Getting started as a walk leader

If you want to share your love of walking for others, becoming a walk leader is a great way to do it

As a walk leader you get to choose exactly where to walk and share your favourite routes with others.  

You’ll grow in confidence and skills with each walk you lead and may find yourself choosing to lead more challenging walks and explore new areas. It’s a great way to connect with both nature and people in your community. 

The Ramblers has over 24,000 walk leaders leading a variety of walks, from 10-minute urban strolls to scrambles up Scotland’s munros.  

Here are some ways you can find out more about what it’s like to lead group walks. We also have some Frequently Asked Questions below to help aspiring walk leaders.  


1. Join an online session 

If you want to know more about leading walks before you commit to the role and the support available from the Ramblers, you can join one of our Getting Started online sessions. These take place regularly throughout the year and give you an opportunity to hear from an experienced Ramblers volunteer who will talk about a ‘day in the life’ of a walk leader. You will also be able to ask questions to help you decide if it's the right role for you. 


2. The Walk Leader Handbook

Our handbook for walk leaders is the perfect place for aspiring and new walk leaders to start. It covers the Ramblers’ 8 Guiding Principles for Leading Group Walks and takes you through what a walk leader needs to consider when planning and leading a group walk.  


3. In Scotland

Come along to a Walk Leader Next Steps course - a great day to learn new skills, experience walk leadership in action and meet other leaders. Many new walk leaders start this way.


Take the first step 

If you would like to become a walk leader, you first need to find a local group. You can use our Ramblers Group Finder and Ramblers Wellbeing Walks Finder to find a group near you. The group will be able to help you start your volunteer journey.  


Frequently Asked Questions  

Do I need to be first aid trained to lead group walks? 

You don’t need to have a particular qualification or certification to lead walks, but it’s important to have first aid awareness and skills appropriate to the types of walk you’re leading. As a walk leader, you need to have the skills and confidence you need to lead walks that are safe, enjoyable and welcoming.  

The Ramblers has an e-learning course, Preventing and Managing Incidents [insert link], which provides basic first aid awareness, tips on what first aid kit to take and runs through some of the most common incidents that happen on Ramblers walks. You can also talk to your group to see if they are organising any first aid training. Walk leaders can call on first aid experience from within the group.


What training do I need to do to be a walk leader with the Ramblers? 

All new walk leaders must do three things:  

  1. Read the Walk Leader Handbook to Leading Group Walks PDF guidance document 

  1. Complete the Walk Leadership Foundations e-learning (approx. 60 minutes) 

  1. Complete the Preventing & Managing Incidents e-learning (appro. 60 minutes)  

If you join our Ramblers Wellbeing Walks team, you will also shadow a walk leader and attend an  in person session with your programme co-ordinator.  

If you are in Scotland we also highly recommend attending Walk Leader Next Steps course.


Do I need any qualifications or particular skills to become a walk leader? 

You do not need to be an expert navigator, DBS checked or have any outdoor qualifications to become a walk leader, just a love of walking and passion to share this with others.  

Ramblers provides a variety of online sessions, videos and resources that you can access to learn more about walk leadership, from our walk leadership conversations, to navigation videos and Scotland’s funded training.  

A group of people walking along a path among trees

What to expect when you join a Ramblers group walk

A Ramblers group walk is a great way to get out exploring. Here’s what to expect when you join us.


Essential kit for leading group walks

The extra kit we recommended taking along when you’re leading a walk.

Two female walkers with backpacks on, smiling into the camera.

Walk leadership training opportunities in Scotland

Find out more about the training and support for walk leaders in Scotland.

Ramblers Wellbeing Walks

Ramblers Wellbeing Walks

Get active with Ramblers Wellbeing Walks. Our short group walks make it easier to start walking and stay active. Find your local Ramblers Wellbeing Walk.