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+)

MARCH 18 - 25 - LA GOMERA - Isla Mágica (the magical island)

Tenerife South Airport

£584.00

Backabush is heading back to the Canary Islands to visit La Gomera!

La Gomera is known as "the magical island" or "the Canary island that time forgot" because of its incredible natural beauty.

The second-smallest of the seven Canary Islands - nearly circular and only 25 kilometres across - La Gomera feels like the island that time forgot. It's still possible to drive through soaring ravines and sleepy mountain villages down to deserted rocky beaches without encountering a single traffic light. It is unquestionably the most unspoilt islands of the Canary Islands, and is a walkers paradise. The landscape is characterized by rugged mountains, earth valleys and tropical misty forests.

The archipelago of the Canary Islands sit just off the coast of Africa and enjoy mild weather and sunshine throughout the winter months making them ideal for a hiking escape in March. There is a wealth of amazing hikes to explore.

We will first be staying for two nights in Los Cristianos, the main port town on Tenerife's south coast and a popular beach resort before heading over to La Gomera by ferry. Whale sightings are common during this sea crossing.

We have the following room options:

Shared Twin Room - £584
Private Single Occupancy - £748

From our accommodation in Tenerife (2 nights) we can enjoy one amazing day hike in the Teno Mountains or in the Parque National del Teide which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then we will base ourselves for 5 nights in the lovely port town of San Sebastián de La Gomera. We can then enjoy 5 days of spectacular hiking on La Gomera island.

La Gomera is home to the National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Garanjonay, a natural jewel in the Canary Islands archipelago. Here we can find species that are otherwise extinct in most destinations, dense forests, deep ravines and a prehistoric landscape that has been sculpted over millions of years.

Come and join us for some welcome winter sun and fun in La Gomera!

This trip does not involve technical mountaineering but the hikes on the islands can be quite challenging so you need to have a good level of hiking fitness. A head for heights is also necessary in the mountainous terrain.

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

  • 7 nights accommodation (2 nights in holiday apartments in Tenerife and 5 nights in hotel rooms on La Gomera).
  • All breakfasts on La Gomera.
  • An itinerary of organised hikes for our 6 hiking days.
  • Ferry tickets to and from La Gomera.
  • Two trip leaders.
  • Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

  • Packed lunches (we will pick up supplies at the supermarket).
  • Breakfasts in Tenerife (there are cafes near our accommodation).
  • Dinners (the local restaurants are excellent).
  • Transport on the island. Cars can be hired cheaply and costs can be shared between passengers. (We will help to organise this and make sure everyone has a seat in the hire cars)
  • Flights.

Meeting Details
The meeting point will be our holiday apartments in Los Cristianos which is a short taxi ride from Tenerife South Airport. You can meet us at the apartments anytime on Saturday 18th March.

Which Flights?
Outbound - There are daily departures of direct flights available from London, Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester. A taxi to our accommodation will cost about 20€ euros so we can match people on various flights to share the cost.

Return - We would like to catch the 13.00 ferry from La Gomera to Tenerife (13.50 arrival time) on Saturday 25th March. This means that you will be able to get to Tenerife South Airport for around 14.30 at the earliest.

Any of these return flights would work on Saturday 25th March...
TFS - GTW 19.05 - 23.25 easyJet
TFS - LTN 17.50 - 22.15 easyJet
TFS - STN 17.25 - 21.55 Ryanair
TFS - LHR 16.25 - 20.50 British Airways

Alternatively, if you would like an earlier flight time, you could catch the 07.30am (08.20 arrival) ferry from La Gomera back to Tenerife or stay an extra night on Tenerife and fly home at anytime on Sunday 26th March.

Please get in touch about your flights so we can book everyone on the correct ferry.

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 NOTES

VISA: Please check with the Spanish embassy if you need a visa to travel to Tenerife. Spain is within the Shengen zone. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary documents, including visa.

APRIL 7 - 10 - (EASTER HOLIDAY) - DARTMOOR NATIONAL PARK

Exact address and directions will be sent later.

£210.00

APRIL 7 - 10 - (EASTER HOLIDAY) - DARTMOOR NATIONAL PARK

Quality hostel accommodation in the beautiful Dartmoor national park!

Number of nights - 3. Cost - £210.

