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 (5+)

TRAIL RUNNING HOLIDAY - West Highland Way (97 miles)

Join me for this incredible adventure as we run through the winding trails and steep mountain paths of the West Highland Way in FOUR days! SUMMARY: The West Highland Way is an iconic trail in Scotland, spanning a distance of 97 miles with 4000m of elevation gain, from Milngavie to Fort William. Some highlights of the route include amazing views of Loch Lomond, a tour of stunning scenery in Glencoe (including the many angles of Buachaille Etive Mòr), a long hard climb on the Devil's Staircase, and beautiful rolling hills all throughout. We will begin our journey at the official start of the West Highland Way at Milngavie, a small town about 20mins from Glasgow airport. For the purpose of this trip, we have divided the 97-mile route in four stages; we will run the distance of at least a marathon on the first three days. We will go through forests and riverbanks, rocky terrain and easy trail paths; we’ll cross mountains, hills and the long Roman road beyond the Bridge of Orchy. Our scenery will change each day as we make our way towards the highlands. Each day is different, but equally spectacular. If the weather holds up, we may be treated to some extraordinary views! The last stage includes an incredibly long downhill section- make sure you master your downhill technique! Check out the photos below from my recce trip on Easter 2018. DATES: 18 April - 22 April 2019 DISTANCE: The total distance of the route is 97mi, with approximately 4000m (13, 000 ft) elevation gain. SCHEDULE: 18 April: Fly into Glasgow, stay for the night. 19 April: Bright and early start for Day 1, Milngavie to Rowardennan (27mi). 20 April: Day 2, Rowardennan to Tyndrum (26mi). 21 April: Day 3, Tyndrum to Kinlochleven (28mi). 22 April: Day 4, Kinlochleven to Fort William (16mi). We'll have our celebration meal in Fort William, transfers back to Glasgow Airport and flight back to London in the evening. During the day we will stop briefly for lunch for some hot food before carrying on! PACE: We will aim to run 11:30-12:30 min per mile as our FASTEST average pace (we have a long way to go!), walking the uphills and easy pace on flats and downhills. Note that this is not a race; we will start and finish the run each day, together. This trip is doable at a walking pace; however, should you decide to separate from the group during the day, you will need to be able to navigate the route yourself. APPROXIMATE COSTS: Accommodation: £150 Flights: £90 Luggage + Airport transfers: £60 Organiser's fee: £40 TOTAL: £340 *Important*: Please note that you will need to book your flights, accommodation and luggage transfers yourselves. I will send out recommendations for all of these once you have confirmed your place in the trip. TRAINING: While we will run this route at an enjoyable pace, do remember that 97mi is a very long way! To enjoy this trip as a trail run, I highly recommend having experienced walking/running at least 30mi/50km in a single day. To avoid any injuries, please ensure you train well before the trip. If you feel unsure, please feel free to reach out to me for a chat! TO RSVP PLEASE VISIT: https://www.meetup.com/outdooradventureclub/events/255295770/

APRIL 19 - 22 - EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK AND NORTH DEVON

Exact address and directions will be sent later.

£244.00

APRIL 19 - 22 - EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK AND MID DEVON * Best Western Tiverton Hotel * We have booked a delightful hotel on the edge of the market town of Tiverton in the heart of the beautiful mid-Devon region. Exmoor national park is nearby, so we will have plenty of hiking opportunities to explore the great outdoors during our stay. * Number of nights - 3. Cost - £244. ********************************* Join us for 3 nights at this lovely hotel right in the heart of the beautiful Devon! https://d2nuhorlnps36p.cloudfront.net/images/Hotels/best-western-tiverton-hotel-images-83757/rooms/tiverton-hotel-bedrooms-20-83757.jpg?sfvrsn=0 This comfortable hotel is perfectly located to explore the wonders of Exmoor National Park and the beauty of rural Devon. Much loved by walkers this is an area with delightful scenery and great hikes along clear rivers, open moorland and pretty rural villages. Devon is well known for its rural landscapes and wonderful range of hiking opportunities to suit all tastes and abilities. Don't miss this fabulous Easter break! :D ********************************* PRICE INCLUDES: * 3 nights hotel accommodation in double occupancy rooms. Private rooms are also available (single occupancy supplement charge applies). * 3 breakfasts. * 3 delicious three-course evening meals. * 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. * Lunches (we can purchase packed lunches locally). * Single occupancy supplement - £64.50 extra for a private room. ********************************* 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. :) ********************************* https://d2nuhorlnps36p.cloudfront.net/images/Hotels/best-western-tiverton-hotel-images-83757/rooms/tiverton-hotel-bedrooms-27-83757.jpg?sfvrsn=0 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 .

MAY 3 - 6 (EARLY MAY BANK HOLIDAY) - LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK

Exact address and directions will be sent later.

£199.00

MAY 3 - 6 (EARLY MAY BANK HOLIDAY) - LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK Quality hostel accommodation surrounded by the high mountains of the Lake District. A lovely rural hostel beautifully situated not far from the shores of Lake Coniston! Number of beds - 44. Number of nights - 3. Cost - £199. Join us this Early May Bank Holiday weekend for 3 nights in the most scenic National Park in England - the Lake District! We have managed to secure a superb hostel for our exclusive use, set in stunning grounds and perfectly located for accessing the best hiking in the Lake District National Park. Our accommodation is perfect for hikers, being situated amongst the spectacular mountains of the national park and also not far from the shores of lovely Lake Coniston. As usual there will be a choice of exciting hikes each day so we can climb some of the highest mountains in England. The Old Man of Coniston and other summits in the Furness Fells rise just behind our hostel. Of course the beauty of the Lake District is that there are also fabulous but more relaxed walks in the valley bottoms. Food is important when out on big days of hiking so the Backabush catering team is going to take care of making delicious home cooked dinners while the hostel staff will take care of preparing our cooked breakfasts in the morning. There will also be plenty of tasty food items so each of us can build our own packed lunches just the way we like it! Come join the fun! :D Price includes: 3 nights hostel accommodation. 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. Alcoholic drinks at the hostel bar. 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 .

MAY 24 - 27 (LATE MAY BANK HOLIDAY) - THE VALE OF LLANGOLLEN - NORTH WALES

MAY 24 - 27 (LATE MAY BANK HOLIDAY) - THE VALE OF LLANGOLLEN - NORTH WALES Delightful 3-star* accommodation right in the charming town of Llangollen and overlooking the River Dee. Number of beds - 42. Number of nights - 3. Cost - £219. 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: 3 nights accommodation in a lovely 3-star* hotel on the River Dee 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 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 £20) 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 (376)

JANUARY 17 - 22 - MADEIRA, ISLAND OF ETERNAL SPRING

Madeira Island

£449.00

Photos (23,195)