Clyde, principal river of SW Scotland, 106 mi (171 km) long, rising in the Southern Uplands and flowing generally NW through Glasgow to the Firth of Clyde. It drains c.1,480 sq mi (3,830 sq km). The lower Clyde, traversing the heart of Clydeside (Scotland's population, industrial, and shipbuilding center), is the main route of commercial water traffic in Scotland. The river has been deepened and widened and is navigable for oceangoing vessels to Glasgow. It is connected with the Firth of Forth by the Forth and Clyde Canal. Clydeport, which includes the docks at Glasgow, Clydebank, and Greenock, is an important general cargo, ore, oil, and container port. Erskine Bridge (1,000 ft/305 m long; opened 1970) connects Clydebank and Renfrew. A 10-lane bridge (opened 1970) crosses the Clyde at Glasgow. The middle course of the river flows through Clydesdale, a noted farming and orchard region and home of the famous Clydesdale horses. Bonnington and Stonebyres are hydroelectric power stations at the Falls of the Clyde near Lanark. The
Firth of Clyde, c.50 mi (80 km) long and 2 to 25 mi (3.2–40 km) wide, an arm of the North Channel, extends SW from Dunoon to Ailsa Craig. It is rimmed by yacht basins, summer resorts, and small ports. Bute, Arran, and the Cumbraes are the chief islands.
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