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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Ballachulish (NN056592)
To:  Connel (NM908342)
Distance:  26 miles (41.8 km)
Meets:  A82, B845, A85
Former Number(s):  A82
Highway Authorities

Transport Scotland



Route outline (key)
A828 South Ballachulish - Connel

Ballachulish - Appin

Near Kentallen

The modern road starts at the Ballachulish Roundabout, a short distance to the east of the old slipway for the ferry across Loch Leven to North Ballachulish. The first hundred metres or so is a slightly new alignment, picking up the old alignment at a driveway where the road meets the shore. Before the bridge and roundabout were built, the A828 started 3 miles further east at Glencoe Crossroads, although from 1922-1935, the A82 crossed the ferry, so the start point was the ferry slipway. Passing under the 1975 Ballachulish Bridge, the road passes the elegant Ballachulish Hotel, a Victorian rebuild of an historic ferry inn, before winding past the golf course and through Glenachulish. Leaving Loch Leven firmly behind, the road follows the shore of Loch Linnhe past Lettermore, the site of the murder of Campbell of Glenure which was featured in Robert Louis Stevensons 'Kidnapped'. Countinuing round the coast, the road finds the small village of Kentallen, the road winding in and out round twisty bends all the way. After skirting picturesque Kentallen Bay, the road climbs up round the back of Ardsheal Hill, losing sight of the shore for several miles as it passes a little inland and enters the village of Duror. There are several more sharp bends through the village, before it reaches Keil and finds Loch Linnhe again.

The cycle route following the old road

Heading south between Duror and Appin, there are many good long straights, linked by fast sweeping bends, making it a great road to drive, with stunning scenery to boot! The road used to be accompanied by the Ballachulish Branch line, and so there are a couple of sections where the old trackbed was used to improve the A828, leaving the old road on the landward side, and now used by the NCN78 cycle route. On the approach to Appin, Shuna Island lies out in the loch, with Lismore beyond and the coast of Mainland Morvern behind them both. In medieval times Shuna had a castle but it is now ruined. The road climbs over the twisty Appin Bends, the shore disappearing for a minute or so, before it reappears with that classic view of Castle Stalker stood below. There is then a steep descent into Portnacroish with its sharp left-hander in front of the Old Inn.

Appin is not a single village, but a collection of settlements collectively known by the ancient district name of Appin. Portnacroish is a village right on the coast of Loch Laich, an inlet from Loch Linnhe. A little further on at Tynribbie is the garage, village hall, church and school, thus forming the main centre of Appin. The road then turns east to head off through the Strath of Appin, briefly losing the shore once more, although this was not the original line of the main coastal road, which instead took the old Shian Ferry to Barcaldine.

Appin - Connel

Roundabout to the south of Creagan Bridge

After dropping back to the shore from the Strath of Appin, the road snakes past a holiday park to the Creagan Inn, sat on the waterfront and another old ferry inn, although the ferry has long since ceased. The Inn lies on the north side of one of Loch Creran's many narrows, and until 2001 the road had to detour a long way inland around the head of the loch. Today, however, after a couple of tight bends round rockfaces the road reaches a roundabout. and turns sharp right to cross the Creagan Bridge which 60 years ago was the railway crossing. Apart from the stone supports from the old railway bridge, however, it is an all-new bridge. The road then crosses over the old A828 on the far side, before the two meet at the southern roundabout, the last one on this road.

Following the southern edge of Loch Creran, westwards, the road curves around some tricky bends into Barcaldine, where Sutherland's Grove provides some forest walks from a car park sited on the old road line. The village is another scattered affair, with houses hidden away down driveways and side turnings. Towards the southern end is a junction with the only classified road that the A828 meets, bar the two terminal roads. This is the Northern end of the B845 towards Bonawe, a strange road which used to cross the Loch Etive Ferry until it was closed down in the 1960s. A little further south and Barcaldline Castle can be seen amongst the trees to the right and then after some long straights the road drops into the larger village of Benderloch and neighbouring Ledaig, a smaller settlement. The main road through the village is wide, and then a sharp narrow bend takes it round below a substantial rock face below Beinn Lora. This is now the last leg with the road briefly skirting the coast of Ardmucknish Bay, although the shore is soon lost behind a caravan park.

The Connel Bridge at the southern end of the A828

As the road straightens up, a series of straights run past Oban Airport, with flights to some of the smaller Hebrides, and on to North Connel, which lies to either side of the road. With the approach now straighter than it was in the 1970s, the road crosses the Connel Bridge, another former railway bridge, but this time still as it was built. Its not just a girder bridge but the second largest cantilever bridge in Britain, and shares many similarities to the Forth Rail Bridge. It is still only S1, however, and so controlled by traffic lights. The bridge spans the outflow of Loch Etive, with famous Falls of Lora, and then crosses over the A85 as well before swinging to the right to end on that road in Connel village. From here there are two choices - turn right for Inverawe, Bonawe Ironworks, Lochawe, Tyndrum and Crianlarich or turn left for Oban and the ferries to Mull, the Western Isles, Coll, Tiree and Colonsay.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Connel - Ballachulish
'Changes made by the MOT prior to 1935 were: To be extended beyond the present termination at Ballachulish Ferry over the line of route hitherto numbered A82 to a junction with the new line of Route A82 west of Glencoe Post Office, Carnach. And spur Ballachulish Ferry - North Ballachulish. A828 (Connel - Carnach)

Related Pictures
View gallery (51)
A828-Loch Creran - Coppermine - 11502.jpgB845-a828.jpgA82-a828os1.jpgA828-cycle1.jpgCreagan Bridge Rebuilding - Geograph - 300104.jpg
Other nearby roads
Fort William
A800 • A801 • A802 • A803 • A804 • A805 • A806 • A807 • A808 • A809 • A810 • A811 • A812 • A813 • A814 • A815 • A816 • A817 • A818 • A819

A820 • A821 • A822 • A823 • A824 • A825 • A826 • A827 • A828 • A829 • A830 • A831 • A832 • A833 • A834 • A835 • A836 • A837 • A838 • A839
A840 • A841 • A842 • A843 • A844 • A845 • A846 • A847 • A848 • A849 • A850 • A851 • A852 • A853 • A854 • A855 • A856 • A857 • A858 • A859
A860 • A861 • A862 • A863 • A864 • A865 • A866 • A867 • A868 • A869 • A870 • A871 • A872 • A873 • A874 • A875 • A876 • A877 • A878 • A879
A880 • A881 • A882 • A883 • A884 • A885 • A886 • A887 • A888 • A889 • A890 • A891 • A892 • A893 • A894 • A895 • A896 • A897 • A898 • A899

Defunct Itineraries and Motorways: A804 • A806 • A817 • A818 • A823(M) • A825 • A833 • A859 • A862 • A872 • A876 • A882 • A896

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