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In Scotland we have many words for water
A "Water" (Lallans: "Watter", Scots Gaelic, "Uisge") is a smaller river,
e.g. Ugie Water, Water of Leith etc. Many Scottish rivers incorporate the
name "Water" traditionally.
A "burn", Scots Gaelic: "allt" (anglicised as "Ault/alt"), used for smaller
rivers and larger streams, also once widely used in England, now mostly in
placenames especially the north, and sometimes spelled "bourne", e.g.
Bournemouth and Ashbourne. In Scotland examples include Coalburn,
Abhainn in Gaelic meaning river, which is anglicised as Avon. There is also
a similar Brythonic cognate. This sometimes leads to strange misnamings of
rivers by Anglo-Saxon speakers, such as River Avon and River Afton
(literally "River River"), or Glendale (literally "Valley Valley") which is
a combination of Norse/Anglo-Saxon "dale" and Gaelic "glen" or Brittonic "glyn".
Longest Scottish Rivers
(Click for more info and pictures)
The Tay rises in the Highlands and flows
down into the centre of Scotland through Perth and Dundee. It is
the longest river in Scotland and the seventh longest in the
Full Moon over The
River Tay - at Dundee
The Spey is the fastest-flowing river in
Scotland. It is important for salmon fishing and whisky
production (Speyside has the largest number of distilleries in
Scotland, including: Aberlour, Balvenie, and Glenfiddich). Rising at over 1000 feet (300 m) at Loch
Spey in Corrieyairack Forest in the Scottish Highlands, 10 miles
(16 km) south of Fort Augustus, it descends to flow through
Newtonmore and Kingussie crossing Loch Insh before reaching
Aviemore at the start of Strathspey. From there it flows the
remaining 60 miles (97 km) north-east to the Moray Firth,
reaching the sea 5 miles West of Buckie. The River Spey is one
of Scotland's big four salmon rivers. It has the third largest
drainage area after the Tay and Tweed and is the second longest
after the Tay. The River Spey is unusual in that it increases
speed as it flows closer to the coast, due to the surrounding
geography. The mean flow is around 16 m/s making it the fastest
flowing river in Scotland, and possibly in the UK (depending on
what constitutes a river). The Spey does not meander, although
it does rapidly move its banks. South of Fochabers a high earth
barrier re-inforces the banks, but the river has broken through
on several occasions, removing a large portion of Garmouth Golf
Course, sections of wall surrounding Gordon Castle, parts of the
Speyside Way and some of the B9104 road.
River Spey at
The Clyde is formed by the confluence of
two streams, the Daer Water (the headwaters of which are dammed
to form the Daer Reservoir) and the Potrail Water. They meet at
Watermeetings to form the River Clyde proper.
From there it snakes northeastward before turning to the west
until it reaches the town of Lanark. It turns northwest, before
it is joined by the River Avon and flows into the West of
Scotland conurbation. Between the towns of Motherwell and
Hamilton the course of the river has been altered to create the
artificial loch within Strathclyde Park. Part of the original
course can still be seen, and lies between the island and the
east shore of the loch. The river then flows through Blantyre
and Bothwell, where the ruined Bothwell Castle stands on a
Past Uddingston and into the southeast of Glasgow the river
begins to widen, meandering a course through Rutherglen and
Dalmarnock. Flowing past Glasgow Green, the river is
artificially straightened and widened through the centre, and
although a footbridge now hinders access to the traditional
Broomielaw, seagoing ships can still come upriver as far as
Finnieston where the PS Waverley docks. From there, it flows
past the shipbuilding heartlands, through Govan, Partick,
Whiteinch, Scotstoun and Clydebank, all of which once housed
major shipyards. The river flows out west of Glasgow, past
Renfrew, and under the Erskine Bridge past Dumbarton on the
north shore to the sandbank at Ardmore Point between Cardross
and Helensburgh. Opposite, on the south shore, the river
continues past the last Lower Clyde shipyard at Port Glasgow to
Greenock where it reaches the Tail of the Bank as the river
merges into the Firth of Clyde.
There are around 72 bridges (rail, road, foot and other) that
cross the Clyde, from estuary to source
Sunset over the River Clyde
The River Tweed (Scottish Gaelic: Abhainn
Thuaidh) is 97 miles (156 km) long and flows primarily through
the Borders region of England and Scotland. It rises on
Tweedsmuir at Tweed's Well near where the Clyde, draining
northwest, and the Annan draining south also rise.
