River Ythan

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The mouth of the River Ythan, draining into the North Sea near Newburgh

The Ythan (ˈaɪθən) is a river in Aberdeenshire rising at Wells of Ythan near the village of Ythanwells and flowing south-eastwards through the towns of Fyvie, Methlick and Ellon before flowing into the North Sea near Newburgh, in Formartine.

The river’s name is believed to have originated from an old Pictish word meaning ‘gorse’.

The lower reach of the river is known as the Ythan Estuary, a Special Protection Area for conservation, particularly the breeding ground of three tern species (Common Tern, Little Tern and Sandwich Tern).

At Ythan Wells is the site of a Roman camp.


  • Lumina Technologies, Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire,Aberdeen Library archives, June, 2004

Coordinates: 57°18′N 2°00′W / 57.3°N 2°W / 57.3; -2