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.

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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 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.

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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 (4+)

OCTOBER 1 - 3 - THE VALE OF LLANGOLLEN - NORTH WALES

The Hand Hotel

£185.00

OCTOBER 1 - 3 - THE VALE OF LLANGOLLEN - NORTH WALES

Delightful 3-star* accommodation right in the charming town of Llangollen and overlooking the River Dee.

Number of nights - 2. Cost - £185 per person in a twin share room or £225 for a private room with single occupancy supplement.

Nestled in the scenic and outstandingly beautiful countryside of the Vale of Llangollen is one of the most charming towns of North Wales. Surrounded by green hills and perched above the rapids of the winding River Dee, Llangollen is perfectly situated for some superb hiking. This broad rift valley is also the location of very many natural features and historical treasures.

The Shropshire Union Canal traverses the steep hills and is certainly amongst the most brilliant of Thomas Telford's greatest engineering feats. The famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is part of a UNESCO World Hertage Site and is a true marvel at over 1000 feet long!

There are monuments from ancient history too with the Iron Age hill fort of Castell Dinas Bran overlooking the romantic ruins of the medieval Valle Crucis Abbey. We can walk straight from our accommodation to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the wonder of the local history.

The delightful Hand Hotel stands above a beautiful stretch of the river Dee close to the centre of the pretty market town of Llangollen. With its stunning riverside garden, old world charm, ample free parking and idyllic surrounding countryside, we have the perfect accommodation from which to enjoy a superb hiking holiday.

After a wonderful day's hiking relax at the hotel bar or stroll down to one of the many charming local pubs.

This will be a fantastic trip in one of the most fabulous parts of Wales!

Price includes:

2 nights accommodation in a lovely 3-star* hotel on the River Dee
2 cooked breakfast
1 delicious (three course) evening meal on Saturday night.
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

Price does NOT include:

Transport expenses
Packed lunches (there are local shops to pick up supplies)
Single supplement cost - £40 for a private double 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 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

Cover Photo: Mark Warren 1973, http://tiny.cc/z8x1lz

OCTOBER 15 - 17 - CAMBRIAN MOUNTAINS, WALES

Neuadd Arms Hotel

£192.00

OCTOBER 15 - 17 - CAMBRIAN MOUNTAINS, WALES

Neuadd Arms Hotel.

This Victorian Grade II listed hotel is set at the heart of Britain's smallest town surrounded by beautiful hiking country.

The hotel even has its own award winning brewery!

Number of nights - 2.

Cost - £192 per person in a twin share room.

The Cambrian Mountains region is one of Wales' best kept secret. Its colourful and varied landscapes are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. We will explore the rugged mountains and hills, dotted with forests, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.

Our accommodation is provided in a family run hotel which has stood in the center of Llanwrtyd Wells for over 130 years. Its 19th century character, complete with open log fires, has been preserved in the lounge and public bars. The hotel even has its own brewery producing delicious regular and seasonal ales.

Come enjoy this most beautiful and unspoilt landscape with us! :D

Price includes:

2 nights hotel accommodation in twin share rooms (double room for couples). Private rooms available too. Single supplement applies.
2 cooked breakfasts
2 packed lunches
2 delicious home cooked dinners
A choice of guided hikes by trained Mountain Leaders (http://www.mlte.org/content.php?nID=29) (MLTE) and qualified first aiders
Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992

Amazing value!!! :D

Price does NOT include:

Transport expenses
Single supplement

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 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

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 1 - SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK, WALES

Betws-y-Coed

£189.00

Join Backabush for a long weekend in North Wales and some world class hiking in the Snowdonia National Park

Our hotel accommodation is superbly located in the picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed - “The Gateway to Snowdonia.” We have options for private rooms, shared twin rooms or bunkhouse rooms. We will be a group of 25.

Private Room £266 - SOLD OUT
Shared Twin Room £239 - SOLD OUT
Bunkhouse Room, 2 bed dorm £189

The hotel is set up with everything we need for a good rest after a long day in the mountains, even the bunkhouse rooms have full use of the hotel facilities including breakfasts, a drying room, pool table and bar.

As usual there will be a choice of exciting hikes each day so we can climb the highest summits or choose to enjoy a more relaxed (but no less scenic) walk at lower elevations.

We will be including an option to summit the ever popular Snowdon (weather permitting) but we will also have a number of hikes exploring the neighboring mountain ranges such as the Moelwyns, Glyderau and Carneddau. They may be less well known but are equally amazing and beautiful places to explore.

Come and join the fun! :D

WHATS INCLUDED:

3 nights hotel or bunkhouse accommodation.
3 breakfasts.
A choice of guided hikes by trained Mountain Leaders (http://www.mlte.org/content.php?nID=29) (MLTE) and qualified first aiders.
Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992.

WHATS NOT INCLUDED:

Transport expenses.
Packed lunches and evening meals.

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 email [masked] as soon as you send payment so that we can confirm everything with 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 .

MARCH 18 - 20 - BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK (BLACK MOUNTAIN), WALES

Exact address and directions will be sent later.

£155.00

MARCH 18 - 20 - BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK (BLACK MOUNTAIN), WALES

Accommodation in a delightful former 18th Century inn refurbished as a YHA Hostel.

Number of beds - 22. Number of nights - 2. Cost - £155 per person.

Join us for 2 nights in the Brecon Beacons. Our wonderfully remote hostel offers a beautiful retreat in a quiet corner of the national park with spectacular views of the Sawdde Valley and trails lead to the legendary Llyn-y-Fan glacial lake. The area is perfect for hiking!

The Black Mountain is a remote range of the Brecon Beacons National Park and is a true wilderness - a largely empty area of wide horizons and windswept mountains.

This is a trip for those that really like to escape the crowds!

Price includes:

2 nights hostel accommodation
All meals
Packed lunches
A choice of guided hikes by trained Mountain Leaders (http://www.mlte.org/content.php?nID=29) (MLTE) and qualified first aiders
Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992

Price does NOT include:

Transport expenses

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 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

Past events (413)

SEPTEMBER 15 - 19 - ISLE OF ARRAN (SCOTLAND)

Glasgow Airport

£374.00

Photos (23,923)