What we're about

We are BACKABUSH, much copied but still the original and best hiking and outdoor activity Meetup group!!

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Who are we and how did it all begin?

Backabush Xplorers is Britain's longest established hiking and outdoor adventure Meetup group. Our group was originally created back in 2002 (actually before we were on Meetup) by a multinational group of friends who loved hiking and wanted to get more out of our weekends and holidays. We wanted to share our heartfelt passion for the great outdoors and enthusiasm with others. For some years Backabush was an informal, unincorporated association managed by the founders for the benefit of its members.

Our group grew rapidly in those early years and in 2008, following legal advice we decided it would be wise and prudent to become a registered company to protect our organisers and our members. Following this review and the formation of the limited company, our members can now pursue their legitimate activities and aims with complete peace of mind.

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Why do we do it?

We love the outdoors! The primary motivation is fun (not profit) which means that our trips offer exceptional value for money. We continue as a group with the same ethos of organising events and trips for the benefit of our members. This is what we love and we are passionate about what we do. We will always endeavour to be budget conscious and price our activities only to cover necessary expenses.

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What do we do?

Over the years we have hiked and explored the National Parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty in Britain and abroad. It may all have started years ago with a few hiking friends gathering for a weekend in a scruffy camping barn somewhere rural and pretty but it has developed a lot from there.

Backabush has been hiking and enjoying outdoor adventure for well over a decade now and over this time we have organised literally hundreds of hiking trips throughout Great Britain. We have enjoyed visits to the Lake District, Snowdonia, Scotland, the Brecon Beacons, the Pembrokeshire Coast, Cornwall, the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Lincolnshire Wolds, the Cambrian mountains, the Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean, the North York Moors, the New Forest, the South Downs, the Malvern Hills, the Shropshire Hills, the South Downs, the Cotswolds, the Chiltern Hills, the Jurassic Coast, the Gower Peninsula, the Pennines, the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, the Isle of Arran, Glen Shiel, Torridon etc, etc, etc.

National trails and long distance paths in Britain are another favourite of ours and to date we have completed the full length of Hadrian's Wall Path, the West Highland Way, the Cumbria Way, the Herriot Way and Wainwright's Coast to Coast. Although we have yet to complete the full length of many we have also enjoyed hiking sections of the Cotswold Way, Pennine Way, Offa's Dyke Path, Limestone Way, Allerdale Ramble, South West Coast Path, Great Glen Way, Monsal Trail, South Downs Way, Ridgeway, Thames Path and many, many others.

We were also trailblazers when it came to offering exciting outdoor adventures overseas. Back in 2009 we organised our very first foreign trip when we headed down into Africa to climb Mt Toubkal, the highest summit in Morocco. Next we trekked in Nepal, climbing over a 5000+ metre pass linking the Langtang and Helambu valleys. Since these early treks we went on to organise things like via ferrata holidays in the Italian Dolomites, or hiking trips to the French Alps and Jura mountains. We also love 'hut to hut' trekking and have so far completed every step of the Tour du Mt Blanc, summited Monte Perdido in the Ordessa National Park and trekked for days in the French Pyrenees to reach the awe inspiring Cirque de Gavarnie. More recently we even organised trips to Slovakia to seek out winter snowshoeing in the High Tatras and gorge scrambling in the Paradise National Park.

There are many other adventures we could mention. No other Meetup group offers adventure like this!

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How do the logistics work?

We know our members are busy people so we do our best to provide a complete package for you. Backabush will research the locations, the hikes, book the accommodation and make a plan for all the meals. If you do not own a car we will help you to find transport or a lift share. You just need to communicate with the organiser who will help to co-ordinate things with you.

With a little co-operation from our members it all works very well and allows us to keep offering new locations and new hikes, year after year. Although we might return to some amazing National Parks quite regularly we always endeavour to find new venues and plan entirely new hikes. If you check out our past events you will see that we offer unrivalled variety in the locations we visit.

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What are the hikes like?

On every Backabush trip we try to provide a choice of hikes each day. Obviously we will choose the from most beautiful and best loved hikes in any given area. These hikes tend to be of various length, duration and difficulty. The idea is that each person can choose the hike that best suits their fitness, experience and interests.

It is true that Backabush has a reputation within the Meetup community for offering longer and more challenging hikes but we always also offer more moderate options for those seeking a more relaxed day outdoors. Generally speaking we would say that anyone who can hike for 10 miles in hilly terrain should be fine on our trips. If you have any concerns please don't hesitate to contact us to ask questions.

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What about safety?

Safety is always our number one priority. Although we can never make the outdoor environment entirely safe there are many steps that can be taken to minimise risk. Our team of outdoor activity leaders have many, many years of leadership experience and have received extensive outdoor training. Between all of our leaders we have years of military experience, ambulance work or mountain guiding.

