List of rivers of Scotland

Summary

This list of rivers in Scotland is organised geographically, taken anti-clockwise, from Berwick-upon-Tweed. Tributaries are listed down the page in an upstream direction. (L) indicates a left-bank tributary and (R) indicates a right-bank tributary whilst (Ls) and (Rs) indicate left and right forks where a named river is formed from two differently named rivers.

Major rivers can be seen in this map

For simplicity, they are divided here by the coastal section in which the mouth of the river can be found. Those on Scottish islands can be found in a section at the end. For Scottish estuaries, please see under firths and sea lochs.

The Scots have many words for watercourses.

  • 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, Bannockburn, Aultmore.
  • Abhainn in Gaelic meaning river, which is anglicised as Avon. There is also a similar Brythonic cognate. This sometimes leads to curious 'double' namings of rivers by Anglo-Saxon speakers, such as River Avon and River Afton (literally "River River").

South-eastern ScotlandEdit

 
The River Tweed at Coldstream

Flowing into the North Sea between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Kincardine (East Coast)

The right-bank tributary of the Tweed, the River Till together with its tributaries, is almost wholly within England but is included for completeness of the Tweed catchment.

Tweed catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Tyne catchment

  • River Tyne
    • Tyne Water (Ls)
    • Birns Water (Rs) (Humbie Water)

Firth of Forth (Estuary)

(Lothian) Esk catchment

Water of Leith catchment

Almond catchment

Avon catchment

Carron catchment

Forth to TayEdit

 
Meandering River Forth viewed from the Wallace Monument. The river flows from right to left, and the former limit of navigation was in the left distance.
 
Looking upstream (north) along the River Tay from the centre of Perth

Flowing into the North Sea between Kincardine and Buddon Ness (East Coast)

Forth catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Eden catchment

Tay catchment

Simple coastal catchments

East CoastEdit

Flowing into the North Sea between Buddon Ness and Rattray Head

 
Falls of Dee, An Garbh Choire
 
River Don near Alford

Simple coastal catchments

River South Esk catchment

  • River South Esk
    • Noran Water (L)
    • Prosen Water (R)
    • Burn of Glenmoye (L)
    • White Water (R)

River North Esk catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Dee catchment

Don catchment

  • River Don, Aberdeenshire
    • Elrick Burn (L)
    • River Ury (L) (sometimes written River Urie)
      • Gadie Burn (minor?)
    • Ton Burn (R)
    • Birks Burn (minor?)
    • Mossat Burn (L)
    • Kindie Burn (L)
    • Water of Buchat (L)
    • Deskry Burn (R)
    • Water of Nochty (L)
    • Ernan Water (L)
    • Water of Carvie (R) (minor)

Simple coastal catchments

  • Blackdog Burn
  • Potterton Burn
    • Millden Burn ??
  • Eigie Burn ??
  • Blairton Burn ??
  • Menie Burn ??
  • Sandend Burn ??

Ythan catchment

  • River Ythan
    • Tarty Burn (R)
    • Ebrie Burn (L)
    • Little Water (L)
    • Fordoun Burn (R)

Simple coastal catchments

Moray Firth (south coast)Edit

Flowing into the North Sea between Rattray Head and Inverness

 
The River Findhorn is crossed by the Highland Main Line railway and the A9 road just east of Tomatin

Simple coastal catchments

  • Water of Philorth
  • Pouk Burn
  • The Dour
  • Tore Burn

Deveron catchment

Simple coastal catchments

  • Burn of Boyndie
  • Burn of Boyne
  • Burn of Durn
  • Burn of Fordyce
  • Cullen Burn
    • Burn of Deskford
    • Glen Burn
  • Burn of Buckie
  • Burn of Tynet

Spey catchment

Lossie catchment

Findhorn catchment

  • River Findhorn
    • Burn of Mosset (R) (drains into Findhorn Bay)
    • Muckle Burn (R) (drains into Findhorn Bay)
    • Dorback Burn (R)
      • River Divie (R)
    • Leonach Burn (R)
      • Rhilean Burn (L)
    • Funtack Burn (L) ('Moy Burn' above Loch Moy)
    • Glen Mazeran (L)??
    • Elrick Burn (R)
    • River Eskin (L)

