What we're about

We are London based hikers who enjoy exploring the pretty countryside of South East England

Explorer UK – Hiking, Walking, Socialising, Exploring

Welcome to Explorer UK, based in London, taking you away on day trips hiking through the pretty countryside of South East England and weekends away across the UK.

Who We Are: Explorer UK is based in London and has membership from the UK and all around the world. Many Explorers live locally or are here for work or study and want to get out of town for some hiking with new people and new friends. We have members of all different ages and although most are between 20 and 40 a few of our fittest Explorers are in their 60s. Your organisers, Tom and Louise, have enjoyed hiking and the outdoors all their lives, now we want to share this with you.

https://secure.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/6/4/a/4/600_449005764.jpeg

What We Do

Day Trips: We usually meet on a Saturday morning at a London train station before heading out into the countryside for a days walk together before getting the train back into town in the early evening. Our walks are typically around 10 miles in length and we like to have a good mix of hills and valleys and woods and rivers, usually with a castle, a windmill or a hilltop beacon to enjoy along the way. At the end of the hike we have the option of going for a drink or a meal together in a local pub near to the train station, you don't have to come to the pub but it's a great way to finish off the day by relaxing and chatting to new friends before heading home.

Weekends Away: As well as the South East we also organise hiking trip weekends across the UK. We are big fans of the Peak District and other National Parks and have some super little adventure breaks planned to historic English cities too. All of our weekends are based around hiking with some activity options available, as well as going out for dinner together on the Saturday night. Usually we travel out from London after work on the Friday and come back on the Sunday afternoon. In general you buy your train ticket and get to the hostel but after that we look after you - so you don't need a car to come with us. People really enjoy our weekends - have a look at the comments sections on previous trips - hopefully you will too!

Socialising: All of our hikes are a great chance to meet new people and make new friends. We are a relaxed group and there is plenty of space to breathe the air, enjoy the views and then chat to the others as the mood takes you. Many people come on their own and we make sure everyone is welcome, others like to bring a friend as their guest. It’s up to you. Most of our walks have a pub stop in the middle and we always have a chance to go for a meal and a drink together at the end.

Exploring: There’s so much to see and do and lots of it is not too far outside London. Come along and discover The North and South Downs Way, Arundel Castle, The Otford Solar System, The Angel on the Bridge, The River Thames, The Shivering Mountain, The Chiltern Hills, Beachy Head Cliffs, Jack and Jill, Gallows Down and much more. We’ve been to lots of places, now we want to take you too. Come along and have fun!

Safety: Tom is a fully qualified Hill and Moorland Leader (MLTE) who also holds an Outdoor First Aid certificate. All of the hikes we take you on have been tried out before to make sure they are suitable and we aim to minimise risk through careful planning, good organisation, experience and skill. We take your safety seriously and have a risk policy published under our terms and conditions.

https://secure.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/c/0/600_370500192.jpeg

FAQs

Can I come on my own? Yes, most people do although you are welcome to bring a friend or sign up a guest. We make sure everyone is very welcome and there will be lots of people to talk to as you are going along.

What are the costs? We keep our costs simple and there are no hidden things to pay for. Typically you will pay securely on PayPal through the Meetup site and this includes your return train ticket and full day guided walk. Please note we don’t do refunds unless the walk is cancelled.

What should I wear? We ask you to wear sensible walking clothes and shoes, preferably hiking boots, taking into account the weather forecast and time of year. This normally includes a waterproof. The terrain may be uneven or slippery and therefore fashion boots, shoes or boots with heels, smooth leather soles, fashion trainers or plimsoles are NOT suitable (This list is not exhaustive).

What should I bring? On most of our walks we ask you to bring a packed lunch or buy a sandwich at the station before we set off. Always bring water, we suggest one litre. You may also need to bring sunscreen, a hat and/or waterproofs depending on weather forecast/season. A day-sack (rucksack) to carry your lunch and you may like to bring a camera and some money to buy a drink or a meal in the pub at the end.

How fit do you need to be? We are not one of the fastest hiking groups but you do need a reasonable level of fitness to complete the length of walk (usually around 10 miles) and remember there will be some hills along the way.

Is this an established, trustworthy, hiking group? Yes. We have been going strong since December 2011 and currently have nearly 14,000 members. But don't take our word for it. Check out individual walk reviews or a group review to see what other Explorers thought.

Will I enjoy the hike and have fun? We certainly hope so! Why not check out some of our reviews to see what a good time people have.

Hope to see you on a hike soon, best wishes

Tom and Louise

Upcoming events (4)

An Easter Monday 6 mile walk around Richmond Park.

