Heidi Payton

Lead Guide

I grew up in Cheshire and was lucky enough to travel with my parents from an early age to far flung places, that most of my friends had never heard of. I went to university in North Wales to study music, but after four weeks (and much socialising), realised that if I changed to a joint degree in French and Russian, I could spend at least a year studying somewhere exciting overseas and hopefully then use languages to work abroad. So, I did exactly that!

This is where my love of the mountains and outdoors began, probably spending more time up in Snowdonia or in the sea attempting to learn to windsurf (never mastered that one), than I did in lectures. In my year out, I lived and worked in France and Russia and on finishing my degree, headed off to Japan to teach English for a few years. I eventually moved back to North Wales to set up my own event management business, whilst bringing up my family.

A few sensible jobs later, the need to travel again returned and I began to work for an outdoor adventure company, leading treks and bike rides all around the world. This led to me training as a mountain leader, kicked off my new-found interest in road cycling and also to start learning Italian at night school. In between trips, I work as a leader at a children’s outdoor residential centre in North Wales, running activities for 7–11 year-olds.

If I ever have any spare time, you can find me in my veg garden, dancing or doing yoga (not in the veg garden), or volunteering for a local cycling charity – tinkering with bikes and helping people with different abilities and health conditions to be able to exercise.

I really look forward to meeting you all and to some new adventures with Marmot Tours!

What our cyclists say about Heidi…

Great fun, very approachable and helpful K Stannard, Alpine Classic Cols 2022

Always on hand to provide the support and nutrition required throughout the day. P Coleman, Alpine Classic Cols 2022

Heidi was always there with a smile and encouragement when things got tough. Very knowledgeable and her language skills came in handy when needed. Heidi and Gav worked really well as a team, providing the backup that we needed throughout the week. M Tiffany, Alpine Classic Cols 2022

Unfailingly cheerful and helpful. I Martin, Raid Dolomites 2022

So caring and attentive. No task was too difficult. Friendly, cheery and helpful face. Even got laundry dried! A Coia, Raid Dolomites 2022

A very warm, patient, encouraging and capable soul, Heidi brightened up my every day. E Bull, Raid Dolomites 2022

Heidi was wonderful, ever smiling, super supportive with great sense of humour. B Oxley-Brown, Raid Dolomites 2022

Heidi provided excellent support – always cheery and able to encourage/reassure both individuals and the group as a whole. S Watt, Raid Dolomites 2022

Absolutely lovely and it’s clear her priority is to make sure we have a good trip. Heidi is a great addition to the Marmot family. K Anderson, Ventoux & the Verdon Gorge 2022

Heidi is a superstar, we were really impressed. She is a great addition to the guides you have. I’d rate her as one of the best we’ve come across in 5 trips now. A Bromfield, Ventoux & the Verdon Gorge 2022

Special thanks and praise also for our two guides, Heidi & Tim, who were outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble for them, their support was exceptional, their attention to detail and the needs of all the cyclists was absolutely first class. They were friendly, helpful and totally professional throughout. It made for a very memorable trip. J Clapp, Andalusia 2023