Nairn catchment

Ness catchment

Moray Firth (north coast)Edit

Flowing into the North Sea between Inverness and Duncansby Head (East Coast)

Moniack catchment

Beauly catchment

Conon catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Carron catchment

  • River Carron (flows into Kyle of Sutherland/Dornoch Firth)
    • Black Water (L) (known in upper reaches as Abhainn an t-Srath Chuileannaidh)
    • Water of Glencalvie (R) (Diebidale River in its upper reaches)
      • Alladale River (Ls)
      • Abhainn a' Ghlinne Mhoir (Rs) (known as Abhainn a' Ghlinne Bhig in its upper reaches)

Oykel catchment

Shin catchment

Simple coastal catchments

  • River Evelix
  • River Fleet
    • Abhainn an t-Sratha Charnaig (R)
    • Lettie River (L) (also known as Abhainn Leataidh)
  • Golspie Burn

Brora catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Wick catchment

North CoastEdit

Flowing into the Atlantic Ocean between Dunnet Head and Cape Wrath

Thurso catchment

  • River Thurso
    • Little River, Highland
    • Sleach Water (L) (flows into Loch More

Simple coastal catchments

Hope catchment

  • River Hope (known as Strathmore River above Loch Hope)
    • Glen Golly River (Ls)
    • Abhainn Srath Coir' an Easaidh (Rs)

Simple coastal catchments

  • Amhainn an t-Sratha Bhig
  • River Dionard
  • Daill River
  • Kearvaig River

North-west HighlandsEdit

 
Fly fishing on the River Carron, Wester Ross

Flowing into the Atlantic Ocean between Cape Wrath and Corpach at the head of Loch Linnhe

Simple coastal catchments

  • Keisgaig River (minor)
  • Sandwood River
  • Rhiconich River
  • River Laxford
  • River Inver
    • River Traligill (flows into Loch Assynt)
    • River Loanan (flows into Loch Assynt)
  • Abhainn Bad na h-Achlaise (known as Abhainn na Clach Airigh upstream)

Kirkaig catchment

  • River Kirkaig
    • Abhainn a' Chrocain (L) (flows into Loch Veyatie)
    • Abhainn Mor (R) (flows into Loch Veyatie)
      • Ledmore River (flows into Cam Loch)
        • Ledbeg River (R)

Simple coastal catchments

  • River Polly
  • River Canaird (or Kanaird)
    • River Runie (R)
  • Ullapool River (known as Rhidorroch River upstream of Loch Achall and River Douchary further upstream)
  • River Lael
  • River Broom
    • Abhainn Cuileig (Ls)
    • Abhainn Droma (Rs)
  • Dundonnell River
  • Gruinard River (Abhainn Srath na Sealga upstream of Loch na Sealga)
    • Allt Loch a Ghiubhsachan (L)
  • Inverianvie River
  • Little Gruinard River

Ewe catchment

  • River Ewe
    • River Talladale (L) (flows into Loch Maree)
    • River Grudie (L) (flows into Loch Maree)
    • Abhainn an Fhasaigh (R) (flows into Loch Maree)
    • Kinlochewe River (flows into Loch Maree)
      • A' Ghairbhe (Ls)
      • Abhainn Bruachaig (Rs)

Simple coastal catchments

  • River Sand
  • River Kerry
  • Badachro River (known as Abhainn Braigh-horrisdale upstream of Loch Braigh Horrisdale)
  • River Erradale
  • Craig River
  • River Torridon
  • River Balgy
  • River Applecross
  • River Toscaig
  • River Kishorn
  • River Carron
    • Fionn Abhainn (R)
    • River Lair (R)
  • River Taodail
  • River Attadale
  • River Ling
    • Uisge Dubh (or Black Water)
  • River Elchaig
    • Allt a' Ghlomaich (L)
  • River Glennan (minor)
  • River Croe
    • Abhainn Chonaig (R)
  • River Shiel
  • Glenmore River
  • Abhainn a' Ghlinne Bhig
  • River Arnisdale
  • River Barrisdale
  • Abhainn Inbhir Ghuiserein
  • Inverie River
  • River Carnach
  • River Morar
  • River Ailort
  • River Moidart