Major towns through which the Tweed flows include Peebles,
Galashiels, Melrose, Kelso, Coldstream and Berwick-upon-Tweed,
where it flows into the North Sea.
River Tweed at Coldstream
The River Dee (Scottish Gaelic: Uisge Dè)
is a river in Aberdeenshire. It rises in the Cairngorms (at
approximately 4000 feet in elevation on the plateau of Braeriach,
the highest source of any major river in the British Isles ) and
flows through Strathdee (Deeside) to reach the North Sea at
Bridge of Dee on the River Dee
The River Don is in the northeast of
Scotland. It rises in the Grampians and flows eastwards, through
Aberdeenshire, to the North Sea at Aberdeen. The Don passes
through Alford, Kemnay, Inverurie, Kintore, and Dyce. Its main
tributary, the River Ury, joins at Inverurie.
The Don rises in the peat flat beneath Druim na Feithe, and in
the shadow of Glen Avon, before flowing quietly past the ice-age
moraine and down to Cock Bridge, below the picturesque site of
the recently demolished Delnadamph Lodge. Several stream, the
Dhiver, Feith Bhait, Meoir Veannaich, Cock Burn and the Allt nan
Aighean merge to explode the embryonic Don. Water from the west
end of Brown Cow Hill (grid reference NJ230045 drains into the
River Spey, water from the north runs into the Don and water
from the south side ends up in the Dee. The Don follows a
circuitous route eastwards past Corgarff Castle, through
Strathdon and the Howe of Alford before entering the North Sea
just north of Old Aberdeen.
The chief tributaries are Conrie Water, Ernan Water, Water of
Carvie, Water of Nochty, Deskry Water, Water of Buchat, Kindy
Burn, Bucks Burn, Mossat Burn, Leochel Burn and the River Ury.
River Don at Strathdon
The River Nith (Scottish Gaelic: Abhainn
Nid) is the seventh longest river in Scotland. It rises in East
Ayrshire in the Carsphairn hills, and for the majority of its
course flows through Dumfries and Galloway, before spilling into
the Solway Firth at Dumfries. The territory through which the
river flows is called Nithsdale (historically known as "Stranit"
from Scottish Gaelic: Strath Nid, "valley of the Nith").
River Nith near Enterkinfoot
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
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.
The River Findhorn (Scottish Gaelic: Uisge Eireann) is one of
the longest rivers in Scotland. Located in the north east, it
flows into the Moray Firth on the north coast. It has one of the
largest non-firth estuaries in Scotland.
River Findhorn at Dulsie
The river has its source in the Ladder
Hills between Glenbuchat and the Cabrach, part of the Grampian
range. It begins as a small highland stream among peaty and
heather covered country before leaving the hills and entering
the rolling lowlands of fertile farmland. The two main streams
in its upper course are the Alt Deveron and the Black Water.
Some 17 miles downstream from the river's source, the river
passes through the town of Huntly, where it is joined by its
tributary, the River Bogie.
The name Deveron is derived from the Gaelic word da-abluinn,
meaning double river, a reference to its two main streams. The
Deveron is "the dark-rolling stream Duvranna" of James
Four miles further downstream the Deveron's second tributary,
the River Isla flows in from the northwest. From this point on
the Deveron becomes a mature river, pursuing a winding course
through Turriff and finally flowing into the Moray Firth between
the twin towns of Banff and Macduff.
Deveron with clouds
The River Annan (Uisge Annan in Gaelic) is
a river in southwest Scotland. It rises at the foot of Hart
Fell, five miles north of Moffat. A second fork rises on
Annanhead Hill and flows through the Devil's Beef Tub before
joining at the Hart Fell fork north of Moffat.
From there it flows past the town of Lockerbie, and to the sea
in the fishing town of Annan. It is one of the region's foremost
fishing rivers, despite being used for many years by Chapelcross
nuclear power station which extracted water for cooling
purposes, but in any case is now being decommissioned. The main
fish found - and hence the target of anglers - are salmon and
sea trout, brown trout, grayling and chub, with a few others
such as pike.
Heron on the
If you found "Scottish Rivers"
interesting then check out our other :
|From Why Did the Haggis Cross the Road?
by Stuart McLean
Loch Ness Monster Jokes
Nessie is lying at the bottom of the loch moaning to his wife.
“Ma bloody stomach is aching,” he grumbles.
“Och it serves you right, for eating them American tourists,” replies Mrs Ness, “You know they’re far too rich for you.”
What’s big and white and chills out at the bottom of Loch Ness?
The Loch Ness Refrigerator.
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