Join us for 3 nights over the Easter holiday weekend in the fabulous Dartmoor National Park.

This trip will allow us to explore one of England's most beautiful and mysterious landscapes. Swirling mists, granite tors, wide open spaces, attractive towns and villages, deep bogs, ponies, a grim-looking prison, Sherlock Holmes - many images come to mind when thinking of Dartmoor.

From our accommodation routes can take us onto the high moor where stone circles, bronze-age huts, medieval deserted villages and old mining sites can all be seen amongst wonderful natural scenery.
This will be a fantastic trip into one of the largest and wildest area of open country in the country. probably the only place in Southern Britain where you can experience a feeling of true wilderness!

Price includes:

  • 3 nights quality hostel accommodation in comfortable dormitory rooms.
  • All meals.
  • Packed lunches.
  • A choice of guided hikes by trained Mountain Leaders (https://www.mountain-training.org/qualifications/walking/mountain-leader) and qualified first aiders.
  • Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992.

Amazing value!!! :D

Price does NOT include:

  • Transport expenses.

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. Please use "DARTMOOR" as your payment reference.

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

1
APR 28 - MAY 2 (BANK HOLIDAY) TURKISH NORTH CYPRUS, MOUNTAINS & CRUSADOR CASTLES

Larnaca International Airport

£399.00

Backabush is heading to Northern Cyprus for some amazing hiking in the Besparmak mountains. A dramatic landscape dotted with ancient ruined crusader castles and abbeys!

Nights - 4. Cost - £399.

Joins us for 4 nights over the Early May Bank Holiday to explore the rugged hills and mountains of the lesser known Turkish side of Cyprus, where time seems to have stood still. A perfect place for hikers to explore uncrowded trails through fabulous scenery.

We will be based in delightful bungalows (twin share rooms) in lovely family run accommodation just outside the town of Girne (still widely known by its Greek name Kyrenia), one of the most beautiful towns in Cyprus, owing to its picturesque harbour, mighty Venetian castle, and a backdrop of sharp and craggy mountains.

The Kyrenia Mountain range – also known as the ‘Five Finger’ mountains, runs for around 100 miles along the northern coast and is named after one of its most distinguishing features – a peak that resembles five fingers. During the spring, the Northern Cyprus Kyrenia mountains explode into colour with a profusion of wild flowers, making it the best time to hike here. The mountains have always been a line of defence for the island, and Crusader castles lie ready to be explored on its peaks.

Some of the castles we may hike to are:

St Hilarion Castle

A crusader’s castle with a lot of history. St Hilarion is the most visited of the three Crusader castles in Cyprus. The fortress sits in a spectacular location on a steep limestone peak high above the harbour town of Girne. The picturesque castle is said to have been the inspiration for the Walt Disney production of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'. There’s a fabulous panorama from the top and you can see why the 10th century castle played an important role in protecting the island from Arab attacks.

Buffavento Castle

Buffavento is the highest and smallest of the three Crusader castles positioned along the spine of the the Kyrenia mountain range. Its name is believed to mean "buffeted by the wind", appropriately enough, given its position at a height of 955m. Due to the laborious ascent, Buffavento is the least visited of the mountain castles in Northern Cyprus but the panoramic 360 degree vistas from the top over the Mesaoria plain and the City of Lefkosa (Nicosia) are spectacular.

Our accommodation comprises of comfortable bungalows (twin share rooms) with living room and private terrace, situated around an outdoor pool which is surrounded by palm trees and offers mountain views. The perfect place to relax and take a dip after hiking.

In the evenings we will be able to enjoy the local Turkish-Cypriot cuisine which owes its heritage to a mixture of Mediterranean, Southern European and Middle Eastern influences and is known to be great value for money.

This trip does not involve technical mountaineering but the hikes on the islands can be challenging with ascents/descents between[masked]m so you need to have a good level of hiking fitness. A head for heights is also necessary in the mountainous terrain.

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

  • 4 nights twin room accommodation in comfortable bungalows surrounding a lovely pool.
  • 4 breakfasts.
  • Airport transfers from Larnaca Airport to our accommodation in Girne/Kyrenia (to match with the recommended flights).
  • An itinerary of organised hikes for our 3 hiking days.
  • Two trip leaders.
  • Transport to/from the start/end points of the hikes.
  • Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights – see recommended flights below.
  • Packed lunches (we will pick up supplies at the supermarket).
  • Dinners (the local restaurants are excellent).
  • Drinks.
  • Travel insurance.