Shiel catchment

  • River Shiel
    • River Polloch (L) (flows into Loch Shiel)
    • Glenalladale River (R) (flows into Loch Shiel)
    • River Finna (R) (flows into head of Loch Shiel)
    • Callop River (L) (flows into head of Loch Shiel)

Simple coastal catchments

  • Glenmore River
  • Strontian River
  • Carnoch River
  • Glencripesdale Burn
  • Kinloch River
  • Barr River
  • Savary River

Aline catchment

  • River Aline
    • Abhainn a' Ghlinne Ghil (Ls)
    • Black Water (Rs)

Simple coastal catchments

  • Rannoch River
  • Glensanda River (minor)
  • River Tarbert
  • River Gour
  • River Scaddle
  • Cona River
  • Garvan River
    • South Garvan River (Rs)
    • North Garvan River (Ls)
  • Dubh Lighe
  • Fionn Lighe
  • An t-Suileag

South-west HighlandsEdit

Flowing into the Atlantic Ocean between Corpach at the head of Loch Linnhe and the Mull of Kintyre

Awe catchment

  • River Awe
    • River Orchy (flows into Loch Awe)
      • River Strae (R)
      • River Lochy (L)
      • Allt Kinglass (R)
        • Water of Tulla (L) (flows into Loch Tulla)
        • Abhainn Shira (R) (flows into Loch Tulla)
    • Archan River (R)
      • Keppochan River (L)
    • River Avich (L) (flows into Loch Awe)
    • Kames River (R) (flow into Loch Awe)
    • River Liever (L) (flows into Loch Awe)

Simple coastal catchments

  • River Nant
  • Feochan
    • Feochan Mhor or River Nell (Rs)
    • Feochan Bheag (Ls)
  • River Euchar
  • River Oude
  • Barbreck River
  • River Add
  • Abhainn na Cuile
  • Bardaravine River
  • Barr Water
  • Machrihanish Water

Firth of ClydeEdit

 
The Clyde flowing through Glasgow. The Finnieston Crane on the left is seen as a lasting symbol of the industrial heritage of the Clyde.
 

Rivers discharging into the Firth of Clyde between the Mull of Kintyre and Mull of Galloway. Rivers on Arran are found in the islands section.

Simple coastal catchments

  • Breackerie Water
  • Conie Water
  • Glenlussa Water
  • Saddell Water
  • Carradale Water
  • Claonaig Water
  • Skipness River
  • Leacann Water
  • Douglas Water
  • River Aray
  • River Shira
  • River Fyne
  • Kinglas Water
  • Kilfinan Burn
  • River Auchalick
  • River Ruel
  • River Eachaig
    • River Massan (R)
    • River Cur (flows into Loch Eck)
  • River Finart
  • River Goil
  • Croe Water
  • Loin Water

Clyde catchment

Simple coastal catchments

  • Noddsdale Water
  • Gogo Water

Garnock catchment

Irvine catchment

Ayr catchment

Doon catchment

  • River Doon
    • Carrick Lane (L) (flows into Loch Doon)
      • Whitespout Lane (Ls)
      • Eglin Lane (Rs)
      • Gala Lane (flows into head of Loch Doon)

Simple coastal catchments

Solway FirthEdit

 
The estuary of the River Nith, opening into Solway Firth south of Dumfries
 
Hoddom Bridge, River Annan

Mull of Galloway to Gretna; rivers flowing into the Irish Sea and Solway Firth

Water of Luce catchment

Bladnoch catchment

Cree catchment

Water of Fleet catchment

Dee catchment

Urr catchment

Nith catchment

Minor catchment

Annan catchment

(Border) Esk catchment

Further tributaries of the Esk lie wholly in England - see List of rivers of England.

