River Clyde

For many hundreds of years the River Clyde has brought commerce and industry into the heart of the city of Glasgow.

Now, as regeneration transforms communities along the course of the river, visitors and local people can explore the rich historical legacy.


From the earliest times, the River Clyde has brought wealth into the city of Glasgow and the surrounding area.

South Portland Street suspension Bridge links Custom House Quay to Calton Place on the south bank

Clyde Bridges

From the first bridge over the river, back in the 13th Century, to the recently completed Clyde Arc and new Squiggly Bridge, explore the history of the Clyde Bridges.

Kilbowie Road during The Blitz in 1941, image courtesy of West Dunbartonshire Council

World War 2: Clydeside bombing

Clydebank was hit hard by bombs during the Second World War. However the vital shipbuilding industries largely escaped.

Bridge over the Clyde leading to the Merchant City, image courtesy Culture & Sport Glasgow/Mitchell Library

International Trade

Tobacco lords and sugar merchants made their fortunes here duing the 19th Century. Now the area is a vibrant arts and shopping quarter.

Shipbuilding on the Clyde, image courtesy Culture & Sport Glasgow/Mitchell Library

Shipbuilding on the Clyde

During the heyday of shipbuilding on Clydeside thousands of ships were built here, with an impact on shipping around the globe.

The River Clyde meets the Firth of Clyde at Dumbarton

Geography of the Clyde

Explore the geography of the river from the heart of the city and downstream to Dumbarton.

Govan Old Parish Church

Early Christian Settlements

Both Glasgow and Govan can trace their history back to the dark ages and the early Christians who settled in the area and built churches.

The People's Palace and Winter Gardens in 1910, image courtesy of Glasgow City Council

Second City of the Empire

Glasgow has a long and successful heritage as a centre of commerce, all based around the ports on the River Clyde.

Tug pulling steam powered vessel, image courtesy Culture & Sport Glasgow/Mitchell Library

The Steam Engine

In the 19th century Glasgow's success as a city of trade took on a new dimension as the steam engine took centre stage.