Richmond Train Station/underground

£6.00

Dear Fellow Walkers please join me on this 6 mile hike around the beautiful Richmond Park on Easter Monday. Boasting amazing views of London, you will enjoy seeing wonderful wild life, deer and stunning flowers. Highlights of this easy paced trip include King Henry VIII mound, Pembroke Lodge and Isabella Plantation. There is a selection of cafe's, picnic areas and excellent view points. Please meet me at 12:00 noon at Richmond Train Station with direct trains from London Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Wimbledon and also the tube District Line and I will be there a little earlier easily visible in my lime green hoodie. I plan to leave at 12:15. After this breath taking hike a well earned break in the Bucks Head Pub with fabulous views of the River Thames. Cost: The Trip Cost is £6.00 which is non-refundable and covers your guided hike and administration. Things To Bring: Picnic lunch, water, suitable shoes and clothing including waterproof, your camera, some money for food and drink if you would like to stop in the pub at the end. RISK NOTICE: Please note there are risks associated with all outdoor activity, this is a nine mile hike and although we are not one of the fast groups we ask that you are reasonably fit and capable of walking at 2.5 miles an hour. You should have suitable clothing and footwear for the walk. The terrain may be uneven or slippery and therefore fashion boots, shoes or boots with heels, smooth leather soles, fashion trainers or plimsoles are NOT suitable. (This list is not exhaustive) Also please avoid doing anything that would put you or other members of the group in danger. If you are bringing a guest please ensure that they have read this notice and walk description before they agree to come. This walk is not suitable for children. I will post a weather forecast the night before and hope you can come. Happy Easter and best wishes. Mark.

Hike Stonehenge - World Heritage Site via 8 Mile Hike & Coach Trip,

Stonehenge! Our very own 5,000 year old World Heritage Site. Join us as we board a coach to Wiltshire and enjoy an 8 mile hike around the stones through an open landscape adorned with neolithic treasures. Stonehenge: We think they started building it around 3100 BC. Some people claim it was created by a supernatural power as at the time people would not have been able to transport the stone and erect the structure. More recent reconstructions using neolithic technology show that it could be done, but that it would have involved lots of hard work. Why did they do it? Nobody wrote anything down at the time so we don't really know. Some say a place of sacrifice - certainly there are many burial sites nearby. Others prefer it to be a religious site, maybe a destination for pilgrims hoping to find a cure for illness and disfigurement. Bodies discovered have been linked to Germany, The Mediterranean and Wales. Salisbury Plain: Our walk will take us around the stones and out onto Salisbury Plain, a 300 sq mile chalk plateau, forming part of the system of chalk downlands that spread through Eastern and Southern England. The area is a mine of neolithic archaeological treasure as stone age man began to settle and later earthworks, barrows and, later again, iron age forts. The British Army: Much of the character of the sparsely populated grassland has been preserved through use by the Armed Forces. The area is home to the largest military training site in the UK and in times of war local villages were deserted to allow battle practice. Explorers may be assured that we do not enter any live firing range! In More Detail: We meet at 09:00am at Acton Town Tube Station, which is on the Piccadilly and District Lines. Tom will be there a bit early to meet you and will be stood outside the main exit to the Underground Station wearing his Explorer UK green hoodie. Please note our coach must leave at 09:30 sharp and cannot wait for latecomers. Walk description: This is an 8 mile hike over the rolling landscape of the Salisbury Plain. Stonehenge itself is just after the mid way point of the walk, which also features beautiful rivers, woods and fields. Remember to bring a packed lunch or buy a sandwich for your picnic. There are toilet stops at the start and finish of this walk but no facilities during the hike, we will stop for food in the pub at the end before getting on our coach back to London. We are due back into London (Acton Town) by about 9pm. Cost: The Trip Cost is £31.50 which includes your coach fare and full day guided hike by a qualified Hill and Moorland Leader (MLTE). The trip cost is non refundable and sold as a package, however if you can't come then you may be able to sell your place to someone on the waiting list once the trip has sold out. Early Bird Discount! - first five to sign up get £5 off (therefore trip cost is £26.50) Please note; the cost does not include entry to the stones themselves and our day will not allow time for Explorers to enter on their own. (I have been on the mini tour and for the money you are better off seeing the stones from the outside). Things To Bring: Picnic lunch, water, suitable walking boots/shoes and clothing including waterproof, your camera, some money for food and drink at the pub at the end. RISK NOTICE: Please note there are risks associated with all outdoor activity, this is an eight mile hike and although we are not one of the fast groups we ask that you are reasonably fit and wear suitable clothing and footwear. The terrain is uneven and may be slippery - smooth soled shoes/boots/fashion trainers and footwear with heels are not suitable (list is not exhaustive). Please avoid doing anything that would put you or other members of the group in danger. In signing up for this trip you agree to the Explorer UK terms and conditions and accept responsibility for any risk of personal injury associated with the walk. If you are bringing a guest please ensure that they have read this notice and walk description before they agree to come. This walk is not suitable for children or pet dogs. I will post a weather forecast the night before. Hope you can come Best wishes Tom

Hike The Thames Path, Stage Four, 9 miles, London Bridge to Greenwich Park.

