19 February 2014 by Walk Magazine
One thing we really enjoy at Walk magazine is hearing from our loyal readers - ‘you lot’ - as often as you feel inspired to get in touch.
Thanks to the wonders of social media, we can chat to you quite easily from day to day. It’s easy for us to share thoughts, tips and beautiful images on Twitter, not to mention all the fantastic photographs of your own walks you’re generous enough to share with us on Flickr.
Sometimes, though, isn’t it nice to make real contact? Not just to write or receive a handwritten letter (much as we love these glorious things), or to hear someone’s voice on the phone, but to actually meet someone face to face.
Last week at our Walk Reader Awards we had the opportunity to do just that.
Thousands of you made the effort to vote for your favourite walking-related kit, brands, retailers and routes, so thank you for that.
We’d also like to give a special thank you to everyone who made it to the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show and was able to watch the awards event, hosted by Ramblers vice-president Janet Street-Porter.
All of our winners are notable, but we thought we’d take the opportunity to give you some more detail on a number of our impressive Gold Award winners.
for example, who walked off with an astonishing four Gold Awards this year. The company was set up by Nick Brown - who also created NikWax which also won a Gold Award - in the 1980s, and has been at the forefront of developments in new fabrics ever since, even though Brown initially failed to interest the bigger manufacturers in his concept.
As well as having really strong ethical production credentials, all Páramo products come with a lifetime guarantee.
This year Páramo won Gold Awards for Best walking trousers, Best mid layer, Best waterproof jacket and Best ethical walking brand, as well as a Silver and a Bronze for Best base layer and Walking brand!
The Californian brand Osprey took the top award in the Best rucksack category. Like most walking brands, it started small, back in 1974, and describes its early days as “born at the seat of a single sewing machine with a head full of ideas and a desire to design & build innovative backpacks to the highest standards.”
This year Osprey celebrates 40 years in business and has launched Tempest, a range specifically for women.
Bridgedale is another brand widely trusted by Walk readers, and the sock designers and manufacturers have won the Gold Award for Best sock.
The company is based in Newtownards near Belfast, where a sock-knitting factory has existed since World War One. Some of the existing team have been working in the factory for over 40 years!
The Bridgedale range was launched in the 1980s with three colours, and today there are over 500 products sold in over 40 countries.
Please have a look over on our Reader Awards page for the full list of winners.
Magazine of the Ramblers