|From:||Salen Pier (NM578438)|
|Distance:||10 miles (16.1 km)|
|Meets:||Pier, A849, B8035, B8073, B882|
|Old route now:||B8073|
|Route outline (key)|
Mull only really has two A-roads, and both have been re-routed since they were originally allocated. Having said that, the A848, along the east coast, has had most of its changes reversed.
Salen Pier - Tobermory
The road starts on the single-track side-road that leads to the old steamer pier in Salen. This pier was, until the mid 1960s, one of the most important piers on Mull. It was the closest pier to Oban, and serviced the majority of the island, apart from Tobermory, the island capital. Then, in c. 1965, the new roll-on roll-off pier was built at Craignure to the east and Salen was rapidly deserted. Whilst the pier has since been restored, it is still only lightly used by its private owners, and yet the A848 still runs to within 50 m of the pier!
The A848 then heads south through the Ardmore part of the village, past the school and into the village centre. After nearly a mile, we TOTSO with the A849 in Salen village, turning right towards Tobermory. Almost immediately, the B8035 comes in from the west, using the A849's former alignment (the two routes have swapped).
We now have six or seven miles of largely single-track road running north-north-west up the coast of Mull. There are long-term plans to widen the whole route from Craignure to Tobermory. After a short run along the coast, the road passes through Aros and then starts climbing over the undulating hills, eventually running along the top of a cliff above the Sound of Mull. This is where the road finally widens to full S2, with a long gentle run down through forestry to Tobermory. On the outskirts of Tobermory, we reach the island's only roundabout, where the B8073 joins, and then we turn down a steep hill to Tobermory Harbour.
Anyone who has ever had the (mis)fortune to watch the BBC children's show Balamory will know what Tobermory looks like. The multi-coloured houses around the harbour are a very pretty sight, even if the parking and narrow road are frustrating. There is a good car park on the shore side though. Towards the end of the harbour, the B882 drops down the hill to join us, and then we reach the pier for the ferry service to Kilchoan on Ardnamurchan. Contrary to most services which link the island to the mainland, this particular ferry seems to link the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula to the veritable 'city' of Tobermory!
Original Author(s): David D Miller