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Selected Trips

    Wilderness Guides

    We are not currently recruiting for Guides in Scotland. We will hopefully re-open for applications later in 2024. Please look through the Careers page for more information about the process.

    Please get in touch with us if you would like further information.

    Leading the Way

    Would you like to join the Wilderness Scotland guiding team? Do you currently guide in the outdoors and have a passion for outstanding service and hospitality with a love of adventure?

    If the answer to these questions is a YES then keep on reading.

    The Wilderness Guide plays a pivotal role in the company, ensuring that our clients experience outstanding adventures throughout Scotland and northern England.

    What We’re Looking For

    Wilderness Scotland is always keen to hear from guides who can demonstrate great knowledge and passion for Scotland and/or northern England. Our guiding team have all been active in the outdoors in Scotland and or northern England for many years. Some of them hold multiple NGB qualifications while others specialise in a single activity. However, we view paper qualifications as only the first step towards becoming a Wilderness Scotland guide.

    More important is the ability to demonstrate great familiarity with many areas of Scotland and/or northern England. Knowledge of Scottish/English history, culture, environment, geology and geography is also important to us. Of course, we aim to provide our clients with the best possible experience, so our guides must take pride in their work and have a natural flair for customer care and hospitality.

    Such high standards mean that we are unable to offer work to instructors who have not worked in Scotland or northern England before or who have just graduated with an adventure tourism degree.

    We have grown considerably over the years and with a growing amount of trips requiring guides each season we are now looking for guides to commit to guiding on a minimum of 4 weeks per season. We would love you to work more than this and if this is of interest to you we can work together to become a Core Guide (8+ weeks). There are benefits to becoming a Core Guide that can be discussed at the interview stage.

    As much as this will give you a good number of weeks with us it also will help in feeling more part of the team here. It is really important to us for everyone involved in Wilderness Scotland to feel part of being one team; sweeping the floor and sweating the small stuff together to provide amazing experiences.

    If, however, you have the knowledge, character and experience to work for Wilderness Scotland, we would love to hear from you and can offer you an excellent wage, good working conditions and the opportunity to lead superb trips in some of the most beautiful wilderness regions of Scotland and northern England.

    While we have a lot of fun at Wilderness Scotland, our team is 100% focused on delivering 5 Star world-class client experiences. As such, the successful guide will bring a professional and high-energy approach with an unwavering focus in all aspects of the client travel experience.

    What You Can Expect

    Wilderness Scotland is based from an incredible location in Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park. We offer a special combination of interesting work, career opportunities and supportive culture in which to thrive as a freelance guide. We have steadily grown over the years and plan to continue this growth path, which in turn, will offer a wide range of guiding opportunities, from those that are activity-focused to those which take on more of a cultural or family focus.

    Wilderness Scotland is a company whose aim is to break new ground and set the worldwide standard for what adventure travel should be. We commit with a passion to providing our customers with the most inspiring experiences of their lives, ensuring our experiences are delivered sustainability, promoting the value of wild places, setting new standards for tourism experiences and creating a rewarding, meaningful and truly fun place to work

    Being a guide for Wilderness Scotland is more than just another freelance job. It means being part of a dynamic team that are always seeking new ways in which we can improve with guide feedback highly valued and acted upon. The successful guide will thrive in this fast-paced environment and within the wider Wilderness team but will be encouraged to bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the role and the company as a whole.

    How to Apply

    Please send a CV detailing relevant NGB qualifications, work experience and a summary of areas of Scotland and/or northern England where you have worked as a guide. Please note that we get many applications for guiding work and if your application does not cover the above, it will not be considered or responded to.
    Please also include a 1 page cover letter and send it together with your CV to [email protected]. The cover letter should detail the following:

    1. Why you wish to work for Wilderness Scotland in a guiding capacity
    2. What motivates you to guide in Scotland and/or England
    3. Your interpretation of what is meant by outstanding customer care and hospitality when guiding on week-long adventure holidays

    To informally discuss guiding with us, please call 01479 420 040 and ask to speak to Julian.
    If you wish to join us as a guide then you will be required to progress through our in-depth guide selection process detailed below. Our aim is to take on guides who are looking to work with us for many years to come and hence this should be your intention if you are keen to join our guiding team.

