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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Glasgow (NS586661)
To:  Inverness (NH673467)
Via:  Fort William
Distance:  167 miles (268.8 km)
Meets:  A81, M8, A804, B808, A739, B8055, A8014, B814, A810, A878, A898, A814, B830, A813, A812, B857, A811, A818, B832, A817, A83, A85, B8074, B863, A828, B863, A861, A830, A86, B8004, A87, B862, A887, A831, A8082, B861, A862, B865, A9
Former Number(s):  A876, A828
Old route now:  A814, B863
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Glasgow • Transport Scotland • West Dunbartonshire

Traditional Counties

Argyll • Dunbartonshire • Inverness-shire • Lanarkshire • Perthshire

Route outline (key)
A82 Glasgow – Erskine Bridge
A82 Erskine Bridge – Inverness

Route overview

The A82 near Altnafeadh between Glencoe and Rannoch Moor
Main Article: A82/route

The A82 runs from Glasgow to Fort William and Inverness, passing along the shores of Loch Lomond and Loch Ness and in the shadow of Ben Nevis along the way. It is probably the most important trunk route serving the West Highlands of Scotland, and along its route uses pieces of road first built in the 1750s. Today serious plans are in progress to start bringing the whole route up to 21st Century standards.

Route in detail

Glasgow – Crianlarich

The A82 heading out of Glasgow

A82/Great Western Road: From the M8 to Dumbarton, the A82 now follows the Great Western Road, but it didn't in 1922!

A82/Loch Lomond: From the Balloch Roundabout, the A82 heads north along the shores of Loch Lomond to Tarbert, and then comes the 'fun' bit to Ardlui.

A82/Glen Falloch: At Ardlui, Loch Lomond is left behind and the A82 starts climbing through Glen Falloch to Crianlarich.

Crianlarich – Glencoe

The A82 across Rannoch Moor in the winter!

A82/Strathfillan: From Crianlarich to Tyndrum, the A82 multiplexes with the A85, before climbing up to Bridge of Orchy.

A82/Rannoch Moor: Bridge of Orchy is the last settlement on the A82 for many miles as it heads north across Rannoch Moor to the Kingshouse Hotel.

A82/Glencoe: Perhaps one of the most evocative names in Scotland, Glencoe sees the A82 fighting the landscape to return to sea level at Loch Leven.

Glencoe – Inverness

The A82 passing Loch Ness

A82/Ballachulish - Fort William: The story of the road around Loch Leven and then along the shores of Loch Linnhe to Fort William.

A82/Fort William - Fort Augustus: As the A82 starts the journey up the Great Glen, we pass Loch Lochy and Loch Oich.

A82/Loch Ness: Scotland's most famous loch has the A82 for company as we complete our journey and arrive in the Highland Capital, Inverness.


Main Article: A82/History

In the northern section of the A82, after passing Loch Lomond, the predecessors of the modern road can be easy to trace in the surrounding Landscape. The Military Roads dating from the early-mid 18th Century, and the replacement road built by Thomas Telford in the early years of the 19th century are either still in use, or left to slowly sink into the land. However, at the road's start, in the heart of Glasgow city centre, there is no hope of finding such evidence with any ease. The Military Road network is known to have extended to Dumbarton Castle, while Telford's road is described as starting in Glasgow itself, but 200 years of further development have destroyed all trace on the surface.

Some notable locations along the route

Charing Cross

The start point of the A82
Main Article: Charing Cross (Glasgow)

This is where it all begins, the mess that is Junction 17/18 of the M8, known by some as Charing Cross, by others as Hell.

Anniesland Cross

Anniesland Cross on the A82
Main Article: Anniesland Cross

Two miles out from the city centre, fighting through the hustle and bustle of the Great Western Road, and suddenly you are dumped here, where the A82 meets the A739. Its not a pretty sight, but with a bit of help you will make it through in one piece!

Ballachulish Bridge

The Ballachulish Bridge
Main Article: Ballachulish Bridge

For centuries, ferries had plied the narrows of Loch Leven between North and South Ballachulish. The existence of the Loch Leven and Ballachulish Hotels is evidence enough for this, but on top of that we have the slipways, queing space and Old Ferry Road on the northern shore. The Bridge changed the whole way of life in South Lochaber when it opened in 1975.

Longman Roundabout

The Longman Roundabout
Main Article: Longman Roundabout

This is the end of the road, after 175 miles, the A82 finally runs out at the Longman Roundabout with the A9 in Inverness. However, with plans afoot for a new crossing of the canal and River Ness to the south of the city, linking up with the B8082 eastern distributor road, the A82 may yet be rerouted to meet the A9 at the Inshes Junction.

