Breakaway is the hillwalking society for the University of St Andrews. We go on regular excursions out of St Andrews, either by car or by bus, to the farthest reaches of the Scottish highlands and islands. We run walks of all shapes and size, from flat leisurely strolls through the glens and around the coasts to challenging climbs up the Munros. There is something for everyone on every trip, no matter how experienced you are.

Day Trips

Day trips are by bus and cost £10. We leave around 7am on Saturday mornings and return at around 8pm. Make sure you bring a packed lunch and some money for the pub at the end of the day!

Weekend Trips

Weekend trips cost around £60 - £70. This covers transport, accommodation at a hostel and one meal every evening, except the evening of arrival. For most trips we leave on the Friday and return to St Andrews on Sunday with two days' worth of walking in between, and sometimes an additional day depending on arrangements. Drivers will receive a 20% discount on trips and all petrol expenses will be covered by Breakaway. If you own a car or want to drive a rental for us, please get in touch.

Walking Levels

Our walks are usually divided into four levels: Low, Low-Medium, High-Medium and High. To avoid incident, new members who have not yet attended a breakaway event will not be permitted to attend a High walk. This is a rough guide for what to expect from each level. Due to time constraints on day trips, lower walks might tend to be slightly longer than stated here and higher level walks shorter.


Largely flat walks along coastal paths or glens. 5-10km distance. No more than 300m ascent. Total time 2-4 hours.


Walks with some ascent, but easy terrain. 10-15km distance. Up to 500m ascent, sometimes to summits, but not Munros. Total time 4-6 hours.


Walks with significant ascent and occasionally challenging terrain. Scrambling not required except very low grade in good conditions. No use of crampons or ice axes, and technical experience not required. 15-25km distance. Up to 1000m ascent. Total time 6-8 hours.


Walks with challenging, prolonged ascent. Low-grade scrambling often required. Crampons, ice axes and light technical ability expected in winter conditions. 15-30km distance. Up to 1500m ascent. Total time 6-10 hours.


We currently offer two types of membership:

Social membership costs £5 and grants you access to any two trips for one academic year.

Full Membership costs £20 and grants you access to all trips for one academic year. It also includes membership of Mountaineering Scotland, which comes with a whole load of perks, such as shop discounts and access to superb value mountaineering courses.

Trip Signups

Our trips run roughly every two weeks alternating between day and weekend trips.

Both day trips and weekend trips need to be paid for upfront at signups. You must be a member of Breakaway to come on a trip. Signups for day trips are done online - you will receive a link to the online form via email and this will become active at 7pm on the Monday before the walk. Signups for weekend trips are in-person at the Student Union, usually on Wednesdays two weeks before the trip, on a first-come-first-served basis. If you cannot attend you can send a friend in your place, but it is strictly one place per person. If you have signed up but cannot come please tell us as soon as possible, since we cannot refund your payment unless we find somebody to take your place.


As well as hillwalking, we also hold several social events throughout the year including treasure hunts, pub hikes, meals out, and ceilidhs. The best way to keep up to date with our social events is via our facebook group.