|Location Map ( geo)
|Whiteleys (S) (NX069573)
|14.5 miles (23.3 km)
|A77, B7077, B7084, B7042, B7065, B7041
|Route outline (key)
The A716 runs along the east coast of the Rhins of Galloway.
Starting at the Corner House junction a couple of miles south of Stranraer, at the point where the Portpatrick-bound A77 TOTSOs right, the A716 follows a south-south-easterly course overall. After half a mile the B7077 comes in from Lochans to the right and the two routes multiplex for a short distance to Kildrochet House. The route then meanders across the fields, with a ridge of low hills lying off to the right, and a slight rise to the left removing any chance of seeing the sea. A couple of straights lead the route into the small village of Stoneykirk, which mostly lies off to the left below the road. A long sinuous section then brings the route down towards the coast, with the sea finally coming in to view as a thin band below the hills of Galloway beyond. Just before reaching the shore, the B7084 comes in from the left at Sandmill Bridge and the A716 curves around above a holiday park to run parallel to the shore. For the remaining 10 miles or so the A716 has the sea (Luce Bay) to the left, not always visible but never very far away.
At the entrance to Sandhead village, the B7042 forks right to double back north while the original line of the A716 through the village forks left. The route no longer goes through the village itself, but instead follows a pre-existing road which climbs through the trees behind. As the route drops back down, the old route comes in from the left with the A716 then following a meandering route through the undulating fields. There are glimpses of the distant Galloway Hills off to the left, and occasionally a strip of sea can also be seen. After coming out of a shallow cutting the route straightens up and the sea becomes visible ahead once more. At the end of the straight, a sharp right turn brings the road onto a tree lined ledge in the steep slope just above the beach. The road does lose some height and for around a mile the road runs close to the shore. At the end of Drumantrae Bay, the coast curves off to the left whilst the A716 continues ahead, taking the shorter route to Ardwell.
Another, much more extensive headland protrudes beyond Chapel Rossan Bay, and the road climbs a little as it runs inland across fields and through woodlands. The B7065 turns off to the right, crossing the peninsula to the west coast, before cutting back across towards the Mull of Galloway, while the A716 stretches out along a long straight to New England Bay. Here the shore and road come together again by a caravan site and the coast is now followed all the way to Drummore. This is a rather spectacular section, as the route curves along the shore just above the beach. In places it is protected by an old concrete sea wall, the tarmac barely being higher than high tide line, and indeed around Kilstay Bay there are signs and gates warning of the risk of flooding. A short sharp climb then leads up over a slight headland and into the pretty village of Drummore. The route ends at a T-junction in the middle of the village, with the left turn an unclassified road leading to the harbour while right is the B7041 which continues further south towards the Mull of Galloway.
In 1922, the A716 started about a mile further south than it does now, at its current (southern) junction with the B7077, the section from Corner House to Kildrochet originally being the A715. When the A715 was rerouted in the mid-1920s, the A716 was extended north to its current starting-point. The only other change of note is at Sandhead, where the route originally followed Main Street through the village, but has been moved in land to bypass the village and avoid two sharp corners.