The River Nith From The Air

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright March 2019, Thomas Nugent; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


1.0 Introduction

The 71 miles long River Nith rises in East Ayrshire and enters the Solway Firth around 40 miles to the south east as the crow flies. The object of this article is to show the length of the river from source to sea in a series of aerial photos, without regard to the date taken.

2.0 The Course of the river

The source of the Nith is located between Prickeny Hill and Enoch Hill in the Carsphairn Hills around 4 miles east of Dalmellington. It heads north and east before beginning the gradual turn generally southwards at Kirkconnel. Shortly before Kirkconnel it crosses from East Ayrshire to Dumfries and Galloway, running through Nithsdale, before entering the Solway Firth at Ards point. The river is navigable between the Solway and the centre of Dumfries, a distance of around 12 miles.

2.1 Tributaries of the Nith

The Nith has several tributaries, photos of some of which are included in this article. The list of the major tributaries from source to sea is as follows:-

2.2 Settlements on the Nith

The main settlement on the river is Dumfries, which has a population of around 33,000. The list of the larger settlements (some of which are included in this article) from source to sea is as follows:-


3.0 Presentation of the photos

The photos are presented in sections of the river, in approximate source to sea order. Some photos of the same locations have been taken several years apart.

Thumbnails of the photos can be seen on a map by clicking this Link .

A Georiver presentation is also available Link .

3.1 Upstream of New Cumnock

NS5412 : Waterhead opencast mine from the air by Thomas Nugent
One of several opencast works in the area. The young River Nith can also be seen meandering through the scene. Viewed from a Ryanair plane which has just taken off from Prestwick Airport.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6615 : The Nith Valley from the air by Thomas Nugent
Auchitench Hill and forest are on the left.
by Thomas Nugent


3.2 New Cumnock to Sanquhar

NS6413 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
Immediately to the east of New Cumnock. Running between the railway line and the A76 road.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6313 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking east, immediately east of New Cumnock.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6113 : The Nith Valley from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking toward Sanquhar, New Cumnock is in the foreground.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6113 : The Nith Valley from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking toward Sanquhar, New Cumnock is in the foreground.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6112 : New Cumnock from the air by Thomas Nugent
There is still some evidence of coal mining to be seen in the area. Afton Water in the foreground joins the River Nith in the distance.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6113 : New Cumnock from the air by Thomas Nugent
Road, rail and rivers in the Nith Valley, viewed from a Prague bound flight from Glasgow. The A76 road, the River Nith and Afton Water can be seen.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6913 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
Shadowed by the Glasgow to Dumfries railway line at Brown Hill between New Cumnock and Kirkconnel.
by Thomas Nugent


NS6912 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
Shadowed by the Glasgow to Dumfries railway line at Brown Hill between New Cumnock and Kirkconnel, part of which is visible at the top right.
by Thomas Nugent


NS7411 : Sanquhar from the air by Thomas Nugent
Part of Kelloholm is visible at the bottom of the photo. The River Nith is joined by Crawick Water just before Sanquhar.
by Thomas Nugent


NS7510 : Kirkconnel from the air by Thomas Nugent
Kirkconnel is on the left, by the River Nith. The disused Brock's fireworks factory can be seen on the right NS7611 : Former Brock's Fireworks Site And Gateside Mine Coal Bings.
by Thomas Nugent


NS7310 : Kelloholm and Kirkconnel from the air by Thomas Nugent
Kirkconnel to the left, Kelloholm to the right. The River Nith, the A76 Dumfries road and the former Glasgow and South Western Railway main line from Kilmarnock to Carlisle via Dumfries run through both settlements. There is a station at Kirkconnel.
by Thomas Nugent


NS7209 : Kello Water from the air by Thomas Nugent
The confluence with the River Nith can be seen near the top of the photo, to the right of Kelloholm village.
by Thomas Nugent


NS7209 : Kello Water from the air by Thomas Nugent
The confluence with the River Nith can be seen near the top of the photo, to the right of Kelloholm village.
by Thomas Nugent


3.3 Sanquhar to Dumfries

NS7709 : Sanquhar from the air by Thomas Nugent
Sandwiched between the River Nith and the A76 Dumfries road.
by Thomas Nugent


NS7709 : Sanquhar from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking over the golf course and River Nith to the village.
by Thomas Nugent


NS7608 : Sanquhar from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking along the course of Euchan Water to the confluence with the River Nith at Sanquhar.
by Thomas Nugent


NS8006 : The Nith Valley from the air by Thomas Nugent
Craigdarroch Hill is in the foreground, The Lowther Hills are beyond the road.
by Thomas Nugent


NS8006 : The Nith Valley from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking over Twentyshilling farm to the river, the A76 road and the Glasgow to Dumfries railway line. The junction of the A76 and the B797 road to Mennock Pass can be seen on the left.
by Thomas Nugent


NX8693 : Thornhill from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking across the River Nith to the planned village of Thornhill with its distinctive grid pattern of streets.
by Thomas Nugent


NX8788 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
South of Thornhill. Auchenage farm and burn are in the foreground.
by Thomas Nugent


NX8985 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
Crawston is in the foreground, Auldgirth is on the far bank.
by Thomas Nugent


3.4 Around Dumfries


NX9377 : Dumfries from the air by Thomas Nugent
Terregles is in the foreground, Cluden Water and the River Nith can be seen converging from the left at the north end of the town. Heathhall is at the top.
by Thomas Nugent


NX9676 : Dumfries from the air by Thomas Nugent
The A75 road crosses the River Nith three times in the Nithside area of the town. Cuckoo Bridge retail park and Palmerston Park (Queen of the South FC) are also visible.
by Thomas Nugent


NX9376 : Dumfries from the air by Thomas Nugent
Terregles is in the foreground, Cluden Water and the River Nith can be seen converging from the left at the north end of the town. Heathhall is at the top, Dumfries town centre on the right.
by Thomas Nugent


NX9576 : Dumfries from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking over Summerhill and Maxwelltown towards the River Nith and the Whitesands area of the town centre. The A75 road can be seen crossing the Nith at three different points in the top left corner.

Viewed from a Prague bound flight from Glasgow.
by Thomas Nugent


NX9573 : Dumfries from the air by Thomas Nugent
Looking over the town from the south west.
by Thomas Nugent


3.5 From Dumfries to the Solway Firth


NX8873 : Loch Rutton and Dumfries from the air by Thomas Nugent
Loch Rutton is in the left foreground. The broadening River Nith is to the right. Viewed from a Brussels bound plane from Prestwick.
by Thomas Nugent


NX9669 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
Woodcroft Farm and Kirkconnell Flow nature reserve LinkExternal link are in the foreground.
by Thomas Nugent


NY0066 : River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
The estuary, where the Nith joins the Solway. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


NX9766 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
The Nith enters the Solway Firth at Blackshaw Bank between Sweetheart Abbey and Caerlaverock Castle.
by Thomas Nugent


NY0062 : The River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
The Nith enters the Solway Firth at Blackshaw Bank between Sweetheart Abbey and Caerlaverock Castle.
by Thomas Nugent


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