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+)

FEBRUARY 5 - 12 - TENERIFE, ISLAND OF VALLEYS AND VOLCANOES

Tenerife South Airport

Backabush is heading back to the Canary Islands to visit Tenerife!

Tenerife is the biggest in the archipelago of the Canary Islands and has a wealth of amazing hikes to explore. These 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 February.

We will be staying in the vibrant town of Puerto de la Cruz in a fabulous 4 star hotel which over looks the ocean and is just 50m from the black sand beach. We can enjoy the hotels 2 outdoor pools, terrace bar and sea-view restaurant - all evening meals are included. In the evenings we can also check out some of the popular bars in the local town. We have the following room options...

Shared Twin Room - £549
Shared Twin Room with Balcony - £569 - SOLD OUT
Private Single Occupancy Room - £699 - SOLD OUT

From our base on the north coast we will be well placed to reach the best of the islands hikes and can easily travel to many of the unmissable highlights of the island.

Tenerife is dominated by the towering Pico del Teide, a dormant volcano that sits at 3715m high (the highest peak in Spain!) The surrounding Parque National del Teide is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is formed of a vast crater with ancient lava flows and forests of Canary Pine.

As well as the striking national park and its moonscape volcanic features the island is also characterised by its plunging ravines, wild coastline and its unique 'laurisilva' or cloud-forest which has the largest number of endemic species in Europe and forms a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Come and join us for some welcome winter sun and fun in Tenerife this February!

This trip does not involve technical mountaineering but the hikes on the island 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 in a 4-star hotel.
- All breakfasts and evening meals.
- An itinerary of organised hikes for our 6 full hiking days.
- Two trip leaders.
- Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

- Packed lunches.
- Transport on the island. Cars can be hired cheaply and costs can be shared between passengers.
- Flights.

The meeting point is at Tenerife South Airport on Saturday 5 February. We will return to the airport on Saturday 12 February.

Our recommended flights:

• OUTBOUND - Saturday 5 February
easyJet flight EZY 8710
Departs - 13:55 London Gatwick
Arrives - 18:20 Tenerife South

• RETURN - Saturday 12 February
easyJet flight - EZY 8710
Departs - 14:40 Tenerife South
Arrives - 19:05 London Gatwick

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

The Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK to present on entry a Health Control Form and one of the following: a negative COVID-19 test; or proof of vaccination.

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

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

APRIL 1 - 3 - THE WYE VALLEY, WALES

Beaufort Hotel

£187.00

APRIL 1 - 3 - THE WYE VALLEY, WALES

The Beaufort Hotel. Charming, historic hotel accommodation in the heart of beautiful Chepstow town.

Number of nights - 2.
Cost - £187 per person in a twin share room.
£175 per person in a triple room.
£212 for a private single occupancy room. SOLD OUT

Join us for 2 nights at this charming Welsh hotel - the perfect base from which to explore the gorgeous Wye Valley!

The Beaufort Hotel is situated at the very centre of the historic border town of Chepstow. Popular with locals and visitors alike, the Beaufort is the oldest, continuously trading hotel in South Wales. However, the facilities here are all you would expect from a modern hotel, whilst still retaining the charm and character of a 16th century coaching inn.

The restaurant at our comfortable 3 star hotel offers excellent, home cooked meals and the bar is always well stocked to enable us to relax and unwind at the end of a day filled with outdoor adventure.

The Wye Valley is renowned for superb hiking through ancient woodland, beautiful villages and historic landscapes.

A perfect weekend away! :D

Price includes:

2 nights hotel accommodation in single, twin share or shared triple rooms.
2 cooked breakfasts.
1 delicious (two course) evening meal on Saturday night.
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.
Dinner on Friday night.
Lunches (depending on the hike you choose you can either take a packed lunch with you or pick something up in a village along the route).

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

APRIL 15 - 18 - (EASTER HOLIDAY) - SHROPSHIRE HILLS & IRONBRIDGE GORGE

Buckatree Hall Hotel

£269.00

APRIL 15 - 18 - (EASTER HOLIDAY) - SHROPSHIRE HILLS & IRONBRIDGE GORGE

Number of nights - 3. Number of beds - 40.

£224 per person in a twin share room.

£269 for a private single occupancy room.

Join us for an amazing Easter weekend, combining fine hiking and a historic World Heritage Site at the Buckatree Hall Hotel!

This marvelous country house hotel was returned back to family ownership in September 2010 and has since been lovingly refurbished to today’s high standard.

The Shropshire Hills area is one of England's best kept secrets. Its beautiful and varied landscapes are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers can expect wonderful rural scenery and wild uplands. We will discover delightful villages, ancient woodland and plenty of historical interest.

Our accommodation offers charmingly refined rooms with rich fabrics, all have flat-screen TVs and free WiFi, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. There's an elegant restaurant with lake views, and a relaxed bar and lounge. A gym is even available for anyone who feels that they did not burn enough energy out on the hills!

The hotel offers lovely accommodation just 5 miles from the UNESCO Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site famed for being the birthplace of the industrial revolution.

Come enjoy this most beautiful and unspoilt corner of England with us! :D

Price includes:

3 nights hotel accommodation.

3 cooked breakfasts.

3 delicious home cooked dinners.

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.

Amazing value!!! :D

Price does NOT include:

Transport expenses.

Packed lunches.

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 us 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.

Past events (416)

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 1 - SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK, WALES

Betws-y-Coed

£189.00

Photos (23,941)