Alastair Borthwick: Introducing Hiking And Glaswegian Culture To The Populace


During the earlier part of the 20th Century, those living within urban settings were yearning to escape the hectic aspects of industrialism, in particular those that experienced the ravages of post WWI and the Great Depression. Many began to feel the need to get away and literally attempt to grab a breath of fresh air. Thus, the natural and expansive popularity of hiking as a logical option for those with the time, ability and resources.

Hiking was originally popular with Germans during the “Wandervogel”, or “folk movement” under the Wiemar Government that encouraged physical fitness and activities to help build a strong and vigorous people at one time. Following this, hiking’s popularity spread in kind among the Upper and Middle Class initially in Western Europe and the United States among industrialized nations in that era.

Alastair Borthwick, who lived from 1913 to 2004, and a Glasgow native, seemed to have sensed this among his own fellow Scots Highlanders overtime. Thus, he began to describe and illuminate the awesome and epic beauty of the Highlands to a vast audience with his notes and recordings within his book Always a Little Further. Readers were not only introduced to the attractions of hiking in the Highlands, but viewpoints from working class Glaswegians that he met along the way that could at times be quite humorous, which led to his ensuing career as a renowned broadcast journalist and radio announcer in the decades to follow that continued to feature the unique culture of the workingclass Glaswegians.

Thus, the name Alastair Borthwick remainds as much a landmark within the Highlands as any physical feature should one have the chance to visit. Some of these can be viewed here via the website:

So one should not be surprised if Borthwick’s name is heard in many a conversation among both the locals and the tourists as he remains a notable feature of Glasgow to this day.

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