Canoe on Loch Shiel among rocky shoreline and ancient woodland

Employment opportunities

Freelance roles available

Otter Adventures is an expanding multi-activity adventure tourism provider based in Strontian and specialising in slow adventure experiences. The area is remote, diverse and beautiful, but not part of the typical tourist trails in the Scottish Highlands. Most of its guests (ranging from two to 80+ years of age) are holidaying on the peninsulas and looking to explore and better understand the region while also being outdoors and physically active.

A growing number of guests are repeat visitors to the region and to Otter Adventures. They come back to us because we offer a small-group personalised experience that is rarely available from commercial operators and because we are local and know the region very well. Our ‘family-friendly’, personalised experiences are more about the environment, landscape and wildlife than the activity itself.

Due principally to continued growth and expansion of the business, I am now seeking qualified and experienced freelance guides to meet anticipated demand in 2021 and beyond. I am currently looking for freelance guides to fill the following roles. There is no specific 'vacancy' to fill as these are freelance / self‑employed positions at present, so you could take on any number of these roles between the start of May and the start of September 2021.

What you need for these roles is a passion and enthusiasm for your adventure sport(s) and a proven ability to lead a wide range of ages in the outdoors. I am especially keen to hear from local people with leadership qualifications in these and similar outdoor activities and people who wish to develop adventure sports tourism with the fastest growing activity provider on the West Highland Peninsulas.

You will need to be registered as self-employed and be responsible for your own tax and National insurance.

No formal training is offered other than an induction.

Core responsibilities

On a typical day, you will be expected to be ready to meet your guests, possibly at a location other than Strontian, typically at 09:30 or 10:00. You can expect to finish after returning equipment to Otter Adventures between 16:30 and 17:30 and this will vary depending upon timings of trips (e.g. full-day or half-day). By their nature, expeditions require evening work and overnight responsibilities.

These freelance opportunities will be available from the start of June through to the start of September.

During your time with Otter Adventures, you will be responsible to the owner of Otter Adventures who is also the principle guide.

Qualifications and experience

Before contacting me about any of these opportunities, please ensure that you are qualified to lead activities in the appropriate environment(s). Water‑based activities take place principally on 'open water' and 'tidal waters' and occasionally Grade 1-2 white water.

You will only be asked to lead what you are qualified and experienced to lead.

Essential Desirable
Paddle sports qualifications
  • BC Moderate Water SK Leader
  • BC Moderate Water OC Leader
  • Awards gained under previous scheme structures will be accepted.
  • BC Open Water Coach
  • BC Advanced Water Leader Canoe and/or Sea Kayak
Other Qualifications
  • Clean driving licence
  • Category B may be sufficient.
  • Bushcraft, expedition or guiding qualifications;
  • Additional outdoor leadership, guiding or coaching qualifications;
  • Appropriate outdoor food hygiene certificate;
  • Completion of 'Leave No Trace' training.
  • Driving cars with trailers;
  • Knowledge, understanding of environment, wildlife and culture on the West Highland Peninsulas;
  • Minimum 30 days guiding since completion of leadership award.
  • Leading overnight/multi-day expeditions;
  • Cooking in remote areas.
Personal Attributes
  • Emotional maturity to relate to wide range of ages and abilities;
  • Experience of tailoring guided trips to client needs and environmental factors;
  • Commitment to slow adventure experiences and our core values.
  • Desire to contribute to the growth of Otter Adventures and possibly return in future years.

This is a self-employed opportunity and you will be paid on a freelance basis (i.e. you invoice Otter Adventures at an agreed fee for each day worked) at a rate in-line with your level of qualifications and experience which is expected to be between £100 and £150 per day.

If leading full-day or multi-day adventures that include food for guests, your food will also be included in addition to your daily fee.

You must be registered as self-employed prior to commencing work with Otter Adventures as you will be responsible for your own tax and National Insurance payments.

Application process

To learn more about the company and to gain an idea as to the range of trips currently offered, please visit the website ( For an informal chat about the role - opportunity, please telephone Karl, the owner, on 07521 676274. If you would like to visit Otter Adventures before applying, please call and arrange to do so. I would be happy to meet and chat with you.

Applications should be by email to and must include your current CV. You should also write a short statement detailing how you meet or exceed the essential job criteria and what you will bring to Otter Adventures.

If you applied in 2020, before Coronavirus, and wish to be considered again this year, please drop me an email or phone call to let me know and to update me with your latest CV.

Please also let me know if you are happy for your details to be retained as a casual freelance guide for this year (and beyond) should you not be successful in gaining these specific roles.

Outdoor equipment sales

At the end of a season we may sell off some of our equipment in order to ensure our guests benefit from having up to date equipment that is in fantastic condition. It also means that the wider community can benefit from buying nearly new outdoor equipment that is still in great condition and should last the average user many years to come.

At this time we have no equipment for sale.
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