West Highland Way

Here at Large Outdoors we’re big fans of guided walking.

But why bother? Especially for the more popular challenges and routes, where you could just follow other people, why have a leader? Well, here are just a few reasons!

A leader looks after the navigation – they’re all experts in the map and compass, leaving you in safe hands, and not having to worry about finding the route yourself. You can get on with enjoying the scenery rather than worrying about not getting lost.

A weekend in the Lake District learning the dark art of navigation

Leaders understand the mountains – whether it’s the weather, your right of access to a particular hill or path, or how to move over broken or tricky ground, leaders have the knowledge to keep you safe.

Walking as a group is more sociable – being in a guided walking group will allow you to make new friends, share the view with others, and enjoy the camaraderie of a big day out.

Guided mountain challenge as a group take on Snowdon via the Miners Path

A leader will help the group – whether someone is struggling with a steep section, or is just feeling tired, a leader will keep the group together and support everyone through the day. They may also insist on food and water breaks, an important consideration when everyone’s getting excited and storming off ahead!

Leaders will tell a story – we have leaders who know about plants and animals, geology, history, mythology, and stories of the hills that will bring a walk to life. Being introduced to a landscape is about more than just walking through it.

Leaders are great route-planners – on our walking weekends, we’ll often decide on a route the day before. A leader can put together a walk using just the map, designing it for the group. They are also expert at coming up with bad-weather alternatives and ‘escape routes’ to get you down the mountain if the weather turns.

Leaders know first-aid – if something does go wrong, be confident in the knowledge that Mountain Leaders all have first aid qualifications, and know what to do in the mountains in an emergency.

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