|From:||Lix Toll (NN547300)|
|Distance:||34.8 miles (56 km)|
|Meets:||A85, B846, A826, B898, A9|
|Route outline (key)|
The A827 is a cross-country route through the glens of central Scotland, running along the entire length of Loch Tay.
Lix Toll - Kenmore
The road starts at a rather uninteresting junction on the A85 at Lix Toll in Glen Dochart. Uninteresting, of course, unless you are a Land Rover fan, as the garage at Lix Toll is a well-known Land Rover centre, with some rather interesting vehicles visible from time to time!
Returning to the road, the A827 continues to follow Glen Dochart, while the A85 heads through the Lairig to Glen Ogle. The road is reasonably wide, with a couple of narrow bridges, as it descends gently beneath the trees towards Killin at the head of Loch Tay. At the entrance to the town, the road doglegs across Killin Bridge, a picturesque structure which crosses the river at the Falls of Dochart, making the narrow carriageway a popular haunt of camera-wielding tourists. We then head down the small town's main street, dodging more tourists as we go.
At the end of the main street, the road turns to the north, and soon picks up the bank of the River Lochay before crossing it on the Bridge of Lochay. There is a short climb through the trees and a number of narrow bridges on bends, and then majestic Loch Tay appears below to the right. It stays with us as we head east, coming and going from view, as the road undulates along, some way up the hillside. The road remains reasonably straight, with kinks rather than bends. However, the width leaves a little to be desired in places, with the road hemmed in between grassy banks topped by drystone walls.
There are just two villages passed as we head east above Loch Tay, the first is the tiny settlement of Lawers below Ben Lawers, the mighty Munro that towers over Loch Tay; the other is Fearnan with a 50 limit. There are also a large number of farms scattered along the way. Beyond Fearnan, the road once more dives into trees and, while the loch shore is never far away, the dense forestry of The Tay Forest Park blocks most of the views - a couple of car parks are provided however!
As the trees clear, the road curves round to the right and drops into Kenmore, home of Taymouth Castle. This is the eastern end of Loch Tay, where the River Tay starts, and is almost immediately crossed by Kenmore Bridge. Beyond the bridge, the road weaves through the pretty street of Kenmore - a planned settlement to service the castle beyond. The village centre is a 20 limit, with a 30 stretching a good way up the hill beyond.
Kenmore - Ballinluig
Beyond Kenmore, the road climbs steeply through trees, still hemmed tightly in by stone walls much of the way. We drop back to the riverside at Bolfracks, with the road weaving around the valley floor, never as straight as it was along Loch Tay, but at least it seems a little wider now. It is a long six miles from Kenmore to Aberfeldy, but at length this popular tourist town is reached. After crossing a tiny mini roundabout, we reach a traffic-light-controlled crossroads. Here, the B846 turns left to cross Aberfeldy Bridge and heads off into the hills to reach the remote Rannoch Station. The A826 heads the other way on Wade's Military Road, crossing the hills to pick up the A822 to Crieff.
The A827, meanwhile, passes through the centre of Aberfeldy, a destination for many bus tours and famous for the Burns poem, The Birks of Aberfeldy. There is a sharp dogleg in the town centre (the true junction with Wade's road south), before it slowly straightens up as it heads out of town. We stick close to the river now, twisting and turning as we go, with most of the bends wide and sweeping, but there are one or two much sharper turns to catch out the unwary. The road turns inland a little way to approach Grandtully Castle, slowly converging back to the river which it picks up again just after crossing the old railway line on a traffic-light-controlled bridge.
Next we get to the Inn on the Tay. An unclassified road (the original route of the A827) crosses the older of the two Grandtully Bridges, while the A827 continues along the river's south shore for about half a mile to use the newer bridge. The junction immediately before the bridge is actually a TOTSO with the B898, showing the original priority of this route before the new bridge was built!
It is now less than 4 miles to the eastern end of the A827 at the once infamous Ballinluig Junction on the A9, where it crosses the River Tummel, and then immediately reaches the new roundabout that was constructed to make this junction a GSJ, and so hopefully much safer than it used to be.