Rivers on Scottish islandsEdit

Most of the Scottish islands are too small to maintain watercourses of any great length or size, and are frequently indented by numerous long bays and inlets which further break up the landscape. However a disproportionate number of their watercourses bear the name 'river', though many are relatively tiny.

ArranEdit

The numerous small watercourses on Arran are listed anticlockwise from Brodick.
  • Glencloy Water
  • Glenrosa Water
  • South Sannox Burn
  • North Sannox Burn
  • Abhainn Mór
  • Iorsa Water
  • Machrie Water
  • Black Water (upper reaches known as Clauchan Water)
  • Sliddery Water
  • Torrylinn Water (also known as Kilmory Water)
  • Benlister Burn
  • Glenashdale Burn (a.k.a. Allt Delphin)

Skye and the Inner HebridesEdit

Islay

There are numerous watercourses on Islay, many of which though short are termed 'rivers'. They are listed anticlockwise from Port Askaig.

Jura

There are numerous watercourses on Jura, some of which though short are termed 'rivers'. They are listed anticlockwise from Feolin Ferry.
  • Corran River
  • Lussan River
  • Shian River
  • Glenbatrick River

Mull

 
Beach River, Isle of Mull
There are numerous watercourses on Mull, some of which though short are termed 'rivers'.They are listed anticlockwise from Tobermory.
  • Tobermory River
  • River Bellart
  • River Bà (Glencannel River flows into Loch Bà)
  • Scarisdale River
  • Coladoir River
  • Leidle River
  • Beach River
  • Lussa River
  • Scallastle River
  • River Forsa
  • Aros River
    • Ledmore River (Ls)
    • Allt an Lon Biolaireich (Rs)

Rùm

There are a number of watercourses on Rùm, some of which are named as 'rivers'. They are listed anticlockwise from Kinloch.
  • Kinloch River
  • Kilmory River
  • Abhainn Rangail
  • Dibidil River

Isle of Skye

Listed anticlockwise around the coast from Kyleakin. Many small watercourses, which would in other areas be named as 'burn' or 'allt', bear the name 'river' in Skye.
  • Broadford River
  • River Sligachan
  • Allt Dearg Mòr
  • Varragill River
  • River Leasgeary
  • River Chracaig
  • Lealt River
  • Stenscholl River (upper reaches known as Kilmartin River)
  • River Brogaig
  • Kilmaluag River
  • River Rha
  • River Conon
  • River Hinnisdal
  • River Romesdal
  • River Haultin
  • River Snizort
    • Lòn an Eireannaich (R)
    • Abhainn an Acha-leathain
      • Tungadal River
  • River Tora
  • Treaslane River
  • Bay River
  • River Horneval
  • Osdale River
  • Hamara River
  • Lorgill River
  • Dibidal River
  • Roskhill River
  • Caroy River
  • River Ose
  • Amar River
  • Sumardale River
  • River Drynoch
  • Viskigill Burn
  • River Talisker
  • Eynort River
  • River Brittle
  • Scavaig River
  • Abhainn Camas Fhionnairigh
  • Ord River
  • Kylerhea River

Outer HebridesEdit

Lewis

  • Abhainn Ghriais
  • Abhainn Lacasdail
  • Abhainn Ghrioda (Greeta River or River Creed)
  • Abhainn Arnoil
  • Abhainn Bharabhais

OrkneyEdit

 

Mainland

ShetlandEdit

Mainland

  • Burn of Weisdale
  • Burn of Sandwater/Burn of Pettawater

Listing by lengthEdit

Various measurements are provided for the lengths of Scottish rivers. The table below distinguishes between the river alone and the river plus tidal waters, which many sources use. In all cases the distance is for the longest distance through the catchment area not just the distance of that portion of it which the named river covers excluding upstream tributaries.

