TGO Reader Awards 2022
Recognise the people, businesses and organisations you value by voting for them in The Great Outdoors Reader Awards 2022!
The Great Outdoors Reader Awards are the UK’s democratic celebration of the best of outdoor culture.
Eleven years ago, we launched our first annual Reader Awards. They’ve established a reputation as the UK’s biggest democratic celebration of the people, places and businesses that make our outdoor lives better.
Last year, we introduced two new categories – outdoor film or filmmaker of the year, and the Open Outdoors award (for those widening participation and increasing diversity). Both proved to be a huge success, with a new record of 18,300 votes cast in the Reader Awards overall. On top of this duo of new awards, 13 categories have returned again for 2022 including favourites such as pub of the year, campaigner of the year, brand of the year, and many more.
What makes these Reader Awards different – and gives extra kudos to the winners – is that it’s you, the outdoorgoing public, who decide the results. Only your nominees make it onto the shortlist, and only those who win most of your votes walk away with a top accolade. In a slight change from previous years, the nominee with the most votes in each category will receive a Winner award, while the nominees with the second and third most votes will both receive a Commended accolade.
From talented authors and tireless campaigners to charming campsites and cosy pubs, the shortlists in these 15 categories represent the most inspirational personalities, organisations and businesses in the outdoor world.
Ultimately, only three in each category can win, but being shortlisted is an achievement in itself, and we encourage you to take some time to find out about the nominees you may not be familiar with. Links or brief descriptions are provided for each category to help you discover more about them.
Voting closes on December 9
There are two parts to The Great Outdoors Awards. This article announces the shortlist for the Reader Awards, which have been nominated by our readers and the outdoor public at large across 15 categories.
The other part of The Great Outdoors Awards is the Gear of the Year awards, which will now be running twice a year, to cover outdoor equipment made for both the summer and winter ‘seasons’. The first of these awards will be running in the spring of next year and will recognise the best and most innovative outdoor gear to be released in the spring/summer of 2023, as selected by expert judges. The ‘winter’ version of these awards will follow next autumn.
Reader Awards 2022: the shortlist
Walkers’ pub of the year
Your favourite place for a post-walk pint or quality pub grub.
- Aspinall Arms, Whalley
- Clachaig Inn, Glen Coe
- Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater
- The Old Nags Head, Edale
- Old Dungeon Ghyll, Great Langdale
- Spread Eagle, Sawley
- Tan Hill Inn, Ingleton
- The Golden Rule, Ambleside
- The Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge
- The Old Forge, Knoydart
- The Station Inn, Ribblehead
- The Wainwright, Keswick
Walkers’ cafe or restaurant of the year
Anywhere with sit-down dining, from chippies upwards.
- Caffi Gwynant, Nant Gwynant
- Chesters by the River, Skelwith Bridge
- Cobbled Corner Café, Chipping
- Elaine’s Tea Rooms, Feizor
- Fox Tor Café, Princetown
- Pete’s Eats, Llanberis
- Ralia Cafe, Newtonmore
- Real Food Café, Tyndrum
- Siabod Café, Capel Curig
- The Cottage Team Room, Brinscall
- Wilf’s Café, Staveley
Hostel or bunkhouse of the year
Casual accommodation catering for muddy boots.
- Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel, Aviemore
- Elterwater Hostel
- Forest Way Bunkhouse, near Ullapool
- Glen Nevis Youth Hostel (SYHA)
- Loch Ossian Youth Hostel, Fort William
- Ratagan Youth Hostel
- The Rocks at Plas Curig Hostel
- Torridon Youth Hostel (SYHA)
- YHA Borrowdale
- YHA Patterdale
- YHA Helvellyn
Campsite of the year
Celebrate excellent locations, friendly staff and great facilities.
- Gillside Farm, Ullswater
- Glenbrittle Campsite
- Great Langdale Campsite (National Trust)
- Hayfield Campsite
- Red Squirrel Campsite, Glencoe
- Sykeside Camping Park, Brotherswater
- The Quiet Site, Ullswater
- Wasdale Campsite (National Trust)
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 2022?
