Rivers of the Capital Cities of the British Isles

Knoji reviews products and up-and-coming brands we think you'll love. In certain cases, we may receive a commission from brands mentioned in our guides. Learn more.
Rivers of the capital cities of the British isles, River Forth, Firth of Forth Edinburgh, River Ely, River Taff Cardiff, River liffey Dublin, River Lagan River Farset Belfast, Canals of London, subterranean rivers of London, lost rivers of London, map of

The British Isles are a group of over a thousand islands situated in north west Europe, made up of the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, which is divided into the four countries of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The United Kingdom is served by two thousand miles of rivers and canals and the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are served by eight hundred rivers, canals and lakes.

Each of these five countries have their own capital city and like most large cities were built on the banks of a major river.


Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh, is situated on the River Forth Estuary, the Firth of Forth.

The River Forth starts life at Loch Ard in the Trossachs National Park and flows for twenty nine miles eastwards towards the North Sea, passing through the towns of Stirling, Alloa, Grangemouth and Leith along the way.

The Firth of Forth is spanned by two of the world's most famous bridges ( see main image )  that of the Forth Rail Bridge - 8,296 ft long by 151 ft high - which was opened in March 1890 and links the two towns of North Queensferry and South Queensferry and the Forth Road Bridge - 8,242 ft long by 145 ft high - which was opened in September 1964 and links the country's capital of Edinburgh with the town of Fife. 

The longest river in Scotland is the River Tay. Read facts-about-the-river-tay-uk


The course of the River Forth.



                                                   THE RIVERS OF WALES.

The small Principality of Wales is the smallest of these five countries and it's capital city is Cardiff, situated in the south of the country.

Cardiff lies on the banks of two rivers, the twenty four mile long River Ely and the forty mile long River Taff.

The River Ely starts life on the eastern slopes of Mynydd Penygraig  in Rhonda Fawr and flows south eastwards out towards it's estuary at Penarth Marina in Cardiff Bay situated in the Bristol Channel.

The River Taff originally rises as two rivers - the Taf Fechan and the Taf Fawr - below Corn Du in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The two rivers join at Cefn - Coed - y - Cymmer near Merthyr Tydfil becoming the River Taff and flow southwards towards it's estuary at Cardiff Bay that it shares along with the River Severn and several other rivers,situated in the Bristol Channel. 

The longest river in Wales is the River Towy.  Read.facts-about-the-river-towy-uk 

                                                             REPUBLIC OF IRELAND


                                                          THE RIVERS OF IRELAND.

The Republic of Ireland makes up the second largest island of this island group and is situated between the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. 

The republic's capital city is Dublin which lies on the banks of the River Liffey.

The River Liffey starts life at the Liffey Head Bog on Mount Kippure in the Wicklow Mountains of County Wicklow. The river flows for seventy eight miles in a north easterly direction towards it's estuary which is situated between Baily Lighthouse and the Muglin Rocks on the ten kilometre wide by seven kilometre long, Dublin Bay situated in the Irish Sea.

The Liffey shares it's estuary with two other Irish rivers which also pass through Dublin, the sixteen mile long River Dodder and the fourteen mile long River Tolka. 

The longest river in the Republic of Ireland, and in the British isles is the River Shannon.  Read facts-about-the-river-shannon-roi 

                                                                    NORTHERN IRELAND


                                       THE RIVERS OF NORTHERN IRELAND.

Six counties in the north of the island of Ireland make up the country of Northern Ireland. The country's capital city is Belfast situated in the east of the country.

Belfast was built along the banks of the River Lagan which starts life just below the summit of Slieve Croob, the highest peak in County Down. The river flows north eastwards for forty miles before draining into the thirty square mile, intertidal lake of Lough Belfast at Stranmillis Weir. 

Belfast is also served by a tunnelled, tributary of the River Lagan called the River Farset, which also drains into Belfast Lough. This river, which runs under the capital's High Street from Legionel to Albert Clock, once formed the city's original docklands and quayside along High Street, and it is from the Irish Gaelic name of this river - Abhainn na Feirste -  that the city of Belfast - Beal Feirste -  was named. 

Northern Ireland's longest river is the River Bann. Read facts-about-the-river-bann-ni 



                                               THE RIVERS OF ENGLAND.

The capital of both England and the United Kingdom is London, which was built along the banks of England's longest river, the River Thames.

Due to the vast size of London, 607 square miles, the city and surrounding metropolis is served by way of many other waterways, including nineteen lost or subterranean rivers - all of which are tributaries of the Thames - , four canals and the fortytwo mile long River Lea and the River Roding.

London's canals -

The Grand Union Canal, the longest in the country which traverses from London to Birmingham.

The Hertford Union canal.

The Limehouse Cut.

The Regents Canal.

London's subterranean rivers -

Black Ditch and Parr's Ditch.

Beverley Brook,Bollo Brook, Falcon Brook, Hackney Brook and Stamford Brook.

Counter's Creek.

Rivers Effra, Fleet, Graveney, Langbourne, Moselle, Neckinger, Peck, Tyburn, Walbrooke,Wandle and Westbourne.

The longest river in England is the River Thames  Read facts-about-the-river-thames

The longest river in the United Kingdom is the River Severn Read facts-about-the-river-severn-uk

Other British river articles you may be interested in - 




Articles about the seas of the British Isles. 






Title image of the Forth Rail and Road bridges courtesy of Derek Bathgate, wikimedia commons. All maps also courtesy of wikimedia commons.

Find out which rivers flow through other world capital cities - worldfactsinc/capital-cities-rivers


Janet Benson
Posted on Jun 2, 2014
Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
Posted on Jul 2, 2011