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The Kelvin rises on the moor south east of the village of Banton, east of Kilsyth. At almost 22 miles (35 km) long, it initially flows south to Dullatur Bog where it falls into a man made trench and takes a ninety degree turn flowing west through Strathkelvin and along the northern boundary of the bog parallel with the Forth and Clyde Canal.
The river's first important (and considerably larger) confluence is with the Chantyclear Burn which originates from the ridge of Dullatur. It then continues its westward flow being joined by the often depleted (due to water being diverted to the canal) Shawend Burn to the west of Craigmarloch bridge. The next important tributary is the Garrel at a point south-east of Kilsyth south of Dumbreck Marsh. The Kelvin then passes through the large flood plain north of Twechar where it is fed by the Dock Water, Queenzie Burn, the Cast Burn and the Board Burn before reaching Kirkintilloch at its confluence with the more substantial waters of the Glazert and Luggie. It then flows past Torrance, meanders through Balmore Haughs, to the south of Bardowie where it joins the Allander Water, after which it takes a south-westerly direction towards Maryhill, Hillhead, through Kelvingrove Park before falling into the River Clyde at Yorkhill Basin in the city of Glasgow. 
Wildlife along Strathkelvin include the grey squirrel, magpie, grey heron, cormorant, blue tit, great tit, chaffinch, snipe, great spotted woodpecker, blackbird, redwing, carrion crow, kingfisher, mallard, goosander, roe deer, red fox, otter, water vole, mink and brown rat.
Successive attempts at improving the quality of the water have been rewarded by the return of salmon. The river has always been home to brown trout and both species can be fished by obtaining the relevant permits.
Bridges over the Kelvin
The Kelvin is bridged at several points throughout Glasgow. Most notable is the Great Western Bridge on Great Western Road in the city's West End. Below this bridge is an underground station that bears the name Kelvinbridge, a name commonly attached to the area. Other bridges include Partick Bridge on Dumbarton Road, the bridge at Queen Margaret Drive, Ha'penny Bridge and several in the grounds of Kelvingrove Park.
The famous physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin was named Baron Kelvin in honour of his achievements, named after the river that flowed past his university.
History of Banton; William Gracie, 1995 pub. Stratkelvin district council. (Kilsyth Library, local studies)
- Robert Murray. "Source of the Kelvin (C) Robert Murray :: Geograph Britain and Ireland".
- Google. "Map of River Kelvin" (Map). Google Maps. Google.
- "Urban Fly Fishing on the Kelvin". Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- Friends of the River Kelvin River Kelvin based charity
- River Kelvin Angling Association River Kelvin Angling Association
- Kelvin Walkway - Glasgow West End Illustrated guide to riverside walk