River Don, Aberdeenshire

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For other rivers of the same or similar name, see Don River.
River Don
River Don near Alford.jpg
River Don and Castle Forbes near Alford.
Origin Ladder Hills
Mouth Bridge of Don, Aberdeen
Basin countries Scotland
Length 82 miles (131 km)
Avg. discharge m³/s
Basin area km²

The River Don (Scottish Gaelic: Deathan) is a river in north-east Scotland. It rises in the Grampians and flows eastwards, through Aberdeenshire, to the North Sea at Aberdeen. The Don passes through Alford, Kemnay, Inverurie, Kintore, and Dyce. Its main tributary, the River Ury, joins at Inverurie.

Course of the river[edit]

The Don rises in the peat flat beneath Druim na Feithe, and in the shadow of Glen Avon, before flowing quietly past the ice-age moraine and down to Cock Bridge, below the picturesque site of the recently demolished Delnadamph Lodge. Several streams, the Dhiver, Feith Bhait, Meoir Veannaich, Cock Burn and the Allt nan Aighean merge to form the embryonic Don. Water from the north of Brown Cow Hill (grid reference NJ230045) drains into the Don, while water from the west side runs into the River Spey and that from the south side into the Dee. The Don follows a circuitous route eastwards past Corgarff Castle, through Strathdon and the Howe of Alford before entering the North Sea just north of Old Aberdeen.

The chief tributaries are Conrie Water, Ernan Water, Water of Carvie, Water of Nochty, Deskry Water, Water of Buchat, Kindy Burn, Bucks Burn, Mossat Burn, Leochel Burn and the River Ury.


Strathdon attracts visitors for salmon and trout fishing as well as its castles and scenery.


The river was recorded by the 2nd century AD cosmographer Ptolemy of Alexandria (d. c 168) as Δηουανα Devona, meaning 'goddess', an indication the river was once a sacred one. Near Kintore, not distant from the Don, is the Deers Den Roman Camp. In 1750 the Don's lower reaches were channelled towards the sea, moving its confluence with the sea northwards.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°15′06″N 2°49′13″W / 57.25167°N 2.82028°W / 57.25167; -2.82028