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 from their 20s to their 70s, all are very welcome. Your organisers, Tom, Louise and Derek, have enjoyed hiking and the outdoors all their lives, now we want to share this with you.
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.
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 qualified Hill and Moorland Leader (MLTE). 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.
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 a £5 organiser fee for a day hike securely on PayPal through the Meetup site. 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 18,000 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.
Please note there are risks associated with all outdoor activity, our hikes are typically between eight and thirteen miles in length, 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. We ask that you are capable of walking at 2.5 mph and have a reasonable intention of keeping up with the main group. 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.
Hope to see you on a hike soon, best wishes
Tom and Louise
Upcoming events (2)See all
- Explorer UK Christmas Hike - Thames Path Kew to PutneyGunnersbury Station, London W4 4AN£5.00
Join us for our easy paced Christmas hike along the Thames Path from beautiful Kew to fashionable Putney. It's our last hike of the year so come along and stretch your legs for six miles along the river before we go for a few festive drinks and something to eat in our secret underground pub.
This trip is a bit less challenging than normal but still long enough to enjoy some fresh air and good company whilst working up an appetite. We start at Gunnersbury tube station before walking down to the river and crossing Kew Bridge to take up the Thames Path. Look out for the famous Kew Gardens from the bridge and along the Thames itself we will see rowers sculling up and down river. Later we pass under Chiswick Bridge and walk past the London Wetland Centre nature reserve at Barnes. Our final destination is an atmospheric and surprising underground pub in Putney. Check out the photos from last year's hike to see how good it was!
In more detail:
Meet at 12:00 at Gunnersbury Underground Station on the District Line. Tom will be there a bit early and will be stood at the ticket office wearing his Explorer UK green hoody.
It is a picnic lunch so make sure you buy a sandwich or bring a snack including a bottle of water. (There will be a chance for a drink in one of the riverside pubs near Barnes around half way). Wear suitable clothing and footwear including a waterproof.
There is a pub for good food and and festive cocktails if you like at the end.
Trains back are from Putney Bridge Underground Station, also on the District Line. We should reach Putney by around 4pm so you can leave the group from there whenever it suits you but I think most people will want to stay and socialise for the evening.
The Trip Cost is £5 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.
Please note there are risks associated with all outdoor activity, this is a six mile hike and although we are not one of the fast groups we ask that you are reasonably fit and 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) You should be capable of walking at 2.5 miles per hour and in general seek to stay with the main group. Also please avoid doing anything that would put you or other members of the group in danger. If you have a pre-existing medical condition please seek appropriate medical advice before joining and ensure you have brought any personal medication. If 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
- Peak District Hiking Weekend; Castles, Caves, Moors and MountainsYHA Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WB, London£30.00
Join us for our sociable and spectacular 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 castle and caverns - Peverill Castle is one of England's earliest Norman Fortresses!
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.
Friday 15th March:
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 16th March:
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 17th March:
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
The price of this trip is £100
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 £70 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.
Guided hikes, led by qualified Hill and Moorland Leader. Hikes are Friday evening (weather permitting), Saturday and Sunday.
Bed: Friday and Saturday night (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 plus snacks on the Saturday.
Snacks on the Sunday.
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.
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 just book a train ticket from London to Hope (via Sheffield). Hope train station is approximately one mile from our hostel and is walkable on flat pavements. Treat yourself to a taxi if you must - but book it in advance. 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)
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
This will be a great weekend away. I hope you can come.