|From:||Cromarty, Black Isle (NH785676)|
|To:||Braemore Junction, Wester Ross (NH208776)|
|Distance:||125 miles (201.2 km)|
|Meets:||Pier, A9, A835, A862, A835, A890, A896, A835|
|Former Number(s):||A833, B859|
|Old route now:||A835|
|Route outline (key)|
The A832 is, without a doubt, one of Britain's finest roads. What it may lack in quality of engineering, it more than makes up with some of the best mountain, moorland and ocean views that Britain has to offer. It is also one of Britain's few true coast-to-coast roads. As far as I know, it is the longest road in Britain that remains in a single county (Ross and Cromarty) for its entire length of 125 miles. Those 125 miles also make it the longest 3-digit A road in Scotland and the fifth longest in Britain. Unlike the four roads longer than it (the A361, A470, A483 and A487), it is almost entirely non primary; the only green signs one sees on its route are on the 9 miles where it multiplexes with the A835 near Garve.
The Black Isle
Starting at the eastern end of the Black Isle, in Cromarty, the A832 winds westwards through some pretty villages to reach the A9 at Tore. This first bit was originally the A833 in 1922, but quickly renumbered to make the A832 a full coast to coast route.
After a multiplex with the extended A835, the A832 runs through the scenic Strath Bran from Garve to Achnasheen, following the Skye Railway line with much of the road upgraded to a high standard.
After the wild desolation of Strath Bran, the A832 crosses the watershed and drops down to Kinlochewe. Loch Maree comes next, and the wooded shores with intimate glimpses across the loch make a stark contrast to the expansive scenery further east.
The Wester Ross Coast
After leaving Loch Maree behind, the rugged and beautiful coastline of Wester Ross is reached at Gairloch, an amazing and relaxed place to stop and rest before heading northwards past Poolewe and Aultbea to Gruinard Bay. Rocky shores, beaches and wild moorland alternate along the way.
The last leg of the A832 takes us over the hill from Gruinard Bay to Loch Broom, and then south east through Dundonnell and over the hills to the Corrishalloch Gorge and the A835 once more. 125 miles of breathtaking, changeable scenery and some amazing history along the way.
|18||29||Tore Roundabout (A9 A835)|
|24||40||Muir of Ord (A862)|
|29||47||Wester Moy (A835)|
|72||119||Loch Maree Hotel|
|126||202||Braemore Junction (A835)|
When the roads were first numbered in 1922, the A832 started on the A88 (now A862) in Muir of Ord and ran westwards as far as Poolewe. There was no multiplex, however: the A835 started on the A832 in Gorstan. The section to the east between Muir of Ord and Cromarty was the A833 whilst the Poolewe to Braemore section of road was originally the B859; this quickly became part of the A832.
Then, when the roads were being renumbered in 1935 the original proposal was to turn the A832 into a major coastal route, taking in (part of) the routes of the A835, A837, A894, A838, A836 and A882 to finally reach the re-routed A9 at John o'Groats. Unfortunately, this rather mad idea was turned down with a curt 'No', and instead the route was extended eastwards along the former A833 to Cromarty. That road needed a new number as the zone boundary was moved with the extension of the A9.
The A835 originally started on the A832 in Gorstan and therefore the A832 did not originally have the gap it does now. The A835 became the dominant partner in the multiplex when the road was extended east in the 1970s.