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+)

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 - 47. 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

JUNE 1 - 5 - ISLE OF SKYE (SCOTLAND)

Inverness Airport

£288.00

Backabush is going back to Scotland to visit the ISLE OF SKYE! 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 considered 'Alpine' in character. They are so rugged, rocky and beautiful! Classic routes of the Isle of Skye include: Bruach Na Frithe (Black Cuillin) The Red Cuillin Horseshoe The Bla Bheinn (Coast & Cuillin Traverse) Sgurr Dearg & Coire Lagan 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. Any earlier and the adventurous upland hikes are likely to still be dangerously clad in snow, while any later and we will be bothered by midges (tiny biting flies) which can hatch out and swarm in the summer. Our location is perfect for outdoor adventures and it is important to note that we intend to do challenging hikes on this trip. Therefore it is best suited to fit and experienced hikers. If you would like to enjoy a week long holiday in Scotland with more mountain adventures, this trip can be combined with our trip to Torridon: JUNE 5 - 9 - TORRIDON (SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS) https://www.meetup.com/Backabush/events/256603439/ 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 (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 WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Food - our accommodation will have self catering facilities. Restaurant or pub meals - Scotland is well know for its unique and hearty food. Recommended flights - Now on sale, currently under £65 return. The meeting point will be at Inverness Airport on Saturday 1 June. We will drop you off at Inverness Airport on Wednesday 5 June. Our airport transfers will be timed to meet the following flights: • OUTBOUND - Saturday 1 June easyJet flight EZY863 Departs - 12:30 London Gatwick Arrives - 14:15 Inverness • INBOUND - Wednesday 5 June easyJet flight EZY864 Departs - 15:00 Inverness Arrives - 16:35 London Gatwick IF YOU CHOOSE TO BOOK ALTERNATIVE FLIGHTS MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 14:15 ON 1 JUNE AND DEPART NO EARLIER THAN 13:00 ON 5 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. 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

JUNE 5 - 9 - TORRIDON (SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS)

Inverness Airport

£286.00

Backabush is going back to Scotland - this time to TORRIDON! Are you ready for the most spectacular hiking in mainland Britain? The Torridon mountains are legendary for having the most rugged mountains in mainland Scotland and offers endless possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts. We will have some days to try to complete as many Scottish 'classics' as we can and really explore some incredible Highland scenery. This is a week of true mountain adventure! Our plan is to first spend 4 nights in the Torridon area at a superb, purpose built hostel located at the foot of the mountains with panoramic views. Classic routes in this region include: Beinn Alligin Liathach Coire Mhic Fhearchair Slioch The mountains of Torridon are legendary amongst Scottish mountain enthusiasts and we will be perfectly situated to explore this outstanding beautiful region of superb ridges and rock pinnacles. This is Britain at its best and the mountains are wild, rugged, rocky and beautiful! It is especially good that we have managed to arrange to visit the Scottish Highlands in June, at the absolute best time of year when the days are wonderfully long. Any earlier and the adventurous upland routes are likely to still be dangerously clad in snow, while any later and we will be bothered by midges (tiny biting flies) which can hatch out and swarm in the summer. This trip involves challenging routes through rugged and demanding mountain terrain with steep ascents. A good level of fitness will be necessary. You must also have scrambling experience and a good head for heights. The days will be long so this is an adventure for a small group of fit and experienced hillwalkers seeking the best mountain ascents this country can offer. If you would like to enjoy a week long holiday in Scotland with more mountain adventures, this trip can be combined with our trip to the Isle of Skye: JUNE 1 - 5 - ISLE OF SKYE (SCOTLAND) https://www.meetup.com/Backabush/events/256603917/ 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 by trained Mountain Leaders (http://www.mlte.org/content.php?nID=29) (MLTE) and qualified first aiders. WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Food kitty - our accommodation will have self catering facilities. Restaurant or pub meals - Scotland is well know for its unique and hearty food. Flights - Currently under £81 return with easyJet. Our airport transfers will be timed to meet the following flights: OUTBOUND - Wednesday 5 June easyJet flight EZY863 Departs - 12:30 London Gatwick Arrives - 14:15 Inverness INBOUND - Sunday 9 June easyJet flight EZY864 Departs - 15:00 Inverness Arrives - 16:40 London Gatwick The meeting point will be at Inverness Airport on Wednesday 5 June at 14:15. We will drop you off at Inverness Airport at 13:00 on Sunday 9 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 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

JUNE 12 - 16 - ISLE OF MULL (SCOTLAND)

Glasgow Airport

£309.00

Backabush is going back to Scotland to visit the ISLE OF MULL! The Isle of Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebredies (after Skye) and its rugged mountains and wild peninsulas make it a dream destination for adventurous hikers. This irregularly shaped island covers over 800 sq km is fringe with dramatic cliffs along most of its convoluted coastline. With less than 3000 inhabitants in this vast space it gives us a clue as to why Mull is loved for its wild nature, which is also home to sea eagles, otters, seals and red deer. Dolphins are often spotted frolicking in the surf off shore. Our plan is to fly into Glasgow and then drive to the ferry port of Oban on the mainland from where we set sail for Mull. We will then enjoy 4 nights in a lovely hostel booked for our exclusive use. Classic walks on the Isle of Mull include: Ben More - the summit of Mull Dùn da Ghaoithe ridge - a superb ridge hike Carsaig Arches - spectacular and challenging coastal hiking The Isle of Mull also offers lovely beaches, pretty settlements and a number of fascinating historic sights. This is a delightful Scottish Isle which is worthy of many more days of exploration but our relatively short visit will offer us a little glimpse of its special beauty. It is especially good that we have managed to arrange to visit the Isle of Mull in June, at the absolute best time of year when the days are wonderfully long. Any earlier and the summit of Ben More could still be dangerously clad in snow, while any later and we will be bothered by midges (tiny biting flies) which can hatch out and swarm in the summer. The hiking on Mull (both mountain and coastal) is rugged and very demanding. This is a challenging trip which is likely to involve scrambling and exposure to steep drops. It is best suited to fit and experienced hikers with a head for heights. WHAT IS INCLUDED: 4 nights quality, hostel accommodation. We will sleep in comfortable dorms. The hostel has been booked for exclusive use by our group. All transport in Scotland (including ferry crossings) and airport transfers from Glasgow. 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 WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Food - our accommodation will have self catering facilities. Restaurant or pub meals - Scotland is well know for its unique and hearty food. Recommended flights - Now on sale, currently under £69 return. The meeting point will be at Glasgow Airport on Wednesday 12 June. We will drop you off at Glasgow Airport on Sunday 16 June. Our airport transfers will be timed to meet the following flights: • OUTBOUND - Wednesday 12 June easyJet flight EZY883 Departs - 08:55 London Gatwick Arrives - 10:25 Glasgow • INBOUND - Sunday 16 June easyJet flight EZY882 Departs - 19:30 Glasgow Arrives - 21:00 London Gatwick IF YOU CHOOSE TO BOOK ALTERNATIVE FLIGHTS MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 10:25 ON 12 JUNE (WE HAVE A FERRY TO CATCH!) AND DEPART NO EARLIER THAN 19:30 ON 16 JUNE. Alternatively Virgin Trains operates direct services between London Euston station and Glasgow Central station, with regular bus connection to Glasgow Airport. https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/stations-destinations/regions/scotland/glasgow-central Tickets can be booked 13 weeks in advance. If you travel by train please allow enough time to travel to/from the meeting point at Glasgow Airport. Your RSVP alone does not secure your place. 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. 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 (380)

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

Exact address and directions will be sent later.

£199.00

Photos (23,306)