River Clyde & Bridges

Nearest train/subway

Govan / Partick subway (west)





The River Clyde cuts through the centre of the city flowing East to West, with the majority of bridges located between Glasgow Green and the SEC.



As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the world, the Clyde was dredged to allow ships to sail all the way to Glasgow, rather than stopping at Port Glasgow which had previously been the case. As well as turning Glasgow into an important port, it transformed the city from one of trade to one of manufacturing, specifically steelwork and ship building. As factories and shipyards sprung up, the city’s population boomed to a breaking point of over one million people, almost double what it is today. It was one of the first cities in Europe to reach this population level.

The Clyde’s reputation and success continued until World War II, when several of the shipyards were struck by the Luftwaffe during The Blitz. This, coupled with post-war competition from other nations, saw the decline of shipbuilding in Glasgow. There are currently only two surviving shipyards, Yarrow and Fairfields, both owned and operated by BAE Systems. One of the old shipywards, The Govan Graving Docks, can still be accessed, with many old remnants of its shipbuilding past intact.

However, there has since been renewed investment in the waterway, thanks to the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration Project. One of the prime examples is the Glasgow Digital Media Quarter located at Pacific Quay; it is new home of the television companies BBC and STV, as well as other media companies. Next door to this, directly across from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), is the Glasgow Science Centre, IMAX Cinema AND Glasgow Tower.

Just along the river to the west, there is a regeneration of the Govan Graving Docks with the Govan Wetlands project. Further west in the neighbouring town of Renfrew, the Braehead Shopping Centre and Xscape Leisure Centre have been built directly across from the King George V Docks. Next to the shopping centre is a the Clyde View Park. It features statues by artist Kenny Munro, which he designed with the help and input of Renfrewshire’s schoolchildren.

Of course, a river would not be so handy if there were not bridges to cross it. Thankfully, Glasgow has a staggering 21 bridges crossing over the Clyde. These are a mixture of road, rail and footbridges that span not only the river but the last two centuries of the city’s history. You can learn a lot from Glasgow’s history from the various names and designs of these bridges. In addition to the bridges, there is also the Clyde Tunnel, which carries commuters under the river, connecting Govan and Linthouse with Scotstoun and Partick.

Here a full list of the bridges along with the year they were constructed, going from west to east.

- Millennium Bridge (2002)
- Bells Bridge (1989)
- Clyde Arc / The Squinty Bridge (2006)
- Kingston Bridge (1970)
- Tradeston Footbridge (2008)
- George V Bridge (1929)
- 2nd Caledonian Railway Bridge (1905)
- 1st Caledonian Railway Bridge (1878)
- Glasgow Bridge (1899)
- South Portland Street Suspension Bridge (1853)
- Victoria Bridge (1854)
- The City Union Railway Bridge (1899)
- Albert Bridge (1871)
- Tidal Weir and Pipe Bridge (1901, rebuilt 1949)
- St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge (1856)
- King’s Bridge (1933)
- Polmadie Bridge (1955)
- Rutherglen Bridge (1896)
- 1st Dalmarnock Railway Bridge (1861)
- 2nd Dalmarnock Railway Bridge (1897)
- Dalmarnock Bridge (1897)

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