List of Rivers of Scotland

From ScotsWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

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.

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 Scotland

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.

The River Tweed at Coldstream
The Dye Water at Longformacus
The Kale Water east of Morebattle
Bridge over the Gala Water near Stow
The Ettrick Water at Carterhaugh
Megget Water and Reservoir

Tweed catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Tyne catchment

The Firth of Forth (Estuary)

Esk catchment

Water of Leith catchment

Almond catchment

Avon catchment

Carron catchment

Forth to Tay

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 Coast

Flowing into the North Sea between Carnoustie and Rattray Head

Simple coastal catchments

River South Esk catchment

River North Esk catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Dee catchment

Don catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Ythan catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Moray Firth (north coast)

Flowing into the North Sea between Rattray Head and Inverness

Simple coastal catchments

Deveron catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Spey catchment

Lossie catchment

Findhorn catchment

Nairn catchment

Ness catchment

Moray Firth (north coast)

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

Moniack catchment

Beauly catchment

Conon catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Carron catchment

Oykel catchment

Shin catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Brora catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Wick catchment

North Coast

Flowing into the Atlantic Ocean between Dunnet Head and Cape Wrath

Thurso catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Hope catchment

Simple coastal catchments

North-west Highlands

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

Simple coastal catchments

Kirkaig catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Ewe catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Shiel catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Aline catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Awe catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Firth of Clyde

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

Simple coastal catchments

Clyde catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Garnock catchment

Irvine catchment

Ayr catchment

Doon catchment

Simple coastal catchments

Solway Firth

Mull of Galloway to Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway.

Rivers flowing into the Irish Sea and The Solway Firth

Water of Luce catchment

Bladnoch catchment

Cree catchment

Water of Fleet catchment

Dee catchment

Urr catchment

Nith catchment

Minor catchment

Annan catchment

Esk catchment

Further tributaries of the Esk lie wholly in England.

Rivers on Scottish islands

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.


The numerous small watercourses on Arran are listed anticlockwise from Brodick.

Skye and the Inner Hebrides


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


There are numerous watercourses on Jura, some of which though short are termed 'rivers'. They are listed anticlockwise from Feolin Ferry.


There are numerous watercourses on Mull, some of which though short are termed 'rivers'.They are listed anticlockwise from Tobermory.


There are a number of watercourses on Rum, of which are named as 'rivers'. They are listed anticlockwise from Kinloch.

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

Outer Hebrides






Listing by length

The eleven major rivers of Scotland, in order of length, are:

  1. River Tay 188 km
  2. River Spey 172km
  3. River Clyde, 171km
  4. River Tweed, 56 km
  5. River Dee, Aberdeenshire, 137km
  6. River Don, Aberdeenshire, 132km
  7. River Nith 11km
  8. River Forth105 km
  9. River Findhorn 101km
  10. River Deveron 98 km
  11. River Annan 79km