|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Newton Stewart (NX427653)|
|Distance:||32.3 miles (52 km)|
|Meets:||A75, B794, B7075, A713, A762, B7079|
|Route outline (key)|
The A712 connects the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road at Crocketford, which lies about nine miles west of Dumfries, to the same route some 27 miles further west (as the crow flies) close to Newton Stewart. The reason for the existence of two routes between the same points is the intervening nine-mile long Loch Ken, which has to be passed either to the north (through New Galloway) or to the south (via Castle Douglas). The A75 is the longer route, but was chosen to be the principal one in 1922 as it is flatter and lower-lying – and therefore less likely to suffer the effects of bad weather.
From Crocketford the A712 heads in an overall west-by-northwesterly direction through Corsock and Balmaclellan to round the north end of Loch Ken. The A713 is crossed at a staggered intersection (the result of a relatively recent re-alignment of the A712; there was formerly a straight crossroads here). A narrow bridge immediately after the turn takes us across the River Ken, and a couple of sharp bends bring us, two thirds of a mile later, into the small town of New Galloway. Here we cross the A762 at a junction which involves the westbound A712 in a TOTSO to the right.
After leaving New Galloway the scenery becomes more mountainous and the road enters the Galloway Forest Park, and from here on the road is known as The Queen's Way, given that name in 1977 in commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Clatteringshaws Loch is passed on the northwest side of the road before the summit of the route (192 m) is reached to the north of Round Fell. From here the road begins to descend the valley of the Patnure Burn on a generally southwesterly course before skirting Kirroughtree Forest on the left side of the road. The A75 is reached again about a mile east of the centre of Newton Stewart, and here the A712 ends.