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Avon, River

The River Avon issues from the Fannyside Lochs in the northeast corner of North Lanarkshire, some 3 miles (5 km) east of Cumbernauld. It is 19 miles (31 km) in length and flows east into Falkirk Council Area, passing to the north of Slamannan and then on through Avonbridge. From here, in its middle reaches, the Avon flows as long calm stretches, over weirs and waterfalls, and through narrow gorges as it winds its way through the countryside. It swings slowly northwards and proceeds along a shallow valley through the Muiravonside Country Park. It passes below the Union Canal which is conveyed over the river by the Avon Aqueduct, the largest in Scotland, and then under the Edinburgh-Glasgow railway which is carried by a substantial 23-arch viaduct, immediately to the west of Linlithgow. The Avon then turns northwest passing the Birkhill Clay Mine before entering the Firth of Forth at the Grangemouth Oil Refinery between Grangemouth and Bo'ness. From approximately a half-mile (1 km) to the east of Avonbridge until a similar distance northwest of Linlithgow the river forms the boundary between the Falkirk and West Lothian Council areas. Its main tributaries are the Polness Burn, Barbauchlaw Burn and the Ballencrieff Water. The Avon criss-crosses the course of the Roman Antonine Wall.


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