What we're about

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

Who are we and how did it all begin?

Backabush Xplorers is London'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.

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.

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!

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.

What are the hikes like?

On every Backabush trip we try to provide a choice of hikes each day. Obviously we will choose from the 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.

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.

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!

The Backabush Crew & Hiking Team

Contact Geoff & Nathan

backabushxplorers@yahoo.com
nathancapay@googlemail.com

Upcoming events (4+)

JUNE 2 - 5 (JUBILEE BANK HOLIDAY) - SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK, WALES

Needs a location

£210.00

JUNE 2 - 5 (JUBILEE BANK HOLIDAY) - SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK, WALES

Accommodation surrounded by the high mountains of Snowdonia. A lovely rural hostel perfectly situated for the best hiking in Wales!

Number of nights - 3. Cost - £210.

Join us this Spring Bank Holiday weekend for 3 nights in the most scenic National Park in Wales - Snowdonia!

We have managed to secure a superb hostel, set in stunning grounds and perfectly located for accessing the best hiking in Snowdonia National Park. Our accommodation is marvelous being situated amongst the spectacular mountains of Snowdonia and also not far from the beautiful sandy beaches and coves of the Llyn Peninsula.

From our base on the western side of the mountains we will be able to access some of Snowdonia's classic hikes that are often missed when staying around the Betws-y-Coed area in the east. For example...

  • The stunning Nantlle Ridge, a magnificent multi-summit ridge which is often under-appreciated due to its proximity to the mighty Snowdon.
  • The distinctive summit of Cnicht in the Moelwyn Mountains, also known as the Welsh Matterhorn due to its narrow side profile.
  • Many people have hiked Snowdon up the popular Pyg track but few have taken the challenge of the Watkin Path!
  • Follow the Fisherman's Path above the green blue pools of the narrow Lledr Gorge.

On this Backabush trip all meals are included, we might ask for some help slicing and dicing but helping out is all in the spirit of the weekend. Most importantly this means we will have maximum time to chill out after our hikes and enjoy the lounge, games room and if we are lucky a bit of evening sun on the patio.

As usual there will be a choice of exciting hikes each day so we can climb the highest mountain in Wales (Snowdon) and other mountains or enjoying more relaxed walks in the valleys.

Come join the fun! :D

Price includes:

  • 3 nights hostel accommodation. Shared dormitory rooms.
  • All meals.
  • Packed lunches.
  • A choice of 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.

Price does NOT include:

  • Transport expenses.
  • Travel Insurance

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]

Only payment secures your place. Your RSVP is not sufficient for us to hold a bed for you.

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.

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 .

14
JUNE 15 - 19 - ISLE OF SKYE (SCOTLAND)

Needs a location

£369.00

Backabush is going back to Scotland, to the beautiful ISLE OF SKYE!

Group size - 18, Nights - 4, Cost - £369

The Isle of Skye holds the most rugged mountains in Britain and offers endless possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts. Our plan is to explore this incredible Isle tackling as many of the classic mountain routes as we can. This is a trip for those seeking true mountain adventure!

Once on the Isle of Skye we will stay for 4 nights in lovely hostel accommodation (we will sleep in comfortable dorms booked exclusively for our group) in the beautiful settlement of Portree. This is Britain at its best and is considered to be the only place in the country where the mountains are 'Alpine' in character. They are rugged, rocky and beautiful!

Classic hiking routes of the Isle of Skye include:

Bruach Na Frithe (Black Cuillin)
The Red Cuillin Horseshoe
Bla Bheinn (Blaven)
The Old Man of Storr

It is especially good that we have managed to arrange to visit the Scottish mountains in June, at the absolute best time of year when the days are wonderfully long. Well before the adventurous upland hikes become dangerously clad in snow, while any later and we will be bothered by midges (tiny biting flies) which can swarm in the summer.

Our location is perfect for outdoor adventures and it is important to note that we intend to do challenging and exposed hikes on this trip. Therefore it is best suited to fit and experienced hikers with a good head for heights.

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 known for its unique and hearty food.
Flights (See Below)

Our airport transfers from Inverness will be timed to meet the following flights...

OUTBOUND - Wednesday 15th June
easyJet flight EZY863
Departs - London Gatwick 12:30
Arrives - Inverness 14:15

INBOUND - Sunday 19th June
easyJet flight EZY864
Departs - Inverness 15:00
Arrives - London Gatwick 16:40

We will meet at Inverness Airport on Wednesday 15 June at 14:30
We will drop you off at Inverness Airport on Sunday 19 June at 13:00

Alternatively you might like to consider train travel into Inverness or a different flight arriving the day before, if you choose to make other arrangements we can you a pick up from the town centre shortly after 14:30 on the 15th, please let us know you travel arrangements.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO BOOK ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 14:30 ON 15th JUNE AND DEPART NO EARLIER THAN 13:00 ON 19th JUNE.

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.

1
Horse riding in the Rodopi Mountains: Bulgaria

Needs a location

£325.00

There is a mountain in Bulgaria like no other – Rodopi!

An ancient mountain surrounded by ancient legends. Dark forests and bright meadows, deep gorges and spacious views, stone villages scattered on its slopes and cattle grazing on its pastures.

We will experience the northern part of the Rodopi Mountains on horseback, with all rides starting from the village of Galabovo, just 20 minutes drive from Plovdiv.

Three days of a complete union with the nature!

Horses:

Our horses are comparatively small at 14.1hh to 15.5hh and are locally bred Karakachan along with Arab crosses. They are strong, agile and used to hard work. Their stamina and agility are outstanding. They are also tough and extremely sure footed over rocky or even snow covered mountains. The horses are ridden in snaffle bits.

