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Scottish Rivers

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Scotland has several major River systems draining the often mountainous landscape. Many of them drain eastwards to the North Sea, while the remainder, drain west into the Irish Sea. The four most significant rivers in Scotland are listed below, for the remainder see either

River Clyde

Rising in the Lowther Hills, the watershed of the Clyde forms the boundary between Lanarkshire and Dumfries-shire to the south of the A74(M) as it crosses Beattock Summit. The river then flows in a generally northerly direction through Clydesdale and into the outer suburban area of Glasgow. After roughly following the A702 and A73 to Lanark, the A72 keeps the river company into Hamilton, after which it is the M74 that follows the river through to the Kingston Bridge in the city centre. The last bridge across the river is the Erskine Bridge, after which the river rapidly widens as it turns southwards into the Firth of Clyde.

Rivers Forth and Teith

The River Forth is the shortest of Scotland's major rivers, but it has a substantial network of tributaries draining a large area of the central belt. The source of the Forth itself is Loch Ard on the B829 west of Aberfoyle. After several miles meandering across its valley floor, the river is joined by the A811 into Stirling, where the last historic bridge is found. The next bridge is the new Clackmannanshire Bridge, built to relieve the Kincardine Bridge. As the river heads into the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, there is the Forth Road Bridge, which is due to be relieved by the Forth Replacement Crossing.

River Spey

The Spey drains much of the norther Cairngorms and some of the Western Highlands. Rising in the hills around the tiny Loch Spey to the north of Creag Meagaidh, less than 20 miles from Fort William, the Spey flows eastwards to meet the A86 at Laggan. At Kingussie, the A86 meets the A9, which picks up the Spey valley northwards to Aviemore, where the A95 takes over. After passing under Thomas Telford's Craigellachie Bridge, the Spey is followed by the B9015 all the way north to its mouth at Spey Bay on the Moray Firth.

River Tay & Tributaries

The greatest river in the whole British Isles is the River Tay, with the largest discharge from one of the largest catchment areas. It rises in the West Highlands as the River Cononish on the slopes of Ben Lui, just 20 or so miles from Oban. Followed by the A85 as it changes name to the Fillan and then the Dochart, the river finally reaches Loch Tay at Killin on the A827. At the eastern end of the loch, the A827 continues alongside until the A9 is reached at Ballinluig. Here the river turns south, through Dunkeld and into Perth. The city centre has two bridges over the river, and then the M90 crosses just to the south. After a few more miles the river opens out into the Firth of Tay, crossed for the final time by the Tay Road Bridge near Dundee.

Scottish Rivers
England (East • East Midlands • NE • NW • SE • SW • West Midlands • Yorks & Humber) • Scotland (N • S) • Wales • Ireland

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