Our principal leadership team are Mountain Leader trained at Plas-y-Brenin (the National Mountain Sports Centre) in North Wales and Winter Skills trained at Glenmore Lodge in Scotland. We regularly update our first aid qualifications and carry the required emergency aid equipment for wilderness situations. Some of us have taught or assisted on micro-navigation training courses and all have excellent route finding skills regardless of visibility or weather.

Additional our experience extends to high altitude mountaineering in several continents, be it summiting 6000+ metre peaks in the Andes, conquering the highest mountains in Africa or completing month long high altitude treks in the Himalayas.

We take our 'duty of care' of very seriously and are trained to deal with outdoor emergencies. Sometimes we hire in specific skills as necessary in the form of fully qualified instructors for things like rock climbing, caving, coasteering, kayaking, horse riding, ghyll scrambling or technical mountaineering. For some foreign trips we will either provide logistical support for safe self guided mountain trekking or hire International Mountain Leaders as deemed necessary.

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Who joins our trips?

Although most people in the group are in their 20s, 30s and 40s age is not an issue to us - a fun loving and adventurous nature is more important. It is not uncommon to have over a dozen different nationalities represented in a single gathering.

Our groups of hikers and outdoor adventurers vary in size but on every trip some people will be regulars and some first timers. Its a great way to make new hiking friends and you need not worry about coming alone as you will always be made to feel welcome.

What we all have in common is a love of all kinds of outdoor activity including hiking, trekking, hill walking, mountaineering, scrambling, camping, canoeing, canyoning, kayaking, rock climbing, scuba diving, caving, coasteering, mountain biking and just about anything else that offers some outdoor adventure.

We are a very active bunch!

We hope YOU will join us sometime soon.

Positive vibes! :D

The Backabush Crew & Hiking Team

Contact Geoff & Etiennette

backabushxplorers@yahoo.com

etiennette123@yahoo.com

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Upcoming events (5)

AUGUST 28 - 31 (SUMMER BANK HOLIDAY) - THE COTSWOLDS

Cricklade House Hotel

£249.00

Delightful 3-star* accommodation standing in over 30 acres of peaceful, secluded grounds on the edge of the Cotswolds. Number of nights - 3. Cost - £249. Cricklade House Hotel and spa offers a traditional, warm and friendly welcome for those in search of tranquility, comfort, good food and wine, with a spa facility inclusive of pool, sauna, steam room, fitness suite and five treatment suites. This beautiful and dignified country house, built at the turn of the last century, has been tastefully restored and carefully extended. Perhaps the most impressive addition is the magnificent Victorian-style glass conservatory which runs the full length of the original building, making the most of the hotels elevated position, with wonderful panoramic views over the beautiful countryside. We will be perfectly situated to enjoy some of the finest hiking in the Cotswolds. Nowhere else in England does the work of nature and the work of man blend together in greater harmony. It could be argued that there is more dramatic scenery in other parts of Britain but nowhere has such a special combination of idyllic stone villages set amidst a splendid, rolling countryside that is so quintessentially "English" in character. Our lovely hotel will give us easy access to hikes through iconic Cotswold villages like Bibury, Bourton-on-the Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford. There could scarcely be a more perfect place to spend our Summer bank holiday weekend and enjoy a superb hiking holiday. This will be a fantastic trip in one of the most fabulous parts of rural England! Price includes: 3 nights accommodation in a lovely 3-star* hotel in over 30 acres of peaceful, secluded grounds 3 cooked breakfast A choice of guided hikes by trained Mountain Leaders ( http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/mountain-leader ) (MLTE) and qualified first aiders Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992 Please rest assured that all payments are protected in accordance with the Package Travel Regulations which means your money is 100% protected. This is a legal requirement for any Meetup lasting more than 24 hours and means that your payment is secured under the care of a third party trustee for your financial protection. Price does NOT include: Transport expenses Packed lunches (there are local shops to pick up supplies) Dinners (our hotel can serve a delicious 3 course meal for £25) Single supplement cost - £45 for a private room. To confirm your place on this trip please use internet banking now. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked] IMPORTANT NOTES: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in. We recommend that everyone participating in outdoor activities obtain appropriate insurance. The BMC offer excellent policies for all outdoor enthusiasts at very competitive rates: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance/Landing.aspx Please rest assured that all payments are protected in accordance with the Package Travel Regulations which means your money is 100% protected. This is a legal requirement for any Meetup lasting more than 24 hours and means that your payment is secured under the care of a third party trustee for your financial protection.

