Volunteer Walk Leaders

Our leaders are an essential part of our guests’ holidays. They are resident during the holiday they lead and spend time with our guests throughout. Our Walking Leaders' responsibilities include:

Guiding guests on full day walks • Sharing their passion and knowledge of walking and the countryside • Working with the country house teams to facilitate sociable after dinner activities

What we're looking for in a volunteer leader:

  • An experienced walker having done around 20+ UK lowland, moorland or mountain walks in the last five years
  • Competent in the use of a map and compass
  • Able to lead a walk with out having walked it before
  • Enthusiasm and knowledge of the countryside and a willingness to pass this on
  • Great interpersonal and communication skills
  • Sociable, diplomatic and confident personality
  • A minimum commitment of three weeks every two years

Our Volunteer leaders gain:

  • Freedom to do more of what they love
  • Meeting like-minded people and getting satisfaction from helping them to achieve their walking goals
  • Exploring new places with ongoing travel opportunities
  • Keeping fit and active
  • Great Full Board accommodation, a weekly allowance and travel expenses
  • Ongoing support and training opportunities
  • Help with - and a contribution to - the cost of gaining a First Aid certificate

Once you've joined the team, opportunities can arise to lead on different types of holiday and even across Europe and Worldwide if that appeals.

Leading in the UK

We’re currently looking for leaders for our lowland, moorland and mountain walks across the UK. This role needs people who are great communicators and able to work closely and constructively with other leaders, as well as the HF country house teams. 

Once you've joined the team, opportunities can arise to lead on different types of holidays and even across Europe and Worldwide if that appeals. 

Leading overseas

This is a demanding role that requires volunteers to take leadership to a whole new level. You'll be supporting guests in a European county which is likely to have unfamiliar walks, resorts and issues to tackle. You will need to work more independently and closer with your co-leader. 

As well as ticking off all of the UK leader requirements, our overseas leaders will need:

  • Experience of a minimum of 10 walks, including navigation, across Europe
  • Language skills
  • Attend an Abroad Leader Training & Assessment Course

I love leading in Europe, varied landscapes, culture and for me the wildlife and plants are a huge bonus
- Sally Smith -
I enjoy travelling and learning about different cultures and I wanted to share my experience with others
- Karen McGuinness -

How to apply

There are three stages to the selection process

Stage 2

Rachel Toyn, our Volunteer Leader Recruitment Co-ordinator will telephone you at your convenience, to talk through the requirements of the role and answer any questions you may have

Stage 3

If your application is accepted, the next stage is attendance on a 3-night residential assessment course at one of our country houses, again at your convenience.

Stage 3

What to expect on the course

On the course, we'll be looking at your navigation and group leadership skills as well as your all-round ability to ensure our guests have an enjoyable holiday.

You'll be matched up with one or two other potential leaders and will be assigned an assessor. Our assessors are all experienced leaders who have been through the assessment process themselves – so they’ll know exactly what it’s like for you and will do their best to put you at ease!

Indoor and outdoor sessions will cover a range of topics from giving walk briefings to discussing 'what if...' scenarios to navigating and leading a small group around unknown terrain. We will also introduce you to the concept of evening activities, an interesting and entertaining way to meet people and develop new friendships.

During the assessment course, we procide free Full Board accommodation and any transport used. You will need to cover the cost of your travel to the assessment.

Terrain requirements

We are looking for leaders for each of the three types of terrain that we offer walks on, depending on the location of the Country House. Please view the requirements below to help you decide which level is right for you.

Lowland Assessments

For leading in lowland and coastal areas

You will be assessed on your ability to navigate efficiently in urban, agricultural and low level wooded or open terrain. 

Moorland Assessments

For leading in moorland and lower level mountain areas.

In addition to the skills required for lowland leading, you will be assessed on your ability to navigate efficiently in moorland and upland terrain with limited linear features to assist navigation.

Mountain Assessments

For leading in higher mountain terrain.

In addition to the skills required for moorland navigation, you will be assessed on your ability to navigate efficiently in mountain terrain which is open, uncultivated and remote (more than half an hour’s travelling time from a road or refuge). 

Assessment Dates

For the latest dates, please email our team: leaderoperations@hfholidays.co.uk

Walk Leader Apprentice

Like to join us on a four month Walk Leader Apprenticeship?

In recent years HF Holidays have offered Walking Leader Apprenticeships and enabled several walking enthusiasts to join us for a breathtaking summer leading our guests on walks from our Country Houses. It's a journey that takes them all over the UK and enables our Apprentices to achieve either a Summer Mountain Leader Award or a Hill & Moorland Leader Award.

Travelling to some of the most scenic parts of Britain, a journey that could take you anywhere from the Lake District to the Peak District or the Isle of Wight. As a volunteer, you'll be hosted at our Country Houses and work within teams of other volunteer walk leaders. You'll be supported with accommodation, meals, travel expenses and comprehensive training to enable you to improve your skills and gain qualifications.

The apprenticeships run between May and the end of October. You'll need to be competent in leading and navigating in moorland or mountain areas.

If you'd like more information please call Rachel Toyn, our Volunteer Leader Recruitment Co-ordinator on 01768 214519.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the assessment process, or about becoming a Volunteer Walk Leader, please don't hesitate to email or call Rachel on 01768 21519