After last Wednesday’s plod along the Lancashire Trail I sadly had to leave the others to enjoy their fish and chips at Kelbrook Fishery and shoot up to Kendal for the first ‘TGO Awards’ ceremony.
I’d been asked by Heather and Eddie, who run the excellent Bridge of Gaur Guest House, to represent them as they had been shortlisted for an award in the ‘Accommodation provider of the year’ category.
Others shortlisted ranged from campsites to major organisations such as HF Holidays. As a small B&B in the middle of nowhere with just four rooms on offer, the shortlisting alone was an honour for the Bridge of Gaur Guest House. I’ve stayed there on four occasions since they opened a couple of years ago, and Sue and I have witnessed Eddie and Heather’s exceptional hospitality, ranging from Eddie patrolling the ‘street’ looking for an overdue guest, to his boiling up a stag’s head to remove the maggots before boxing it and posting it home to its owner who was in the middle of a walk across Scotland. That same night a couple of exhausted oriental cyclists turned up after 10pm and were accommodated somehow albeit the guest house was already full. They go ‘the extra mile’ in the true spirit of ‘The Great Outdoors’ and were most worthy of the shortlisting.
Try to visit them sometime – go north to Pitlochry and turn left – there are numerous excellent walks in the area.
The award ceremony was very well attended and I must have enjoyed a good night as we still seemed to be going strong when evicted from the wine bar venue at midnight!
I won’t spend a paragraph name-dropping the various celebrities encountered, but it was good to chat to Andy Howell and various of his ‘buddies’ and to see Carey, Assistant Editor at TGO Magazine, with whom we had such an enjoyable trip to Turkey last year.
Terry Abrahams has written about and photographed the evening here, should anyone want to see some famous faces.
Here’s TGO Magazine’s take on the night, and a list of winners:
On Wednesday night the first inaugural TGO Awards in association with Outdry was held in Kendal. Outdoor industry professionals and personalities turned up in volumes to support the event, which commends brands and service providers who make hillwalkers’ time on the hills safe, fun and comfortable.
TGO had to collate over 18,000 votes for the reader voted categories and the products in the panel judged categories endured long debate from the expert judges including TGO’s own gear expert Chris Townsend, acting TGO editor Daniel Neilson, Andrew Denton of Outdoor Industries Association and renowned blogger Andy Howell.
The winners are as follows and in exceptional circumstances, some brands receive a highly commended award.
Independent retailer of the year- Rathbones, Keswick
Chain retailer of the year- Cotswold Outdoor
Online retailer of the year- www.Alpkit.com
Accommodation provider of the year- Wasdale Head National Trust Campsite
Pub or restaurant of the year- Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale
Environmental or access initiative of the year- Country Guardian anti-windfarm campaign
Outdoor book of the year- The Backpacker's Handbook by Chris Townsend (Ragged Mountain Press)
Outdoor personality of the year- Bear Grylls, Chief of scouts
Clothing product of the year- Rab Stretch Neo Jacket, Highly Commended- Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket and Marmot Stretchman Jacket
Footwear product of the year- Salomon Fellcross, Highly Commended- Mizuno Wave Harrier
Camping product of the year- MLD Trailstar, Highly Commended- Hydro-Photon Steripen and Rab Infinity 500 Sleeping Bag
Innovation of the year- Routebuddy, Highly Commended- Polartec Neoshell and Augmentra Viewranger app
Overall comment on the ceremony was resoundingly positive. Georgia Walters, organiser of the event said, “the first TGO Awards has gone better then we could ever have hoped, turn out has been fantastic and we’d like to thank everyone that has travelled the distance to make tonight a success.”
So, Eddie and Heather, and all the others shortlisted in their category, were beaten by a campsite!
Camping enthusiasts may favour the lawn, but B&B connoisseurs will enjoy the comfortable renovated rooms inside (and the porch has been finished since this photo was taken in May 2012).
Thanks go to Eddie and Heather for asking me to represent them on such a pleasurable evening.