    Guide Selection Process

    We believe our guide selection process offers a robust and transparent approach to guide recruitment, selection and subsequent work allocation. A fundamental principle of the approach is that it’s a two-way process; offering the potential guide the opportunity to learn as much about Wilderness as Wilderness learns about them.

    If you are keen to work for Wilderness Scotland then please consider the following steps before applying.  All applications should be sent to [email protected] in the first instance and include a cover letter highlighting why you wish to work for us and what sets you apart from all other potential guides who are keen to work with us.

    Application Process

    Stage 1 – Application Read More

    The potential guide applies either through a referral from an existing guide or responding to website/other promotion.

    Stage 2 – Interview Read More

    The potential guide meets with a senior member of the Operations team for a formal 1.5 hour interview. This follows a pro-forma with set questions. This interview helps clarify and determine if the candidate should be invited to guide selection and whether they wish to attend.

    Stage 3 – Guide Selection Event Read More

    Twice a year Wilderness Scotland hosts a 2-day guide selection event. It is emphasised that selection is a two-way process as outlined above. At any point, a potential guide should feel free to leave the process if they don’t think guiding with Wilderness is for them. Likewise, please don’t be offended if we don’t think you are the right fit for Wilderness Scotland.

    We will spend the whole selection event together – inclusive of lunch and dinner on the first day and breakfast and lunch on the second day – with both days being spent largely outside. After a brief introduction from the office team on Day 1 we will split into groups and head out following an itinerary we use on one of our live trips.

    This will be a foot-based day but will not be in technical or in difficult terrain. In situations where applicants span different disciplines, part of the 2 days may be spent out on bikes etc. with the relevant applicants.

    You will not be leading all day each day but every applicant will take the lead at times throughout the 2 days.  The group will be made up of members of the Wilderness Scotland office team, some of the guides on selection and facilitated by a senior guide.

    Hospitality will be as much a part of the two days as guiding the activity. You will be expected (with your fellow groups) to look after your assigned group when at the hotel including hosting dinner on the evening of day 1.

    We will discuss all aspects of what is involved in guiding for Wilderness Scotland throughout the two days but for the most part, you will be leading both individually and with fellow guide applicants throughout.

    At the end of day 2, each guide candidate will have a review with the WS team and will receive recommendations on the next steps. These would likely be summarised as follows:

    • The potential guide is ace and could go out with a group asap.
    • The potential guide would really benefit from working alongside a senior guide for at least one or more trips to learn more about WS and guiding.
    • The potential guide is not quite the right fit for us and we will not be taking the application further.
    Stage 4 – Guide Induction Day Read More

    This one-day event will take place in the Spring and will provide a more in-depth understanding of Wilderness Scotland and your role as a guide with us. The morning will involve providing an orientation to the company and guiding in general. The day will then be structured so that as well as meeting the team you will learn about the processes and procedures we require guides to follow pre, during and post trips. The aim is for each guide on leaving this one day to feel much more comfortable with guiding for Wilderness Scotland and the requirements before heading out on a guided trip.

    Stage 5 – Guide Allocations Read More

    The hard work in getting through recruitment is finished and we can now look to allocate you onto trips!

    Trip availability for the initial season following recruitment is unknown and the offer of work following these steps does very much depend upon the volume of work available and availability of guides, hence it is not guaranteed.  Our existing core guiding team will be given priority, however, we are in this for the long game and hopefully, you are too!

    Job Description

    Whilst the details below do not cover every element of the freelance Wilderness Guide role, they do provide a general overview of what you can expect.

    Seasonality Read More

    April – October is the main season during which we run trips in Scotland and northern England with the majority of trips taking apace from May-September. Outside of this time, we have very limited guiding work available.

    Location Read More

    Scotland – all areas, England – predominantly north, including the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors.

    Expectations Read More

    Wilderness Scotland guides are at the heart of the business. The success of anyone trip depends upon many people, arguably none more so than the commitment and performance of the guide. We’re dedicated to achieving greater recognition for the guiding community – as a profession that is respected by our clients and the wider tourism industry. This recognition starts with doing the highest quality job on each and every trip – be that the first outing of the season or the last when you may well be running on empty. We expect our guides to be dedicated professionals and committed to the relentless pursuit of amazing client experiences. In return, we strive to offer working conditions that lead the way for the adventure travel industry.

