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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

The Backabush Crew & Hiking Team

Contact Geoff & Nathan

backabushxplorers@yahoo.com
nathancapay@googlemail.com

Upcoming events (4+)

OCTOBER 7 - 9 - CAMBRIAN MOUNTAINS, WALES

Needs a location

£214.00

OCTOBER 7 - 9 - 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.

Shared Twin Room - £214 per person

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]

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

12
OCTOBER 15 - 22 - MALLORCA, THE WILD SIDE OF THE BALEARIC ISLANDS

Needs a location

£569.00

Backabush is heading to the Mediterranean Sea to hike the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca!

Mallorca, also called Majorca, is the largest island in it's group and is considered to be the crown jewel of Spain’s Balearic Islands. Known for its beautiful coastline, secluded coves, limestone mountains, Spanish architecture, wineries and fresh produce farms, and stunning beaches.

For hikers the main attraction is the dramatic mountains skirting the length of Mallorca’s northern coast, known as the Serra de Tramuntana. Running almost 90 kilometres and with numerous peaks over a kilometre high, the whole range has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its historical, cultural, and environmental importance. Aside from the sweltering heat of the summer months, visitors can expect to enjoy mild weather and good amounts of sunshine making the mountains a paradise for hiking!

Our newly refurbished four-star hotel is located on the seafront of the stunning Santa Ponça beach and offers easy access to the mountain trails. The hotel's main attractions include a large swimming pool and sun lounger area, a restaurant, Snack Bar and Chill-Out terrace with infinity pool. Buffet breakfasts and all our delicious 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 - £569
Private Single Occupancy Room - £719

From our base on the coast we will be well placed to reach the best of the hikes in the Tramuntana Mountains and can easily travel to many of the unmissable hiking highlights of the island. It goes without saying that a mountain range this huge is going to provide some incredible views, but it’s hard to imagine just how spectacular they are until you see them with your own eyes.

Come and join us this October for a welcome break from the autumn gloom to enjoy some superb hiking and sunshine in Mallorca!

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 Palma de Mallorca Airport on Saturday 15 October. We will return to the airport on Saturday 22 October.

Our recommended flights:

Outbound - Saturday 15 October
easyJet EJU8619
Departs Gatwick - 14.10
Arrives Palma - 17.35

Return - Saturday 22 October
easyJet EZY8632
Departs Palma - 16.30
Arrives Gatwick - 18.00

It is also possible to fly from Luton which is slightly cheaper...
Outbound - EZY2273
Departs Luton - 11.50
Arrives Palma - 15.15

Return - EZY2274
Departs Palma - 15.55
Arrives Luton - 17.25

There are many flights into Palma each day, if you'd like to fly at a different time then please meet us at the hotel, it will be around 30 Euros for a taxi.

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. :)

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.

3
OCT 28 – NOV 1 – El Chorro (Spain) and the infamous Caminito del Rey

Needs a location

£334.00

Backabush is heading to El Chorro in Andalucia in the south of Spain for some amazing hiking and to catch some last sunshine at the end of October!

During this 4 night mini-adventure we are planning to hike the infamous Caminito del Rey cliff-side path, once considered to be the world’s most hazardous footpath. The spectacular Caminito del Rey is a truly thrilling, cliff-side path on the edge of the famous El Chorro gorge, hanging 100m above the waters of the river Guadalhorce reservoir. The name derives from the original name of Camino del Rey (King's Pathway), abbreviated locally to el caminito. The walkway had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for over a decade.

The entire route has been carefully restored, but although it's now much safer, one thing hasn't changed - the unique experience of strolling along walkways hanging over 100 metres up on a sheer cliff face. The views are unforgettable. The Caminito del Rey route is spectacular from beginning to end, running through cliffs, canyons, and a large valley. It crosses the landscapes of Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, a gorge carved out by the river Guadalhorce, with walls 700 metres high.

We will also enjoy some superb hiking in the rugged mountains surrounding the small village of El Chorro in the province of Malaga. This area is much loved by rock climbers for its vertiginous rock faces and stunningly beautiful turquoise coloured lakes bordered by pine forests.

The area is also inhabited by a wide variety of animal and plant species. With luck we might see highland birds like Egyptian vultures, griffon vultures, or golden eagles, and mammals such as wild boar and Iberian ibex.

Classic hiking routes around El Chorro include:

  • The historic Arab staircase and Pico Huma (1191m)
  • Tajo de la Encantada viewpoint and the Roman ruins of Bobastro

Optional activities can include:

  • The El Chorro Via Ferrata - a thrilling 4h trip with a zip line and two Tibetan bridges
  • Kayaking or paddle boarding on the El Chorro lakes
  • Rock climbing
  • Yoga classes

This trip does not involve technical mountaineering but the hikes on the islands 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.

