In this puzzle, solvers may begin by using the instructions on how to navigate the grid to spot a few common words (for example, GALAXY, CLUSTER, ADMIRAL, OPAL, or PACIFIC [JADE]). By looking up what they have in common, solvers may spot that they are searching for the names of HOPS. In addition, the title and instructions also clue hops in several ways: the instructions ask you to skip and jump (a reference to HOP, SKIP, and JUMP); the activity the "groups of friends" are partaking in in this puzzle is "bar HOPping"; and "Buds" in the title refers to both beer and (more esoterically) flowers, which hops are.
By getting this a-ha, the next task would be to identify the right paths so that all spaces are visited, without using each space more than once. Some ambiguities in the grid can be resolved by correctly figuring out adjacent paths (for example, SLADEK's ambiguity can be resolved when ADMIRAL and GLACIER are found). The grid and their correct paths can be seen below.
(Hops listed in order from where the starting square is from the top-left to the bottom-right)
When all paths are found, solvers must then find the parts of each path that goes to a neighbouring square instead of one that is two squares away. Those squares are highlighted in the grid below.
By reading those squares as they appear on the grid, the clue phrase BLACKADDER II EPISODE THREE PLUS WHAT CAN GO AGAINST SHIRTS appears. This clues the words POTATO (the title of Blackadder II's third episode) and SKINS (from the phrase "shirts vs. skins"), which when put together forms the appropriately bar-related answer: POTATO SKINS.