    Many of the team who work full-time in the office have worked as guides and continue to do so. We are therefore aware of all of the issues that relate to the guiding role and we continue to make every effort to ensure that robust and thorough procedures are in place.

    We do ask that guides joining the team offer a minimum of 4 weeks every season to Wilderness Scotland. This can be made up of single & multi-days rather than always week long or longer length trips

    Guiding Roles & Responsibilities Read More

    The role and responsibilities of a Wilderness guide are as follows:

    To represent all aspects of Wilderness Scotland’s operation in the field. This requires guides to:
    1. Embody the Wilderness Values of Inspiration, Professionalism, Sustainability and Innovation.
    2. Be totally focused on delivering amazing customer experiences and embracing the concept of sustainable tourism.
    3. Foster strong relationships with our partner network of hotels, transport, activity providers, other services and the rural communities where we work.
    4. Develop familiarisation with the products and services of Wilderness Scotland and Wilderness Ireland.
    5. Act as proud ambassadors for their country and the adventure travel industry.
    To provide clients of Wilderness Scotland and our partners with a professional, inspiring, informative and entertaining outdoor experience. This requires guides to:
    1. Be professional at all times, in appearance, behaviour and conduct.
    2. Be open, honest and approachable with all clients.
    3. Be flexible and responsive and realise that no one trip is the same.
    4. Undertake to develop knowledge and skills beyond technical capability.
    5. To be conversant with the content of the Guide Manual plus all the resources provided for the successful running of a trip.
    To deliver to clients an adventurous yet safe outdoor experience, having regard to Health and Safety and Risk Assessment procedures. This requires guides to:
    1. To be fully conversant with all of the Standard Operating Procedures contained in the Guide Manual.
    2. Be familiar with the Risk Assessments for the relevant activities and be confident in their dynamic application in the field.
    3. Carry out the necessary equipment and safety checks as required by the activity.
    4. Obtain relevant weather forecasts & other meteorological information on a daily basis.
    5. To follow the emergency procedures and incident reporting procedures in this manual whenever required.
    To be committed to the on-going maintenance and improvement of standards in all respects. This requires guides to:
    1. Provide trip and client feedback by completing a Trip Report immediately after every trip.
    2.  Make a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development, including attending Training Events where requested to do so.
    3. Provide the office with photocopies of all qualifications in an electronic form relevant to guiding with Wilderness Scotland and Wilderness Ireland.
    4. Ensure that any renewable qualifications are up to date e.g. First Aid. 4
    5. Hold appropriate public liability insurance to protect against any claim not covered by Wilderness Scotland’s or Wilderness Ireland’s insurance policies.
    Skills, Knowledge & Experience Read More
    • Minimum of 2 years relevant guiding experience within Scotland/England.
    • Detailed knowledge of Scotland/England and the travel and tourism industry, ideally possessing a good understanding of the adventure travel sector.
    • Experience in dealing with all parts of the tourism supply chain including accommodation, transport and other service providers.
    • Good ITC skills with experience of cloud applications and Google Apps.
    • Good knowledge of Scotland and England where Wilderness Scotland operates
    Core Competencies Read More
    • Highly developed inter-personal skills, awareness and emotional intelligence with an ability to develop and sustain business relationships.
    • A natural collaborator who enjoys working in teams with a diverse range of individuals.
    • A strong and clear commitment to customer service excellence and “extra mile” delivery.
    • Excellent attention to detail, even when faced with multiple tasks.
    • A genuine interest and passion for Scotland/England, wild places and adventure.
    Reporting To Read More

    Operations Managers & Guide Coordinator

    Our holidays reviewed
    in your own words

    From the very first interaction, Wilderness Scotland has been top notch — this trip was my first experience with a guided hike and I’m ready to do it again and again and again; this may have been my favorite holiday ever!

    Stephanie Lytle
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 30/09/2018

    Rated 4.89 out of 5 based on 6,786 reviews

    Read More Reviews

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