Accommodation

We will be staying in lovely countryside accommodation just outside of the village of El Chorro. The property has an outdoor pool, pool table and yoga platform, set in a tranquil garden. It has lots of character and a relaxed atmosphere. A perfect retreat away from it all!

The beds are in shared rooms:

  • Bunk beds (3-4 bed dorm rooms) - £334

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

  • 4 nights accommodation.
  • Full board: 4 breakfasts, 4 packed lunches and 4 dinners.
  • Free WIFI.
  • An itinerary of organised hikes.
  • Caminito del Rey ticket with official guide.
  • Two trip leaders.
  • Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights to Malaga – see recommended flights below.
  • Transport – airport transfer by minibus for 20 passengers costs around 10 euros per person each way.
  • Drinks – our accommodation has an honesty bar.
  • Optional activities.
  • Travel insurance.

Recommended flights:

Our recommended flights from London Gatwick to Malaga Costa del Sol airport are:

Outbound: Friday the 28th of October 2022
Easyjet EZY8607
Departs Gatwick - 12:15
Arrives Malaga – 16:10

Return: Tuesday the 1st of November 2022
Easyjet EZY8606
Departs Malaga – 13:00
Arrives Gatwick – 14:55

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 currently 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. This might change so we will monitor the situation closely.

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

4
MARCH 18 - 25 - LA GOMERA - Isla Mágica (the magical island)

Needs a location

£584.00

Backabush is heading back to the Canary Islands to visit La Gomera!

La Gomera is known as "the magical island" or "the Canary island that time forgot" because of its incredible natural beauty.

The second-smallest of the seven Canary Islands - nearly circular and only 25 kilometres across - La Gomera feels like the island that time forgot. It's still possible to drive through soaring ravines and sleepy mountain villages down to deserted rocky beaches without encountering a single traffic light. It is unquestionably the most unspoilt islands of the Canary Islands, and is a walkers paradise. The landscape is characterized by rugged mountains, earth valleys and tropical misty forests.

The archipelago of the Canary 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 March. There is a wealth of amazing hikes to explore.

We will first be staying for two nights in Los Cristianos, the main port town on Tenerife's south coast and a popular beach resort before heading over to La Gomera by ferry. Whale sightings are common during this sea crossing.

We have the following room options:

Shared Twin Room - £584
Private Single Occupancy - £748

From our accommodation in Tenerife (2 nights) we can enjoy one amazing day hike in the Teno Mountains or in the Parque National del Teide which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then we will base ourselves for 5 nights in the lovely port town of San Sebastián de La Gomera. We can then enjoy 5 days of spectacular hiking on La Gomera island.

La Gomera is home to the National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Garanjonay, a natural jewel in the Canary Islands archipelago. Here we can find species that are otherwise extinct in most destinations, dense forests, deep ravines and a prehistoric landscape that has been sculpted over millions of years.

Come and join us for some welcome winter sun and fun in La Gomera!

This trip does not involve technical mountaineering but the hikes on the islands 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 (2 nights in holiday apartments in Tenerife and 5 nights in hotel rooms on La Gomera).
  • All breakfasts on La Gomera.
  • An itinerary of organised hikes for our 6 hiking days.
  • Ferry tickets to and from La Gomera.
  • Two trip leaders.
  • Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

  • Packed lunches (we will pick up supplies at the supermarket).
  • Breakfasts in Tenerife (there are cafes near our accommodation).
  • Dinners (the local restaurants are excellent).
  • Transport on the island. Cars can be hired cheaply and costs can be shared between passengers. (We will help to organise this and make sure everyone has a seat in the hire cars)
  • Flights.

Meeting Details
The meeting point will be our holiday apartments in Los Cristianos which is a short taxi ride from Tenerife South Airport. You can meet us at the apartments anytime on Saturday 18th March.

Which Flights?
Outbound - There are daily departures of direct flights available from London, Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester. A taxi to our accommodation will cost about 20€ euros so we can match people on various flights to share the cost.

Return - We would like to catch the 13.00 ferry from La Gomera to Tenerife (13.50 arrival time) on Saturday 25th March. This means that you will be able to get to Tenerife South Airport for around 14.30 at the earliest.

Any of these return flights would work on Saturday 25th March...
TFS - GTW 19.05 - 23.25 easyJet
TFS - LTN 17.50 - 22.15 easyJet
TFS - STN 17.25 - 21.55 Ryanair
TFS - LHR 16.25 - 20.50 British Airways

Alternatively, if you would like an earlier flight time, you could catch the 07.30am (08.20 arrival) ferry from La Gomera back to Tenerife or stay an extra night on Tenerife and fly home at anytime on Sunday 26th March.

Please get in touch about your flights so we can book everyone on the correct ferry.

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

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

Past events (436)

Photos (24,158)