Opening dates

Based on mapping and datestones on bridges (not comprehensive):

1725Fort WilliamFort AugustusMilitary Road, Roughly parallel to modern A82, except used southern shore of Loch Oich.
1726Fort AugustusInvernessMilitary Road, used southern shore of Loch Ness, but predates route along northern shore.
1736-7High BridgeWade's Bridge, over the River Spean, west of Spean Bridge.
1750'sGlasgowFort WilliamMilitary Road, using very different alignment in places, most notably Altnafeadh - Fort William.
1786AltnafeadhGlencoe CrossroadsDrove road through Glen Coe.
c1810GlasgowInvernessTelford's Road, following modern A82 more closely.
1922Glencoe CrossroadsKinlochlevenHigh Road, using Garbhein Road in Kinloch. Opened as A829.
1927GlasgowDumbartonGreat Western Road extension (but no canal crossing).
1927KinlochlevenNorth BallachulishLow Road, opened as A829.
1929High RoadKinlochlevenDate of Kinlochleven Viaduct, built on then A829.
1930Cloberhill BridgeForth and Clyde Canal crossing for Great Western Road enabling the through route from Glasgow to Dunbarton. Opened as A876.
1930The StudyGlencoe CrossroadsThrough Lower Glen Coe.
1931TyndrumBridge of OrchyClifton diversion and new road on west side of Allt Kinglas river opened 21 September 1931.
1932AltnafeadhThe StudyOpened September 1932. Through Upper Glen Coe.
1933Bridge of OrchyAltnafeadhOpened end of May 1933. East of Loch Tulla and across Rannoch Moor.
1933Three Mile WaterChiochnishDate of new Kiachnish Bridge.
196xWest EndAn AirdFort William Bypass.
1973DumbartonAlexandriaSouthern section of Alexandria Bypass.
1975Glencoe CrossroadsNorth BallachulishBallachulish Bridge and associated road improvements.
20.07.1987Camus NaN ClaisHollybankImprovements.
2006/7The StudyReplacement Bridge at River Coe falls.
2008/9AchnambeithachReplacement Bridge at Clachaig Road end.
2010Ba BridgeReplacement Bridge on Rannoch Moor.
December 2014Crianlarich, Station RdTyndrum RoadBypass.
May 2015Pulpit RockRoad improvement.


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This page was Article of the Month October 2009

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Ballachulish Ferry

The Ballachulish Ferry, Glen Loy, crossing the narrows in 1971.

Watch video > >

Achnambeithach Bridge • An Aird • Arden • Ballachulish Roundabout • Barloan Toll • Bridge of Orchy • Charing Cross (Glasgow) • Commando Memorial • Dumbarton Fork • Dunglass Roundabout • Garelochhead Junction • Gavinburn Switch • Glencoe Crossroads • Harbour Road Roundabout • Invergarry Bridge • Inverlochy Roundabout • Kilbowie Roundabout • Lochybridge • Lomondgate Roundabout • Longman Roundabout • Nevis Bridge • North Ballachulish • Old Kilpatrick Interchange • Queens Park Roundabout • Renton Junction • Rose Street Roundabout • Shore Street Roundabout • Smelter Roundabout • Spean Bridge • Stoneymollan Roundabout • Telford Street Roundabout • Tomnahurich Roundabout • Torvean Roundabout • Tyndrum • West End Roundabout
Achnambeithach Bridge • Allt Chonoglais Bridge • Ba Bridge • Ballachulish Bridge • Bonhill Bridge • Borlum Bridge • Bridge of Oich • Bridge of Orchy • Caledonian Canal Swing Bridges • Devil's Staircase • Dochfour Causeway • Drumnadrochit Bridge • Dumbarton Bridge • Dumbarton Bypass Bridge • Duntocher Bridge • Erskine Bridge • Fort Augustus Bridge • Friars Bridge • Great Western Bridge • Inverbeg Bridge • Invergarry Bridge • Invermoriston Bridge • Kiachnish Bridge • Kingshouse Bridge • Kinlochleven Viaduct • Brig O'Laroch • Lochybridge • Luss Bridge • Nevis Bridge • New Bridge (Invergloy) • Partick Bridge • Pulpit Rock Viaduct • Righ Bridge • Spean Bridge • Stuckendroin Bridge • The Study • Tulla Bridge • Victoria Bridge (Rannoch Moor) • White Bridge (Strathfillan)
Related Pictures
View gallery (59)
Friars Bridge 1.jpgFriars Bridge plaque.jpg38.jpgA82 Urquhart Castle - direction and drive on left signs.jpgLongman Roundabout aerial.jpg
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