North Downs, South Downs
Downland, Forest, Heathland, Meadow
The Hill Skills course is your key to getting started in countryside walking. No previous hill walking experience is required to attend a Hill Skills course because the content of the course is aimed at beginners. If you do have some experience of hill walking but aren’t confident about planning walks, navigating and understanding the equipment required, then the Hill Skills course is an ideal way to learn.
Hill Skills Courses are nationally accredited and developed by Mountain Training, the course is a great way to develop your personal skills and confidence in all elements of hill walking.
Our Hill Skills courses are ideal for DofE supervisors, DofE Bronze award candidates, teachers and leaders who either do not hold national governing body awards, or are developing skills towards them (e.g. Lowland Leader, Mountain Leader), leisure walkers, photographers, horse riders, cyclists or anyone who works in lowland countryside. No previous experience is required although a degree of personal fitness is recommended.
During a Hill Skills course, you can expect to start each day at about 9am. The first part of the course is spent indoors, getting to know the other people on the course and gaining an understanding of basic hill walking planning. The Tutor will outline the plans for the course before you head out into the hills. The end of the day will usually involve a short indoor session to review the day and plan the following day’s outing. You can expect to be out walking each day for around 4-5 hours and generally on Hill Skills courses this will be on footpaths or trails that are rough underfoot. Much of the journey during the course will involve learning opportunities and as such, the pace of the day is friendly and will include plenty of breaks.
We are recognised as one of the region's leading providers and our courses are highly informative, fun and run by very experienced instructors. We are very proud that we have a large number of our candidates who return for further courses - please do take a look at our Testimonials
Learning is informal and relaxed, with plenty of practical experience out in the South Downs and Surrey Hills, within a small group of up to 8 people. We cover around 5/6 miles each day, following paths across farmland, valleys, riversides, woodland, hills and downland in the stunning Sussex and Surrey countryside. The locations we use are easily accessible from London and are convenient for public transport if required.
What does the Hill Skills Course Cover?
The Hill Skills syllabus covers the following aspects:
What is included?
All instruction and learning resources, certificate upon completion, all group safety equipment, use of maps and compasses.
What is not included?
Personal clothing and equipment, transport, accommodation and meals.
Registration for the Scheme
Each participant is registered with the Hill & Mountain Skills scheme with Mountain Training prior to attending the course. This is included in the course cost.
More information can be found in the Scheme Handbook or on the Mountain Training website.
Duration: Two full days (typically 09.00-17.00)
Location: West Sussex section of the South Downs or the Surrey Hills
For Hill Skills courses we work at a ratio of 1:8.
Your course is led by an extremely experienced and qualified outdoor instructor. They are a qualified to a minimum MTA Mountain Leader level and also have extensive experience leading and instructing in the area. All our instructors are also outdoor first aid qualified and DBS checked. Please organise your own accommodation for the course, if required as well as a packed lunch each day. Use of maps and compasses are included for the duration of the course.