Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, Covent Garden, London

Ellis Brigham, Covent Garden is our Flagship store; it spans two large floors and stock extensive range of all brands and product lines, with enough space to try out products like running shoes and tents before you buy. Our Covent Garden store is the only place in central London where you can ice climb and demo new kit on the indoor 8 metre Vertical Chill ice climbing wall. The store is located near the top of Southampton Street, just beside the famous Covent Garden Piazza, nearest Tube stations are Leicester Square and Covent Garden, Waterloo train station is only a 15 minute walk away.

  • Peter Darch - Store Manager

    Climbing Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Peter first tried rock climbing at the age of 15 on a visit to the Plas y Brenin activity centre in Wales, and having enjoyed the experience then went on to join the climbing club at his school in the Manchester suburb of Hyde. As his interest in the sport grew, Peter made good use of a local quarry within cycling distance of home, before moving on to more adventurous trips across the UK.

    More recently, he’s climbed routes of varying difficulty in the French and Swiss mountains, Norway and even Morocco, but when he isn’t ice climbing in the Alps, Peter travels across the UK to find new routes, his most recent discovery being the granite cliffs of Cornwall.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Roaches, Staffordshire. “The Roaches is full of classic climbs, there’s plenty of bouldering in the forest and the more you look the more hidden climbs you come across. See if you can find the bizarre house in the rock face.”

  • Tara O'Rourke - Assistant Manager

    Travel Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Travel expert Tara hails from North Vancouver, so being based in London already gives her a head-start when it comes to travel expertise. As a child, her family would take her on road trips across the USA, and when she finished college, she embarked upon a backpacking trip across Western Europe with her sister.

    With a deeply-rooted thirst for adventure, Tara then undertook a lone trip backpacking across the Middle East. Encompassing Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt, she witnessed every aspect of the region - both the good points and bad - but considers Syria one her favourite places to visit. "The people were just amazing and some of the most friendly I've ever met."

    Since then, she has lived in Ireland, toured Europe and spent time as a resident in Dallas, Texas - a place she would use as a base to roadtrip the American Mid West and Canada. Never one to keep still, she has also toured South America, ranking Southern Bolivia as one the most beautiful in the world, and recently joined the Haglofs Arctic Weekend in Sweden... it's safe to say Tara doesn't leave many stones unturned!

    Tara's next adventure will be 18 days spent visiting Vietnam this summer.

  • Des Rhule

    Running Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    A true running veteran, Des has competed at local, national and international levels. He participated in his first ultramarathon in 2005, tackling the Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc (UTMB). He has gone on to undertake another seven ultramarathons, and considers the 2012 UTMB to be a highlight.

    For all his own achievements, Des loves to help others reach their goals and ambitions, no matter what scale they’re on. In his spare time, he is a race performance trainer for King’s College London, and has helped countless people achieve their targets, making him a fantastic contact for any running advice you might have.


    This year Des will once again be taking the UTMB head-on, will be running The Fellsman ultramarathon in the Yorkshire Dales, and is determined to complete a marathon sub-three hours after his 50th birthday in April - a feat most younger athletes would shy away from!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Alps. "I'd like to run in North America and the Himalayas, but so far my favourite place to run is the European Alps."

  • Richard Searles

    Camping Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Richard was brought up on a farm in rural Buckinghamshire, and has had a love of the English countryside from an early age. He first got in to camping when he took the Duke of Edinburgh award with the scouts, and it has been a passion ever since.

    Previous trips include a six month backpacking and camping holiday across Europe, trekking and camping in Nepal, hiking in Machu Pichu, and this year he spent the month of February on a winter camping trip in Scotland. If you’re new to camping, or you’re a seasoned backpacker and want to share stories and talk about the camping essentials you shouldn’t leave home without, come in and talk to Richard.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Red Squirrel camp site in Glen Coe, Scotland. “This camp site is great because it’s essentially wild camping, but it’s organised and safe and not too commercial. It’s an incredible spot, near a brook, but despite having a good pub not too far away it still remains deserted and beautiful.”

  • Malgosia Skowronska

    Mountaineering Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Five years ago, Malgosia embarked on a trekking expedition in the Nepalese Himalaya, and a year later returned to Kathmandu to challenge herself further and completed a mountaineering course, igniting a passion for the world's highest summits.

    Today, Malogosia has journeyed across much of Asia, mountaineering in remote ranges in Nepal, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. She targets the lesser-known regions as part of Secret Peaks – her independent project to inspire travel to areas that many might otherwise forget or steer clear of.

    Malgosia’s next challenge will be the 'Snow Leopard Award' – the gruelling feat of summiting all five peaks over 7000m in the former Soviet Union.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Afghanistan. "Every expedition has amazing people, but Afghanistan has so much variation in terms of culture. It's challenging getting there – you have to use yaks to move all your equipment, but it just makes the experience even more special."

  • Edward Trott

    Travel Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    It would probably be quicker to tell you which countries Edward hasn't visited than those he has. Looking at his travelogue, I don't think he's been to Nepal - but seeing as that's next on his hitlist I'm not sure it counts.

    Since leaving university way back when, Edward has spent two years exploring Australia and New Zealand, been trekking and mountaineering across South America, completed ski seasons in Austria, spents summers windsurfing in Greece and Turkey and hitchhiked across Iceland.

    Needless to say, he is full of helpful experience and advice for anyone heading on a world-wide adventure, with his next excursion involving a round the world corkscrew across Canada to South East Asia, back to a ski season in Whistler, followed by sailing across the Pacific Ocean before heading for the mountains of Nepal.


    Perhaps his most impressive anecdote is of the time he was crossed the border from Peru to Bolivia: "At the border our coach drove off taking everything we had - our passports, our phones - and we only knew very basic Spanish! We were completely stranded!" Somehow Edward got his kit back, but it stands as testament to his expertise as a traveller that he ever reunited with his possessions!

  • James O'Brien

    Camping Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    James began camping properly 5 years ago. Since then he's taken every opportunity to get out and pitch up around the UK, escaping the bustle of life in the Capital.

    In stark contrast to his daily life in London, he's regular among the mountainous of Snowdonia and the Lake District - places he camps for their scenery and super friendly locals. Asked which piece of kit he never camps without, James turns to the Titanium Spork: "five years of continual use doesn't lie - these things are great!"

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Central Lakes. "My favourite spot is right in the heart of the Lakes. It was where I first began camping as part of a four day route from Ambleside."