We're hiring! Applications for the 2022 season are now open. We are looking for Lead Instructors/ Instructors/ Administrator and Freelance Instructors. Location Kempston Outdoor Centre, Bedford.

Canoe Trail DNA

Watersports and Adventure Activities Company

Canoe Trail is an award-winning family-run business providing watersports and adventurous activities in Bedfordshire Our team of professional instructors is led by Ashley Kenlock and Richard Harpham FRGS who have completed over 12,000 miles of human-powered adventures (www.richadventure.com). Canoe Trail has a private woodland adjacent to the River Great Ouse which was voted Top52 things to do in the world by Lonely Planet for canoeing and wild camping. Canoe Trail is also featured in Wanderlust, Outdoor Adventure Guide, Red Bull Magazine, Paddler, and the National Trust Book Slow Adventures. We have over 150 canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards at our Outdoor Centre as well as a high ropes course and climbing wall and are only 45 minutes from London.

Our instructors are highly qualified in canoe, kayak and SUP holding coaching and leadership qualifications as well as climbing, bushcraft and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. More importantly, they have a passion for adventure and journeys leading trips around the UK, Best of Scotland and beyond.  Canoe Trail runs expeditions to Canada including our ever-popular Yukon Canoe Expedition and Ontario Wilderness Retreat. Our best of Scotland Canoe Expedition and Great Glen Canoe Expedition featured in the Times offering adventures on some of Britain's most iconic rivers and lochs. 

Recruitment process

  1. Send us your CV and covering letter or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Lead Instructors should include their logbook (summary of trips and experience) where available.
  2. We will send you an invitation to an online interview.
  3. Invitation to a selection and training event.

Job Benefits

Canoe Trails is a leading UK Adventure company. One of our core values is creating a positive workplace culture. 

  • Join an experienced team of professional adventurers - a lifestyle not a label.
  • Access to subsidized expeditions to Scotland and various other locations.
  • Multi-activity sessions
  • Training on moving water and white water sessions (local and trips)
  • Mentoring from experienced and renowned outdoor leaders 
  • Personal Development Plan
  • 2 x Guaranteed Bonuses each season (performance-based)
  • Access to British Canoeing Provider- qualifications such as Touring leader, open water SUP leader 
  • Be part of a growing, lively, and fun-loving business. There are plenty of team-building days throughout the year. 
  • Access to outdoor kit at trade prices 

Job Roles Available

Lead Instructors

Professional outdoor instructors with experience of running multiple sessions in activities such as archery, bushcraft, watersports and climbing. Groups will range from tourism hire and camp activities through to corporate team building, school and youth groups as well as Duke of Edinburgh. Candidates will be comfortable leading sessions to share passion, technical skills and life skills through to progressive coaching. Lead instructors would normally be capable of towing trailers, supervision of staff and participants and delivering qualifications. Applicants will ideally have experience of towing and a clean driving record as well as a professional qualification or several tickets from a national governing body.

Outdoor Instructors

Outdoor Instructors will work on sessions with lead instructors, ideally be capable of running elements of programmes and also drive where possible. They should hold a NGB qualification or have solid  experience of a range of outdoor activities. 

Freelance Instructors

Outdoor instructors seeking day or week long programme work to help with camps, school programmes and peak times.

Turbo Administrator 

Canoe Trail is recruiting a ‘turbo administrator’ to join our fun loving team. We are seeking an exceptional ambitious candidate with strong personal motivation and drive. The candidate will have excellent customer service skills and communication and be used to working with booking systems, social media and websites. The turbo administrator is required to manage the day to day bookings, customer inquiries by email and phone as well as create new posts, blogs and activities on our website and booking system. It is also likely the administrator will get to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities during the peak season helping with front line delivery from time to time.  Training will be provided.

Key Attributes:

  • Punctual, honest and dedicated with a can do attitude
  • Strong Life skills
  • Solid experience of professional standards
  • Strong team player
  • Proactive problem solving approach
  • Passion to share the great outdoors

Salary and Benefits

Canoe Trail pays a competitive salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. There are options for part-time, full time and freelance rates. Benefits include getting paid, cake allowance, and doggy daycare as well as a guaranteed bonus scheme. We also provide training and development as well access to staff purchase scheme on kit and equipment.

Development Programme

Canoe Trail provides in-house training and development including national governing body qualifications, expeds, and trips as well as mentoring from experienced industry leaders. We provide the following:

  • Development of excellent life skills -  leadership, decision making, problem solving, team work, risk management
  • Access to expeditions and trips - wilderness, whitewater and challenging trips
  • Development of professional standards - the foundations of a good outdoor instructor
  • NGB qualifications including paddling leadership, coaching 
  • Mentoring - use of the 1,2,3 of mentoring philosophy within a dynamic team