- Allie Bailey – Ultrarunner and coach who doesn’t take running too seriously while co-hosting the Bad Boy Running Podcast
- Bex Band – The ‘Ordinary Adventurer’ and founder of the UK’s largest women’s adventure community, Love Her Wild
- Chris Townsend – Writer, photographer, backpacker and long-distance walker passionate about nature and wild places
- Haroon Mota – Marathon runner and founder of both Muslim Hikers and the Active Inclusion Network, championing diversity outdoors
- Harrison Ward – Mental health and sobriety advocate, campstove cook and outdoorsman best known as the ‘Fell Foodie’
- Hazel Strachan – Solo walker, packrafter and bivvy enthusiast who has summited all the Munros more than 10 times to date
- James Forrest – Adventurer and hill-bagger who has set multiple fastpacking records since leaving the rat race to climb mountains
- Jenny Tough – Adventurer, author and endurance athlete who runs solo across the world’s toughest mountain ranges
- Lee Craigie – Storyteller, Active Travel ambassador and bike adventurer who is also the Director of The Adventure Syndicate
- Preet Chandi – Polar adventurer breaking boundaries by becoming the first woman of colour to do a solo expedition in Antarctica
- Sarah Leighton – Creator of ‘Fit for Adventure’ who paddleboards, hikes and cycles with a sense of humour outdoors for charity
Outdoor book or writer of the year
Guidebooks, memoirs, novels, photographic books and more.
- ‘Breathless’ by Amy McCulloch
- ‘Crossed Off the Map’ by Shafik Meghji
- ‘Fell Asleep’ by Russ Moorhouse
- ‘On Sacred Ground’ by Andrew Terrill
- ‘Stand Up Paddleboarding in Great Britain’ by Jo Moseley
- ‘The Trespasser’s Companion’ by Nick Hayes
- ‘Twisted Mountains’ by Tim Woods
- ‘We Can’t Run Away From This’ by Damian Hall
Outdoor film or filmmaker of the year
On the big screen or on YouTube, outdoor films help us connect with the great outdoors even when we can’t be there ourselves.
- Bushman and Blue – Wild camper and swimmer hoping to inspire adventure for others with the help of his canine companion
- City Girl in Nature – Changemaker on a mission to engage young people from inner cities with her love for nature and wellbeing
- Frit Tam – Award-winning documentary filmmaker who founded Passion Fruit Pictures and trans creator sharing his journey
- Haze Outdoors – YouTuber documenting their adventures in wild camping, foraging, free diving, hiking and bushcraft around the UK
- Rachel Sarah – Freelance adventure filmmaker with a passion for collaboration and telling underrepresented stories from the outdoors
- Scotland’s Mountains – Munro and Corbett bagger filming his hiking, climbing, mountaineering, and wild camping adventures in Scotland
- On the Adventure Trails – Two adventure-loving Scots making the most of the adventure playground on their doorstep
- Paul Messner – YouTuber documenting his camping trips, backpacking gear and gear reviews from the UK’s great outdoors
- Walk With Wallace – light-hearted, informative real-life adventure films and gear reviews from wild camps in Scotland and beyond
Campaigner of the year
Inspiring campaigns that matter to walkers on access, conservation, and the environment.
- 3 Dads Walking – Walking between the parliaments of the four nations to raise awareness after the deaths of their daughters by suicide
- Charlotte Ditchburn – Public Rights of Way Explorer based in Cumbria and advocating for better access to the outdoors for all
- Chris Packham – Renowned wildlife campaigner and broadcaster dedicated to preserving wild spaces and its inhabitants
- Right to Roam – Campaigning to extend the Countryside & Rights of Way (CRoW) Act to offer millions more access to open space in England
- Tak It Hame – Mountaineering Scotland’s anti-litter campaign encouraging the outdoors community and others reduce litter in our hills
- The Ramblers – Britain’s leading walking charity opening the way for walkers, advocating wellbeing outdoors and remapping forgotten paths
- Trash Free Trails – Protecting trails and wild places from litter and connecting people with nature through purposeful adventure
- Yvon Chouinard – lifelong rock climber and Patagonia founder who donated company ownership to fight climate change
The Open Outdoors award
Recognising individuals or groups who have inspired people to head into the outdoors, widened participation, improved outdoor education, or encouraged diversity.
