It’s that time of year again! The Great Outdoors Awards 2020 launch this week. Now’s your chance to get involved.
Update: nominations are now closed.

Established in 2012, The Great Outdoors Awards have a simple purpose: to recognise the very best in the British outdoor world. People, places, brands, organisations, and more – our awards help you, the British hillwalking public, to give something back to those that help us all get the most out of our time in the hills.

Our Reader Awards are unique to the UK in being 100 per cent public-nominated and public-voted. We set the categories, but you choose the winners.

2020 has been a strange year, but it’s also been one that has helped to remind us all just how precious time spent outside can be. During the national lockdown, many of us were unable to access the mountains. Stories, photos and videos of past adventures kept us going. Now, with COVID-19 resurgent in many parts of the country, businesses are struggling – including your favourite mountain pubs, hostels, friendly independent gear shops, and walking or climbing instructors. Our Reader Awards are about giving something back, recognising those who truly deserve to be recognised. The power to do that is in your hands.

So, while the format of our Awards has not changed, we think that this year they are extra special. We hope that you’ll take the opportunity to nominate the people, places and organisations that really deserve it – maybe the overlooked, the new and emerging voices, those who have never been shortlisted before. To help give everyone a chance, this year we’re asking that you only nominate any given person, place or organisation in a single category, not several.

Readers of the magazine and members of the public can nominate in any or all of the categories listed below, and nominations are open now. To learn about previous winners, click here.

Make your nominations online at
Update: nominations are now closed

The Categories

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 to diversity pioneers.

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, other walkers, and outdoor culture at large.

Make your nominations here. Nominations close in one week on the 19th of October, so the best time to make your nomination is now! After the shortlists have been announced, voting will take place online and end on the 9th of November. Winners will be announced in a subsequent issue of The Great Outdoors.

The Great Outdoors Awards Gear of the Year 2020

The Great Outdoors Gear of the Year Awards run concurrently with the Reader Awards.

Our judging panel, which includes the UK’s most experienced gear testers, will be assessing the best new clothing and equipment launched this year, looking for the most innovative products.

Shortlists will be published in November and winners will be announced in a subsequent issue of The Great Outdoors, alongside the winners of the reader awards.

Most of the categories in our Gear of the Year Awards are given to specific products or initiatives, but this year we will be introducing two new categories to recognise brands which have demonstrated either an overall commitment to sustainability and the environment (Best brand: sustainability) or been particularly innovative in the way they operate (Best brand: innovation.)

Footwear product of the year

Boots, trail shoes, approach shoes, sandals.

Clothing product of the year

From waterproof and windproof jackets to socks – and everything in between.

Equipment product of the year

Rucksacks, walking poles, winter hardware, accessories, and more.

Tech product of the year

GPS devices, smartphones, outdoor watches, and other weird-and-wonderful gadgets.

Camping product of the year

Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats.

Innovation of the year

New breakthroughs in outdoor gear that make a real difference.

Sustainability and ethics award

Specific products or initiatives which have been created using sustainable methods or techniques.

Best brand: sustainability

Awarded to gear brands which which have demonstrated an impressive overall commitment to sustainability, environmental protection or conservation.

Best brand: innovation

Awarded to gear brands which which have been innovative in the way they operate, and have helped to push industry practice forward.

Header image (C) Shutterstock / Evgenii Pnomarev