SEPTEMBER 5 - 9 - ISLE OF ARRAN (SCOTLAND)

Glasgow Airport

£370.00

Backabush is going back to Scotland to visit the ISLE OF ARRAN! The Isle of Arran has often been described as the best of Scotland compressed into a single small island. Although only 20 miles long and 10 miles wide this magical isle is blessed with superb mountains. Goat Fell dominates the skyline and coupled with a rugged and mountainous landscape in the north and gently rolling hills in the south, the island is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. But that’s not all. On the island you’ll also find pretty villages, ancient castles, prehistoric standing stones and a richness of crafts, food, drink, history and culture. Our plan is to fly into Glasgow and then drive to the ferry port of Ardrossan on the mainland from where we set sail for Arran. We will then enjoy 4 nights in comfortable holiday cabins. All cabins are en-suite with single or twin share rooms. We will have access to a shared kitchen. Classic walks on the Isle of Arran include: Goatfell - the summit of Arran Cock of Arran - superb coastal hiking Whiting Bay, Glenashdale Falls & Machrie Moor Stone Circles The Isle of Arran is alive with wildlife, mountains, beaches, lovely countryside and much more waiting for us to discover. Come and see 'Scotland in Miniature' as they locals call it. It is especially good that we have managed to arrange to visit the Isle of Arran in September, at one of the best times of year when the days are still long and we will not be bothered by midges (tiny biting flies) which can hatch out and swarm earlier in the summer. The ascent of Goatfell involves over 800m of ascent (sometimes steep) and some minor scrambling. This trip is fairly challenging. We will hike some rugged mountain terrain and a good level of fitness will be necessary. PRICE: £370 Twin share cabin £395 Single en-suite cabin. WHAT IS INCLUDED: 4 nights holiday cabin accommodation (comfortable single and twin share en-suite rooms with bedding provided). All transport in Scotland (including ferry crossings) and airport transfers from Glasgow. Guided hikes. Our leaders are Mountain Leader (http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/mountain-leader) (MLTE) trained and qualified first aiders. Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992 WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Food - our accommodation will have self catering facilities. Restaurant or pub meals - Scotland is well know for its unique and hearty food. Recommended flights - Now on sale, currently £52 return. Your RSVP alone does not secure your place. To confirm your place on this trip please use internet banking. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked] Please email [masked] as soon as you make payment so that we can secure your bed & confirm it with you. The meeting point will be at Glasgow Airport on Saturday 5 September. We will drop you off at Glasgow Airport on Wednesday 9 September. Our airport transfers will be timed to meet the following flights: • OUTBOUND - Saturday 5 September easyJet flight EZY209 Departs - 12:45 London Stanstead Arrives - 14:00 Glasgow • INBOUND - Wednesday 9 September easyJet flight EZY212 Departs - 15:35 Glasgow Arrives - 16:55 London Stanstead IF YOU CHOOSE TO BOOK ALTERNATIVE FLIGHTS MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 14:00 ON 5 SEPTEMBER (WE HAVE A FERRY TO CATCH!) AND DEPART NO EARLIER THAN 15:35 ON 9 SEPTEMBER. Alternatively Virgin Trains operates direct services between London Euston station and Glasgow Central station, with regular bus connection to Glasgow Airport. https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/stations-destinations/regions/scotland/glasgow-central Tickets can be booked 13 weeks in advance. If you travel by train please allow enough time to travel to/from the meeting point at Glasgow Airport.