Saddles:

Western and English saddles are available. Saddle bags are provided.

Itinerary:

DAY 1

24 June - Friday

Arrival in Plovdiv and check into the hotel. You can then explore Plovdiv on your own or with the group. No meals included on this day but there are many great dining options in the city.

DAY 2

25 June - Saturday

Transfer to Purvenets. Ride to Leshtensko - Bryanovshtitsa Hut.

We head south-west, riding through meadows and beech forests with good stretches for trotting and cantering. We will make a stop in the Leshtensko area, enjoying the beautiful views on both sides of the trail.

Overnight in Bryanovshtitsa hunting lodge. Rooms with shared facilities. Dinner is included. Approximately 4 to 5 hours riding.

DAY 3

26 June - Sunday

Bryanovshtitsa Hut - Hrabrino - Dedevo.

Now the trail goes to the east, following some dirt roads. We reach the village of Hrabrino where we stop for lunch. Then we saddle up and make for the village of Dedevo, a small mountain village standing at 1050m above sea level.

The night is spent in a bungalow with two rooms sharing WC/shower.
Breakfast and lunch is included. Approximately 5 hours riding.

DAY 4

27 June - Monday

Dedevo - Zdravets Hut - Purvenets - Sofia.

This is the last riding day and it will take us back to the starting point of our trail. We ride along the crest of Chernatitsa (Black Mountain) Ridge, having our lunch close to Zdravets Hut. Then the trail descends to Purvenets village where we say farewell to our horses before heading back to Sofia/Plovdiv and the end of our tour.

Breakfast and lunch included. Approximately 4 hours riding. Night in a hotel in Sofia.

DAY 5

28 June - Tuesday

A chance to explore Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

Price: £325 per person.

Price includes:

Two nights hotel accommodation sharing a twin room. Single rooms are available for an extra £50 supplement.

English speaking riding guide.

Rental of saddled horses.

One night in a bungalow and one night in a lodge.

All meals listed on the itinerary.

Luggage transport plus transfers from Sofia/Plovdiv and return transfer to Sofia/Plovdiv.

Price does not include flights, personal expenses, insurance, drinks and meals not mentioned in the program.

Recommended flights:

• OUTBOUND - Friday 24 June
Ryanair
Departs - 16:10 London Stanstead
Arrives - 21:20 Plovdiv

It is possible to choose any flight on 28 June 2022. There is an underground service to Sofia airport which is easy to use. An extended stay in Sofia and explore the city is recommended.

4
JUNE 25 - 29: ASSYNT, AN TEALLACH & THE WILD NORTH

Needs a location

£410.00

Backabush is going back to Scotland to visit ASSYNT, AN TEALLACH & THE WILD NORTH!

Group size - 18. Nights - 4. Cost - £410. Accom - Hotel

Assynt is in the very far north, almost at the top of the country, but not quite. It's mountains are unique, individual islands of torridonian sandstone rising steeply from a vast, glacially scoured moorland. They call it a 'knock & lochan' landscape, and it's found in few places worldwide.

Our plan is to meet at Inverness Airport. From there we will drive north to the town of Ullapool to find our hotel overlooking the harbour on the shores of Loch Broom. Located right in the centre of Ullapool, we will not only have great access to the surrounding wilderness but also the modern comforts and convenience of the town with plenty of local pubs where we can enjoy a dram of whisky after our hikes.

The summits in Assynt have characteristically breathtaking and uninterrupted views. Some classic routes in the area are...

Suilven - Recently documented on screen in the film 'Edie'.
Quinag - A triple Corbett massif protect by the John Muir Trust.
Canisp - An ideal platform from which to view the surrounding giants.
Ben More Assynt & Conival - A fantastic double Munro day.

We would also like to seize the opportunity to drive slightly further south and tackle the monumental ridge of An Teallach, deservedly regarded as one of the finest mountains in the country, alongside the Black Cuillins of Skye. It is an adventurous and unforgettable day out with plenty of options along the ridgeline for fun and exposed scrambling.

Due to the nature of the hills in the area our hikes will involve lengthy walks (around 12 miles/20km). An Teallach involves some straight forward but exposed scrambling. Therefore this trip is suitable only for fit and experienced hikers with a good head for heights.

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

4 nights Hotel accommodation in Twin Share rooms (single supplement £50)
All transport in Scotland and airport transfers from Inverness.
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.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

Meals - There is a restaurant in our hotel with options for breakfast and dinner as well as many local restaurants in Ullapool.
Packed Lunches - We can pick up supplies from the local supermarkets.
Transport to Inverness - Recommended flights (See Below)

The meeting point will be at Inverness Airport on Saturday 25th June at 14:30. We will drop you off at Inverness Airport on Wednesday 29th June at 13.00

Our airport transfers will be timed to meet the following flights:

• OUTBOUND - Saturday 25th June
easyJet flight EZY863
Departs - 12.30 London GATWICK
Arrives - 14:15 Inverness

• INBOUND - Wednesday 29th June
easyJet flight EZY864
Departs - 15.00 Inverness
Arrives - 16.40 London Gatwick

IF YOU CHOOSE TO BOOK ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 14.15 ON 25th JUNE AND DEPART NO EARLIER THAN 13.00 ON 29th JUNE.

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]

IMPORTANT NOTE: We consider safety to be our number one priority & 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 & accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety & 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.

3

Past events (423)

MAY 13 - 16 - YORKSHIRE DALES NATIONAL PARK

Needs a location

£253.00

Photos (24,043)