River Tweed Facts

Located mainly in Scotland, the River Tweed’s source is at Tweed’s Well near the village of Tweedsmuir. This is less than ten miles from where the River Clyde and the River Annan also rise. The River Tweed empties out into the North Sea ar Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Facts About the River Tweed

  • The River Tweed is 156 km (97 miles) long.
  • The Tweed has numerous tributaries, including River Till, Blackadder Water, Leithan Water, Manor Water, Gala Water, River Teviot, and Quair Water.
  • The upper part of the River Tweed’s drainage basin is known as Tweeddale.
  • The River Tweed flows through the towns of Innerleithen, Peebles, Melrose, Kelso, Coldstream, and Berwick-upon-Tweed.
  • The River Tweed is one of the UK’s greatest salmon rivers.
  • The Tweed is the main river of the Scottish Borders, and, for some of its course, forms the border between England and Scotland.
  • The River Tweed was very important for the textile industry as it provided power for all of the region’s textile mills. Tweed cloth derives its name from the river’s association with the textile industry.
  • The River Tweed is often referred to as Tweed Water.
  • The Tweed’s catchment area is shared between the county of Northumberland (England) and the Scottish Borders.
  • The Atlantic salmon fishing industry centered around the River Tweed employs more than 500 people.
  • Berwick Bridge spans the River Tweed in Berwick-upon Tweed. It was built between 1611 and 1634. It replaced a wooden bridge constructed during the reign of King Henry VIII, and four previous bridges stood before that one.
  • In 1839, the River Tweed, along with other rivers in Northumberland, flooded due to heavy rainfall.
Royal Border Bridge
Royal Border Bridge
  • The Royal Border Bridge, spanning the River Tweed at Berwick-upon-Tweed, was opened by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1850. It was designed by Robert Stephenson for the Newcastle and Berwick Railway.
  • Tweed Dock at Tweedmouth was constructed in 1876 to allow the River Tweed to accommodate the large ships of the 19th century and their cargo.
  • The Royal Tweed Bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed was completed in 1928.
  • The River Tweed’s catchment area is approximately 5000 square km.
  • The Battle of Carham was fought between Northumbria and the combined forces of the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of Strathclyde. The battle took place around 1018 at Carham on Tweed (a village on the south side of the River Tweed), and the Scottish forces defeated the Northumbrian army led by Uhtred the Bold.
  • The River Tweed is Scotland’s fourth-largest river after the River Tay, the River Spey, and the River Clyde.

Visit our Rivers resources page, or discover more facts about the longest rivers in Scotland.