was previously a staff member at The Great Outdoors, returned to the magazine in July 2019 as editor. In his former role as hillwalking officer for the British Mountaineering Council he spearheaded the ‘Mend Our Mountains’ campaign, which raised £1 million to repair heavily damaged paths. Carey is also a regular contributor to the Guardian’s Country Diary column. A lifetime walker, he has hiked and backpacked in mountainous landscapes as diverse as New Zealand’s Fiordland, Scotland’s Knoydart, Turkey’s Taurus, California’s Sierra Nevada and the countryside of Palestine. He can also be found running and occasionally climbing (badly).

Chris Townsend, gear editor

Our Gear Editor since 1991, Chris Townsend is one of the world’s most highly respected commentators on outdoor clothing and equipment and is also well-known as an author and long-distance hiker. He is the award-winning author of 22 books, including The Backpackers’ Handbook, the Cicerone guide to walking in Scotland and Out There, a recent collection of essays. Chris was the first person to complete a continuous round of all the Scottish Munros and Tops and has walked across Scotland from coast-to-coast 16 times, 15 of them while participating in the annual Great Outdoors Challenge.

Judy Armstrong, gear reviewer

Our women’s gear specialist, Judy Armstrong has been testing gear for The Great Outdoors since 2005 but has been hillwalking and mountaineering for 30 years. Originally from New Zealand, Judy lives in the North York Moors National Park and also has a base in the French Alps.

Roger Smith, columnist

The founding Editor of The Great Outdoors, Roger Smith has written and edited numerous walking books and has been involved with this magazine throughout its publication, since its launch in 1978. For many years, Roger also coordinated The Great Outdoors Challenge.

Jim Perrin, columnist

Described in The Observer as “the pre-eminent writer on the British landscape”, the writer of our Mountain Portrait series is renowned outdoor, mountaineering and travel writer Jim Perrin, the author of several highly respected outdoor books, including two winners of the Boardman Tasker prize.

In This Month’s Issue

Britain isn’t short of enticing hillwalking challenges – whether it’s ticking off the Munros or summiting the Welsh 3000ers. Perhaps the best challenges, though, are the ones we set ourselves.

The April issue of The Great Outdoors is a tribute to these alternative feats of excellence. In a beautifully illustrated photo essay, Quintin Lake shares his experience of climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon via sea-to-summit routes during a five-year quest to walk the perimeter of mainland Britain. Alex Staniforth describes a non-stop, 5,000 mile walk, run and cycle to the summit of all 100 UK county tops; Emily Woodhouse reflects on a solo climb of 13 Sierra Nevada peaks; and Sally Phillips remembers a 160km trek to bag nine 4000ft summits in the Cairngorms and Nevis range.     

Also in the April issue:

  • Read Jessie Leong’s account of overcoming failure in a bid to secure her Mountain Leader Award.
  • Join David Lintern for a scrambly Assynt ridge traverse.
  • Travel to Corsica with Kristen Thue for thrills and spills on the GR20.
  • Learn how to distinguish between the confusing array of backpacking tent types with Chris Townsend.

ALSO: Tips on how to scramble Skye’s Dubh Ridge, top 10 walks in northern Snowdonia, Chris Townsend reviews the latest outdoor gear and compares winter eyewear, Lucy Wallace puts head torches to the test, 5 varied walking routes across the country… and lots more.


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