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Scottish . biz . . . everything about Scotland

Scottish Rivers - information and pictures on some of the most beautiful rivers in Scotland.

River : River Forth 

8th Longest River in Scotland

River Length km Length miles Description
River Forth  105   65 The River Forth (Gaelic: Uisge For or Abhainn Dhubh, meaning "black river"), 47 km (29 miles) long, is the major river draining the eastern part of the central belt of Scotland.

The Forth rises in Loch Ard in the Trossachs, a mountainous area some 30 km (19 miles) west of Stirling. It flows roughly eastward, through Aberfoyle, joining with the Duchray Water and Kelty Water, and out over the flat expanse of the Flanders Moss. It is then joined by the River Teith (which itself drains Loch Venachar, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Katrine, and Loch Voil) and the River Allan, before meandering through the ancient city of Stirling. At Stirling the river widens and becomes tidal, and it is here that the last (seasonal) ford of the river exists. From Stirling, the Forth flows east over the Carse of Stirling and past the towns of Cambus (where it is joined by the river Devon), Alloa and Airth. Upon reaching Kincardine the river begins to widen into an estuary, the Firth of Forth.



Inchkeith Island in the River Forth

Inchkeith Island in the River Forth



Forth Railway Bridge


The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, to the east of the Forth Road Bridge, and 14 kilometres (9 mi) west of central Edinburgh. It is often called the Forth Rail Bridge or Forth Railway Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge. It was opened on 4 March 1890. The bridge connects Scotland's capital city with Fife, and acts as a major artery connecting the north-east and south-east of the country. Described as "the one internationally recognised Scottish landmark", it may be nominated by the British government to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland. The bridge and its associated railway infrastructure is owned by Network Rail Infrastructure Limited. It is currently the longest cantilever bridge in the world for rail transport (second longest cantilever bridge in the world after the Quebec Bridge).


The bridge is, even today, regarded as an engineering marvel. It is 2.5 km (1.5 miles) in length, and the double track is elevated 46 m (approx. 150 ft) above high tide. It consists of two main spans of 521.3 m (1,710 ft), two side spans of 207.3 m, and 15 approach spans of 51.2 m (168 ft). Each main span comprises two 207.3 m (680 ft) cantilever arms supporting a central 106.7 m (350 ft) span truss. The three great four-tower cantilever structures are 100.6 m (330 ft) tall, each 70 ft (21 m) diameter foot resting on a separate foundation. The southern group of foundations had to be constructed as caissons under compressed air, to a depth of 90 ft (27 m). At its peak, approximately 4,600 workers were employed in its construction. Initially, it was recorded that 57 lives were lost; however, after extensive research by local historians, the figure was increased to 98. Eight men were saved by boats positioned in the river under the working areas.

Hundreds more were left crippled by serious accidents, and one log book of accidents and sickness had 26,000 entries. In 2005, a project was set up by the Queensferry History Group to establish a memorial to those workers who died during the bridge's construction. In North Queensferry, a decision was also made to set up memorial benches to commemorate those who died during the construction of both the rail and the road bridges, and to seek support for this project from Fife Council.


General Dimensions



Overall length

8296 ft

2528.7 m

South approach

10 spans of 168 ft.

10 spans of  51.2 m

North approach 

5 spans of 168 ft. 

5 spans of  51.2 m

Length portal to portal

5350 ft

1630.7 m.

Length tower to tower

1912 ft.

582.8 m.

Cantilever length

680 ft

207.3 m.

Simply supported spans

350 ft.

106.7 m.

Main spans

[ 2 x 680ft. +350ft.]   = 1710 ft.

[ 2 x 207.3 m. +106.7 m.]  = 521.3 m.

Height of towers

330 ft.

100.6 m

Rail level above high water mark

158 ft.

48.2 m.

Clear navigation headway

150 ft  

45.7 m.

Weight of 1710 ft. span

11571 tons

11754 tonnes

Total number of rivets

 6,500,000 nos.   weighing 4200 tons

6,500,000 nos. weighing 4267 tonnes

Total cost

£3.2m [foundations £0.8m; abandoned suspension bridge £0.25m.]


Visit the Visitor Centre Website : Forth Bridges



The Firth of Forth


The Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south. Known as Bodotria in Roman times.



Islands on the Firth of Forth

Bass Rock
Inchmickery with Cow and Calf
The Lamb
Isle of May



Pictures of the River Forth


Bend in the River Forth at Stirling

The River Forth meanders through Stirling

River Forth from Kincardine with the refinery in Grangemouth

River Forth Road and Rail Bridges

View of Forth Road and Rail Bridges from Edinburgh Castle

Forth Bridges from Blackness

Swans over the River Forth

River Forth at Cramond Edinburgh

From the bank of the River Forth at South Alloa with Dumyat reflected in the still

Swimmin in the River Forth

From Culross in Fife looking across the River Forth to petrochemical plant at Grangemouth

Low Tide on the River Forth at Culross

Sun setting over the Forth at Edinburgh

Inchmickery Island on the River Forth

Stirling Bridge on the River Forth Where the Battle of Stirling Bridge was fought

Kincardine Bridge at Twilight

Bridge over the River Forth at Stirling

Wallace Monument from South Alloa looking over the River Forth

Inchkeith Island in the River Forth

From the bank of the Forth at South Alloa Looking west towards Stirling the Wallace monument and Ben Ledi beyond

Gale Force Forth

New Year swimmers at the River Forth at South Queensferry

River Forth from Culross in Fife

Tranquil River Forth at Stirling

River Forth Road Bridge from South Queensferry

Forth Road Bridge over the River Forth

Forth Road Bridge

Easter Road football stadium on the River Forth

Kids on the River Forth Taken at Cambus where the River Devon flows into it

View over the River Forth to the Pentland Hills

Common Seals sitting on a Bouy in the River Forth

View from Edinburgh Castle River Forth and Leith

Ice on the River Forth

River Forth from Edinburgh City Centre

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