Dear Fellow walkers join me on Stage Four of our London Thames Series as we hike nine miles of the Thames Path from London Bridge to Greenwich Park . This easy paced and sociable trip is a brilliant mixture of the old and new, from crossing Tower Bridge to The Tower of London and then the super flash marinas and skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Later we cross The Thames again, but this time underneath it, via the 1902 Dockers Foot Tunnel at Greenwich. Other highlights include The Cutty Sark and The Greenwich Naval College. We will finish at the Observatory ontop of Greenwich Park boasting a breath taking view of London and then if you would like we will head down for a well earned drink and bite to eat in a great pub. It is a picnic lunch so please make sure you buy a sandwich or bring a pack-up including a bottle of water. (There will be a chance for a drink in one of the riverside pubs around half way). Wear suitable clothing and footwear including a waterproof. This is Stage Four of the Explorer UK London Thames Path Series but you don't have to have been before and it will be a great day out even if it's your first one! In more detail: Meet at London Bridge Underground Station and come out on the Borough High Street Exit (Northern and Jubilee Lines) Meet time is at 11:00. I will be there a little bit early and will be easily visible in my Explorer UK green hoodie and we will leave at 11:15. Cost: The Trip Cost is £9 which is non-refundable and covers your guided hike and administration. Note if you are coming back on Thames clipper it is a further £6.80 paid directly or via Oyster Card once on board the boat. Things To Bring: Picnic lunch, water, suitable shoes and clothing including waterproof, your camera, some money for food and drink if you would like to stop in the pub at the end. RISK NOTICE: Please note there are risks associated with all outdoor activity, this is an eight mile hike and although we are not one of the fast groups we ask that you are reasonably fit and capable of walking at 2 miles an hour. You should have suitable clothing and footwear for the walk. The terrain may be uneven or slippery and therefore fashion boots, shoes or boots with heels, smooth leather soles, fashion trainers or plimsoles are NOT suitable. (This list is not exhaustive) Also please avoid doing anything that would put you or other members of the group in danger. If you are bringing a guest please ensure that they have read this notice and walk description before they agree to come. This walk is not suitable for children or pets. Look forward to seeing you and best wishes. Mark. Highlights: The Tower of London: Built in 1066 and originally designed to keep unruly Londoners in check, The Tower has had a mixed history, serving at various times as a castle, a royal palace and a prison. (There have been many executions, most recently during the war years with 12 men hung for spying). These days it houses the Crown Jewels and is one of Englands most popular tourist attractions. Greenwich Foot Tunnel to The Cutty Sark: 1902 foot tunnel linking North London to South. Built so that Bermondsey dockers could get to work on the Isle of Dogs we will be climbing out on the South bank to have a look at The Cutty Sark - built in 1869 she is the last and the fastest of the old tea clippers and held the record time between Australia and England for ten years. Tower Bridge: Open in 1894 by the Prince of Wales, this is the Thames' most famous crossing. It's ground breaking design enables the two central leaves of the bridge to be raised and hinged upwards towards their respective pillars thereby allowing the passage of shipping into the Pool of London upstream.

