River Earn

The River Earn (Scottish Gaelic: Uisge Èireann) in Scotland leaves Loch Earn at St Fillans and runs east through Strathearn, then east and south, joining the River Tay near Abernethy. The Earn is about 74 kilometres (46 mi) long. It passes by Comrie, Crieff (where it is joined by the Pow of Inchaffray) and Bridge of Earn. The river is fast flowing, with many shoals, whilst the surrounding land is generally flat and is occasionally subject to flooding.

River Earn
Scottish Gaelic: Uisge Èireann
The River Earn viewed from Forteviot bridge.
Physical characteristics
SourceSt Fillans
  locationLoch Earn, Perth and Kinross, Scotland
  coordinates56.3907°N 4.1122°W / 56.3907; -4.1122
  elevation99 m (325 ft)
MouthFirth of Tay, North Sea
Between Perth and Newburgh, Fife, Scotland
56°21′N 3°19′W
0 m (0 ft)
Length74 km (46 mi)
Basin features
  leftRiver Lednock
  rightRiver Farg

Near to the River Earn lay the ancient Strageath Roman Camp. This camp was one of a series of camps used by the Romans to construct their invasion of the north; other notable camps in this chain are Ardoch, Stracathro, Battledykes, Raedykes and Normandykes.

Leisure and tourism

The river is popular for walking, and the banks are accessible at many points. One of the most popular walks is a route along the north bank at Crieff known as Lady Mary's Walk.[1]


Fishing is available on many sections of the river.[1] The Earn forms part of the area of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board,[2] the statutory body that controls and manages stocks of salmon and trout along all rivers within the Tay catchment area.[3] Fishing permits are issued by the individual estates for each section of the river.[4] The River Earn Improvement Association, a voluntary organisation composed of fishing rights holders and local angling clubs, works to improve fish stocks in the river. As part of this work the association has gradually purchased the rights to undertaken commercial salmon fishing with fixed nets at locations on the Earn. The association does not exercise these rights, and purchased them in order to improve salmon numbers in the river. By 2005 all commercial netting had been eliminated from the Earn.[5]

River Earn National Scenic Area

The section of the river between Comrie and St Fillans forms part of a national scenic area (NSA), one of 40 such areas in Scotland which are defined so as to identify areas of exceptional scenery and to ensure its protection by restricting certain forms of development.[6] The River Earn NSA covers 3,108 ha, all of which lies within Perth and Kinross.[7]

The original 1978 report that led to the area being designated as a national scenic area noted:

This upper part of Strathearn lies at the conjunction of highland and lowland scenery and the variety of landscape elements that derive from this combination result in a very distinctive character of pleasing appearance. There is a strong textured pattern resulting from the variety of vegetation and landform. The hillsides are punctuated by rocky outcrops and patterned with heather, bracken, grass or plantation. The valley has a strong sense of enclosure though the hills are not high. There is an intimacy of scale reinforced by the strong human influence of well managed farmland and woodland but the hill tops have a wild rugged character. Plantations make a major contribution to the scene, the shape and extent of afforested areas respecting and relating well to the natural landform. There are very fine strands of broadleaved trees in the form of woodlands, parklands and hedgerow plantings, and the river is alternatively swift and leisurely, open-meadowed or alder enclosed. Buildings are generally traditional in appearance and in tune with their surroundings. This is a landscape of great harmony.

SNH (1978)[8]


  1. "River Earn". VisitScotland.com. 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  2. "Tay District Map". Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board. 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  3. "The Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board". Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board. 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  4. "Tay - FAQs". FishPal Ltd. May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  5. "History". River Earn Improvement Association. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  6. "National Scenic Areas". Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  7. "National Scenic Areas - Maps". SNH. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  8. "The special qualities of the National Scenic Areas" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. 2010. pp. 121–126. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
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