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:
- Regular walker who has completed at least 20 UK walks in the last 5 years in the kind of terrain you want to lead in (lowland, moorland or mountain)
- Competent in the use of a map and compass
- Able to lead a walk without having walked it before
- Enthusiasm and knowledge of the countryside and a willingness to pass this on
- Great interpersonal and communication skills
- Able to work collaboratively with other people e.g. country house teams and the rest of the leader team
- Sociable, diplomatic and confident personality
- A minimum commitment of three weeks every two years
Our Volunteer leaders gain:
- Meeting like-minded people and getting satisfaction from helping them achieve their walking goals
- Exploring new places with ongoing travel opportunities
- Keeping fit and active
- All accommodation, food and transport costs are covered
- You choose where, when and how often you lead
- Ongoing support
- Opportunity to learn new skill such as First Aid
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 in Europe
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 Europe leaders will need:
- Experience of a minimum of 10 walks, including navigation, across Europe
- Language skills
How to apply
There are three stages to the selection process
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 provide free Full Board accommodation and any transport used. You will need to cover the cost of your travel to the assessment.
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.
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.
For leading in moorland and lower level mountain.
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.
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).