Peak District Hiking Weekend; Castles, Caves, Moors and Mountains 7th June 2019

YHA Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WB

£30.00

Join us for our ever popular hiking weekend in the beautiful Peak District, Britain's first ever National Park. We start on the Friday evening with a hike to catch the sunset and the stars before looking forward to Saturday's classic nine mile hike past Peveril Castle and along Mam Tor Ridge. On Sunday there will be a shorter but still spectacular hill walk or, for those who prefer an easier day, some free time to explore Castleton with its four caverns and castle including the famous Devil's Arse. I love the Peak District and Castleton is the jewel in its crown. We are staying at Losehill Hall where we have exclusive hire of the annexe whilst also enjoying access to the main hostel, restaurant, kitchen and bars. We are in the middle of the best walking territory and all of our trips will start on foot right from the hostel door. Our itinerary: Friday 7th June: Travel up to Castleton during the day or in the evening after work if it suits you. Check in at Losehill Hall is from 4pm but if you're there early you can drop your bag off and go out to explore the town. It's picture postcard pretty and there are plenty of friendly and historic pubs to try. If you are there by 8pm we will take you out for a gentle hike to catch the sun setting and the stars coming out - a beautiful view from our hilltop destination. Please note for this to be safe (and enjoyable!) we need a clear dry night - if it's raining or cloudy we won't go out but instead will take things easy and get to know everyone on the trip before Saturday's big hike. Saturday 8th June: After a proper cooked breakfast we set out from the hostel on our main hike of the weekend. It's one of the classic Peak District walks and we climb up into the hills past the magnificent ruins of Peveril Castle before going on to reach the Iron Age hill fort at the top of Mam Tor. The route then takes us along the Mam Tor ridge to enjoy views over Castleton and on the other side, the wilds of Kinder Scout. We should be back at the hostel between 4 and 5pm, in time for a hot shower to get ready for our meal out together where we are booked in at one of the best local pub restaurants. Sunday 8th June: There are two options for Sunday's activities and it all depends how your legs and feet are feeling after Saturday! Again the day starts with a cooked breakfast before we lead the main group on a slightly shorter hike of around 6 miles to climb Win Hill. At 462m it is not the highest around, but definitely enjoys its own mini-mountain like character with a view to match from the top. On the return leg we will stop at a pub for a late lunch before going back to the hostel and starting the journey home to London. If you feel like a break from the hiking and want to try something different Castleton is the perfect place to explore and I would recommend one of the guided cave tours. There are four to choose from but my personal favourite is the ropemaker tour at The Devil's Arse (also the location for some Harry Potter scenes): Please note all cave/castle tours run independently of Explorer UK and separate charges will apply. In More Detail Costs The price of this trip is £119 To book your place, RSVP Yes and pay a deposit of £30 via PayPal. You will then be emailed bank account details and the outstanding balance of £89 must be paid in full. If the final payment is not received two weeks prior to the trip your place will be re-opened for sale with no deposit refunded. Please Note: All payments are non-refundable and no re-sale or transfer allowed unless the trip is full. Any re-sale once the trip is full must be to an Explorer of the same sex. Early Bird Discount: We are offering an early bird discount of £10 for the first five Explorers to sign up, which means your total cost will be £109. Please sign up with your £30 deposit and we will confirm your early bird status and deduct the £10 from your final payment. What’s included: Guided hikes with two leaders, led by a qualified Hill and Moorland Leader. Hikes are Friday evening (weather permitting), Saturday and Sunday. Bed: Friday and Saturday night (aiming for single sex hostel dorm rooms - room allocation is completed in advance and organisers cannot deal with requests for room changes once the weekend has started). Full cooked breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Packed lunch on the Saturday. Snacks on the Sunday. Financial protection under Package Travel Regulations What’s not included; Transport between London and The Peak District Evening meals and drinks, lunch on Sunday. Remember if you are planning to do the Friday evening hike you will need to have bought food and eaten it before we set off. Things to bring: (this is not an exhaustive list) Rucksack, water bottle, suitable walking boots/shoes and clothing including waterproofs, your camera, some money. If you are aiming for the sunset and stars walk on Friday night you should bring a torch (preferably a head torch if you have one). Overnight bag for staying in your dormitory room (linen and bedding is provided but not towels; the hostel will hire clean towels to you for a small charge and also sells toothpaste etc if you forget yours). Bring one outfit of smart clothing as we will be going out for dinner in the pub on Saturday night. The most important thing is your boots/hiking shoes and waterproof. There is a drying room at the hostel but if you are wet/have blisters it can spoil your weekend. Transport We are not providing transport to the Peak District or involved in organising it, however if you are driving or want a lift in a car share then post a comment to this effect and message other Explorers who have RSVPed Yes. Alternatively National Rail http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ currently has return fare London to Hope from £62. Hope train station is approximately one mile from our hostel and is walkable however you may wish to book a taxi if arriving later in the evening with baggage. Note if you are planning to do the Sunday hike do not book a train that leaves Hope Station before 4pm. Note: It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the National Rail website and watch out for when the tickets become available as this will make travel a lot cheaper. If you are arriving after 11pm on Friday evening please let Tom know in advance (reception shuts at 11pm and we will need to make alternative arrangements) RISK NOTICE: Please note there are risks associated with all outdoor activity, there are three hikes on this trip the longest of which is nine miles. There is no climbing or scrambling involved but at some point you may need to use your hands to assist you. We are not one of the fast groups but you must be reasonably fit and wear suitable clothing and footwear. The terrain is uneven and may be slippery - smooth soled shoes/boots/fashion trainers and footwear with heels are not suitable (list is not exhaustive). You should wear proper walking boots or shoes. Please avoid doing anything that would put you or other members of the group in danger. The Peak District is not a mountainous region however there are cliffs and steep slopes within the vicinity of our routes. You should follow the directions of the group leaders whilst on the hike. In signing up for this trip you agree to the Explorer UK terms and conditions and understand that there is a risk of personal injury associated with the hikes. We recommend that you take out your own personal travel and injury insurance. If you are bringing a guest please ensure that they have read this notice and walk description before they agree to come. This walk is not suitable for children or pet dogs. Please see link to our terms and conditions page http://www.meetup.com/Explorer-UK/pages/Explorer_UK_-_Terms_and_Conditions This will be a great weekend away. I hope you can come. Best wishes Tom

Past events (132)

Photos (3,817)

Find us also at