SEPT 12 - 17: WILD CAMPING THROUGH KNOYDART - BRITAIN'S LAST WILDERNESS

Glenfinnan Sleeping Car

£198.00

Backabush is going on expedition! Group size - 10. Cost - £198. Nights - 5 1 x Hostel 2 x Wild Camp 2 x Basic Campsite Knoydart is a spectacular, remote peninsular on the west coast of Scotland often referred to as Britain's last wilderness. It has the picturesque hamlet of Inverie on its southern edge and 'The Old Forge', mainland UK's most remote pub! There are only 2 ways into Inverie, you can get a boat, or you can walk! That's because the entire peninsula is isolated from the rest of the country by a barrier of steep and complex mountains named 'The Rough Bounds of Knoydart'. These are some of the wildest and least accessible hills in the Scottish highlands, perfect for a wild camping expedition! We will meet in Glenfinnan and stay the night at the Station Hostel's Sleeper Car, a converted train carriage, where we can check in from 4pm. We can do a last kit check and pack up, ready to set off in the morning. From Glenfinnan we will hike out and spend the next 2 nights wild camping beside remote lochs as we walk up the Glens and over the passes into the Knoydart peninsular. If the weather is in our favour then we also hope to summit some of the incredible Knoydart Munros along the way, like the conical peak of Sgurr na Ciche and Meall Buidhe, one of the famous 'Rough Bounds'. On the 3rd day of our trek we will arrive in Inverie and can fill our bellies at the Old Forge before we set up camp at the village campsite on Long Beach. For the final day of hiking our goal is the famous summit of Ladhar Bheinn. Leaving our heavy packs at camp our circular route follows some narrow rocky ridges up to 1020m before we return to our beachside camp to enjoy our last night under canvas. On Thursday we pack up our tents and catch the first ferry to Mallaig. After a celebratory breakfast we can jump on the train back towards Glasgow and head home. On this trip we need to carry everything required in our rucksacks, so you will need to be happy carrying an expedition sized pack for 3 of the 4 days. We will also encounter some difficult and exposed terrain so this trip is best suited to fit and experienced hikers. Expect to walk up to 12 miles a day. WHAT'S INCLUDED 1 Night in Hostel accommodation (Shared Dorms) 2 Nights Campsite Fees Ferry Ticket back to Mallaig 4 Days of Guided Hikes - Our leaders are all Mountain Leader trained and Qualified first-aiders Financial protection in accordance with Package Travel Law 1992 WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED All meals Equipment - Kit list will be sent out by e-mail, if you'd rather hire than buy or borrow check out... https://www.outdoorhire.co.uk/camp.php Train travel - There are great train connections from Glasgow to Glenfinnan and its a beautiful journey. We will need to catch the 10.08 train from Mallaig to Glenfinnan on our way home, it costs £8.70, or link it with your onward journey as this train continues to Glasgow. To confirm your place on this trip use internet banking. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked] Only payment secures your place. Your RSVP is not sufficient for us to hold a place for you. Please email [masked] as soon as you send payment so that we can confirm everything with you. Thanks. :) IMPORTANT NOTE: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. It is important that you are aware of and accept these risks, you should not undertake anything beyond your own abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in.

SEPTEMBER 19 - 23 - GLEN SHIEL & THE NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS

Inverness Airport

£299.00

Backabush is going back to the magnificent Glen Shiel in the heart of the Northwest Highlands! Group size - 18. Nights - 4. Cost - £299 Glen Shiel is encircled by steep, picturesque mountains. The north side of the valley is formed by the famous Five Sisters of Kintail and is a true classic Scottish ridgewalk. Opposite, is the (7 Munro) South Glen Shiel Ridge - nowhere else in Scotland are so many Munros so close together, a Munro Bagger's dream! We will spend 4 nights in our cosy and characterful hostel accommodation with comfortable dorms booked exclusively for our group. The hostel is in a truly stunning location, surrounded by peaks and forests with enviable views towards the Isle of Skye. The hostel garden is ideal for nature watching, right on the shore of Loch Duich, home to porpoises, otters and seals. The world famous Eilean Donan Castle is only eight miles away and the nearby Falls of Glomach are probably the most dramatic waterfalls in Britain. Our location is perfect for outdoor adventures and it is important to note that we intend to do some, challenging multi-munro hikes on this trip, the Forcan Ridge includes some straight forward but exposed scrambling. Therefore it is best suited to fit and experienced hikers with a good head for heights. Classics walks in the area include: Five Sisters of Kintail South Glen Shiel ridge (Often done over 2 days) The Saddle & Forcan Ridge If you would like to enjoy a week long holiday in Scotland with more mountain adventures, this trip can be combined with our trip to the Isle of Skye: https://www.meetup.com/BACKABUSH-ADVENTURES/events/266137648/ WHAT IS INCLUDED: 4 nights quality, hostel accommodation (we will sleep in comfortable dorms booked exclusively for our group) All transport in Scotland and Airport transfers from Inverness. Guided hikes. Our leaders are Mountain Leader trained and qualified first-aiders. Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992 WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Food - Our accommodation will have self catering facilities. Restaurant or pub meals - Scotland is well know for its unique and hearty food. Flights (See Below) We will meet at Inverness Airport on Saturday 19th September at 14:45. We will drop you off at Inverness Airport on Wednesday 23th June at 12:30. Our airport transfers will be timed to meet the following flights: OUTBOUND - Saturday 19 September easyJet flight EZY863 Departs - 12.30 London Gatwick Arrives - 14.15 Inverness RETURN - Wednesday 23 September easyJet flight EZY864 Departs - 14.55 Inverness Arrives - 16.35 London Gatwick It is also possible to fly direct from London, Bristol and Manchester. Alternatively you might like to consider train travel into Inverness, we can pick you up/drop you off at the station shortly after our airport transfers. IF YOU CHOOSE TO BOOK ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 15:30 ON 19th SEPTEMBER AND DEPART NO EARLIER THAN 14:00 ON 23rd SEPTEMBER. To confirm your place on this trip please use internet banking. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked] Please email [masked] as soon as you make payment so that we can secure your bed at the accommodation and confirm everything with you. Thanks :) IMPORTANT NOTE: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in.

Past events (74)

MARCH 14 - 21: Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Agadir Al-Massira International Airport

£459.00

Photos (862)