River Forth: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Forth.

  • The source of the River Forth is in Loch Ard, about 30km west of Stirling. Its mouth is the Firth of Forth, an estuary of the North Sea.

  • The river flows through Abrfoyle and Stirling and past Cambus, Alloa, Fallin and Airth.
  • It is 47km in length.
  • Stirling harbour was a bustling port in the 16th and 17th centuries. Stirling had a strong relationship with towns in the Netherlands, and many goods were imported from Europe and exported to Europe during this time.
  • During World War 2, Stirling was an important port for the import of tea, but today Stirling harbour is no longer in use.
  • In Stirling there has been a bridge across the Forth River since the 13th century.
  • The Battle of Stirling Bridge was fought in 1297 between the forces of William Wallace and Andrew Moray, and the English army during the First War of Scottish Independence.
  • The Forth is spanned by numerous bridges, including: The Clackmannanshire Bridge, the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing (still under construction).
  • Stirling Castle overlooks the River Forth.
  • The Forth Islands are a collection of small islands in the Firth of Forth estuary (where the River Forth flows into the North Sea).
  • The Isle of May is the biggest island in the Forth. It became a place of Christian pilgrimage and was raided¬†by the Vikings in 870.
  • The Isle of Inchkeith was often used as a quarantine zone during outbreaks of plague and other contagious diseases.

What next? Discover some more facts about rives by visiting our Rivers resources page.