RECOMMENDED FLIGHTS:

Our recommended flights from London Gatwick with Wizzair are:

Outbound - Friday 28 April
Wizzair W95749
Departs Gatwick - 11.05
Arrives Larnaca - 17:50

Return - Tuesday 2 May
Wizzair W95750
Departs Larnaca - 18:25
Arrives Gatwick - 21.20

The airport transfers will be arranged for these times. There is also an outbound flight with BA on Friday 28 April arriving at 18:05 which we can wait for.

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 and use "Cyprus" as your payment reference so that we can confirm everything with you. Thanks. :)

IMPORTANT NOTES

VISA: We will fly into/out of Larnaca in Cyprus (part of Schengen) and will cross the border into North Cyprus which is part of Turkey. Therefore please check with the Cypriot embassy if you require a visa to Cyprus and with the Turkish embassy if you need a visa to travel to North Cyprus. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary documents, including visa.

1
APRIL 29 - MAY 7 (BANK HOL) LYCIAN WAY HIGHLIGHTS & THE TURQUOISE COAST (TURKEY)

Backabush is going to Turkey to trek the highlights of the Lycian Way!

Cost £589 - 8 Nights - Group Size 16 - Hotel & Guesthouse Accommodation

The Lycian way is a long distance trail that spans over 300 miles along Turkey's stunning Turquoise Coast. Our plan is to do the best day hikes on the western half of the trail, along spectacular coastline, between charming towns and villages. We will have the chance to visit ancient Greek and Roman ruins, wild swim in secluded coves and enjoy home cooked food at our local guesthouses and hotels.

We plan to do six days of hiking, mostly along the famous Lycian way but also detouring to take in sights such as the idyllic Oludeniz beach and rock cut tombs of Amyntas. We will finish our trek in the beach town of Kas, a centre for adventure tourism where we will have a free day to rest & recover or join one of popular canyoning trips that Kas has become well known for.

On this trip we will be staying in six different places as we journey along the Lycian Way. Accommodation will be a combination of small hotels and guesthouses, for one or two nights each. We will be supported on our trek by a local trip leader who will provide a luggage transfer between accommodations so we can hike each day with just a light daypack.

This trip is best suited to fit and experienced hikers, our longest day of hiking will be approximately 11 miles with over 1000m of ascent on rough trails. There will also be some shorter days. The hikes on this trip are self guided and detailed route descriptions will be included.

Suggested Itinerary - Here

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • 8 Nights Hotel or Guesthouse Accommodation in shared twin rooms (Single supplement TBC)
  • All Breakfasts, 2 simple packed lunches and 3 evening meals
  • Private airport transfers and transport to/from hikes
  • Luggage transfer between accommodations
  • 6 days of organised hikes (self guided)
  • 1 trip organiser
  • Full financial protection as per the Package Travel Regulations

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

  • Flights to Dalaman Airport (see recommended flights)
  • Some lunches and dinners (see itinerary)
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions in Kas

RECOMMENDED FLIGHTS...

THESE FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN RESCHEDULED, PLEASE SEE COMMENT BELOW
Outbound - Saturday 29 April
easyJet EZY8565
Departs - Gatwick 15:25
Arrives - Dalaman 21:35

Return - Sunday 07 May
easyJet EZY8564
Departs - Dalaman 13:15
Arrives - Gatwick 15:30

Our airport transfers will be organised to meet these flights, if you choose to book alternative travel you will need to either meet us at Dalaman Airport at 21:35 or make your own way to our first nights accommodation in Fethiye.

HOW TO BOOK A PLACE ON THIS TRIP

To book onto this trip please email [masked] and send full payment to the Backabush account. Please use LYCIAN as your payment reference...

Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS
Sort Code:[masked]
Account Number:[masked]

Your RSVP alone is NOT enough to secure your place, full payment is needed to make a reservation.

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.

4

Past events (439)

OCT 28 – NOV 1 – El Chorro (Spain) and the infamous Caminito del Rey

Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP)

£334.00

Photos (24,204)