- Every Body Outdoors – Community fighting for clothing, gear and representation for plus size bodies in the outdoor movement
- KitSquad – UK-based scheme providing second-hand adventure gear to low-income individuals to boost accessibility in the outdoors
- Lindley Educational Trust – Peak District-based outdoor learning centre working with young people to encourage well-being outdoors
- Love Her Wild – Nonprofit, inclusive UK adventure community providing connection, support and funding for outdoor women
- Muslim Hikers – Championing diversity outdoors and inspiring Muslims to join group hikes and experience the benefits of nature
- Nadia Shaikh – Birdwatcher, land justice and open access activist on a mission to decolonise nature conservation with Right To Roam
- Sofa 2 Summit – Mountaineering Scotland’s online guide for beginner hillwalkers bringing the outdoors to those discovering its benefits
- We Go Outside Too – Bringing nature and the benefits of the outdoors to the Black community in Birmingham and the Midlands
- The #WeTwo Foundation – Founded by Phoebe Smith and Dwayne Fields to empower underprivileged young people through life-changing and sustainable adventures
The Extra Mile award
Outstanding voluntary effort for the benefit of the outdoors or charitable causes.
- Alba Stogden – 8-year-old who walks across England to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness in support of people like her dad who suffer from mental health issues
- Angela Hougham – 70-year-old who has completed a 2,500-mile journey around Britain’s coastal towns, raising almost £70,000 for Alzheimer’s UK
- Britain’s Mountain Rescue teams (England, Wales, Scotland, plus Independent Scottish Mountain Rescue) – Volunteers who are on call, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to rescue walkers, climbers, missing children, vulnerable adults and more
- Dave Thomas – Former rugby player diagnosed with neurological and psychological trauma who walked Land’s End to John o’Groats to raise more than £14,000 for Headway
- Jasmine Harrison – Broke the World Record for a ‘full-length’ 900-mile swim of the UK raising money for Sea Shepherd UK and Surfers Against Sewage
- Mountain Bothies Association volunteers – Unpaid work parties maintaining simple shelters in remote country “for the use and benefit of all who love wild and lonely places”
- Nick Gardner – 82-year-old who climbed all the Munros raising £82,000 and counting for Alzheimer’s Scotland after his wife’s diagnosis
- Paul ‘the amputee’ Ellis – Crawled up England, Scotland and Wales’ highest mountains to raise nearly £40,000 at the time of writing and awareness for AmpCampKids
- Sofiia Volovyk – currently walking 600 miles from Swindon to Ben Nevis to raise money for Ukrainian refugees in the UK and those still living with war in Ukraine
Independent retailer of the year
Retailers who operate independently, with five or fewer stores.
- Arran Active (Brodick)
- Cairngorm Mountain Sports (Aviemore)
- Castleberg Sports (Settle)
- Catstycam (Glenridding)
- Craigdon Mountain Sports (three stores in Scotland)
- Crickhowell Adventure
- Keswick Boot Company
- LD Mountain Centre (Newcastle)
- Needle Sports (Keswick)
- Outside (Hathersage)
- The Outdoor Depot (Church Stretton)
- Up and Under (Cardiff)
- Whalley Warm and Dry
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.
- Alpine Trek
- Sport Pursuit
- The Fell Store
- Ultra-light outdoor gear
- Valley and Peak
Outdoor clothing or equipment brand of the year
Gear brands with consistently high-quality, good-value kit or with commendable customer service.
Header image (C) Shutterstock / Diffracting Light