River River Length[1] River + Estuary Length[1] Notes[1]
River Tay 155 kilometres (96 mi) 185 kilometres (115 mi) The Tay-Tummel-Gaur from its source, Coirean Lochan by Stob Ghabhar, to a line from Budden Ness to Tentsmuir Point.
River Spey 168.6 kilometres (104.8 mi) 168.6 kilometres (104.8 mi) The Spey is the longest stretch of river in Scotland bearing the same name throughout, though that does include Loch Insh.
River Clyde 158 kilometres (98 mi) 168.4 kilometres (104.6 mi) The river length is measured to Dumbarton Rock, the estuary to the Firth of Clyde at Ardmore Point.
River Tweed 162 kilometres (101 mi) 162 kilometres (101 mi) The lower reaches of the Tweed are in England.
River Dee, Aberdeenshire 143 kilometres (89 mi) 143 kilometres (89 mi)
River Forth 113 kilometres (70 mi) 136 kilometres (85 mi) The river is measured to the Kincardine Bridge, the estuary to easternmost point of Inchgarvie by the Forth Bridge.
River Don 135 kilometres (84 mi) 135 kilometres (84 mi)
River Ness 109 kilometres (68 mi) 109 kilometres (68 mi) The Ness-Oich-Garry. No account is taken of the Inverness Firth.
River Findhorn 103 kilometres (64 mi) 103 kilometres (64 mi)
River Nith 101 kilometres (63 mi) 101 kilometres (63 mi) At low tide, the sea recedes to such an extent that the length of the river is extended by 13 kilometres (8.1 mi).
River Deveron 100 kilometres (62 mi) 100 kilometres (62 mi)
River Beauly 82 kilometres (51 mi) 94 kilometres (58 mi) The Beauly-Glass-Affric with the estuary measured to the Kessock Bridge.
River Dee, Galloway 88 kilometres (55 mi) 88 kilometres (55 mi) The Dee-Ken-Water of Deuch. At low tide, the length is extended by 2.9 km.
River Conon 70 kilometres (43 mi) 88 kilometres (55 mi) The estuary is measured to Invergordon Harbour/ Newhall Point.
River Lochy 87 kilometres (54 mi) 87 kilometres (54 mi) The Lochy-Spean to Loch Linnhe at mouth of the River Nevis.
River South Esk, Angus 85 kilometres (53 mi) 85 kilometres (53 mi)
River Annan 78 kilometres (48 mi) 78 kilometres (48 mi)

Listing by area of catchmentEdit

The major rivers of Scotland, in order of catchment,[2] are:

  1. River Tay c. 2,000 square miles (5,200 km2)
  2. River Tweed 1,500 square miles (3,900 km2)
  3. River Spey 1,097 square miles (2,840 km2)

Note: Imperial figures from quoted source; and metric figures less certain.

Shared namesEdit

A number of Scottish rivers have identical or very similar names which can be a source of confusion. These are some of the main ones. The symbol '>' is used here to signify 'tributary of':

Ale

Allan

Almond

Avon

Ba

  • River Bà (Mull); River Bà (Rannoch Moor)

Bannock Burn

Barr

Black Burn

  • Black Burn – commonly occurring including Lossie, Tweed, Water of Luce

Black Water

Calder

Carron

Conon

Dee

Dibidal, Dibidil

  • Dibidal River (Skye); Dibidil River (Rùm)

Dorback

Douglas

Eden

Elrick

  • Elrick Burn (Don); Elrick Burn (Findhorn)

Enrick, Endrick

Esk, North Esk, South Esk

Gala

Garry

Glass

Glenmore

  • Glenmore River; Glenmore River

Isla

Kilmory

  • Kilmory River (Rùm); Kilmory Water

Kinglas, Kinglass

  • Kinglas Water; River Kinglass

Kinloch

  • Kinloch River (Rùm); Kinloch River; Kinloch River

Ledmore

  • Ledmore River (Kirkaig); Ledmore River (Mull)

Leven

Lochy, Lochay

Lunan

Lyne

Machrie

  • Machrie River (Islay); Machrie Water (Arran)

Meggat, Megget

Mor (This is merely a Gaelic adjective meaning "large" or "great")

  • Abhainn Mór (Arran); Abhainn Mor (Kirkaig)

Shiel

Tarf, Tarff

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Almanac of Scotland Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ Alastair Gowans. "Fishing Rivers". Archived from the original on 14 August 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2006.