|Via:||Muir of Ord, Dingwall|
|Distance:||23.7 miles (38.1 km)|
|Meets:||A82, A833, A831, A832, A835, A834, A9|
|Route outline (key)|
The A862 is what was the route of the A9 around the Beauly and Cromarty Firths between Inverness and Adullie near Dingwall.
With the construction of the Kessock and Cromarty Bridges the route of the A9 was able to take a more direct route across the Black Isle leaving this road serving the towns and villages of Beauly, Muir of Ord, Conon Bridge, Maryburgh and Dingwall to become the A862.
Section 1: Inverness – Muir of Ord
We start on the A82 Telford Street Roundabout on the edge of Inverness town centre, and immediately head westwards along Telford Street, past the retail parks. Briefly the A862 headed across the new Friars Bridge and along Longman Road to join the A9 at the Longman Roundabout before the A82 was rerouted along this route. If the A82 is rerouted along the south distributor road, the A862 may well again take over the A82 to Longman Roundabout. After the roundabout, we cross the Caledonian Canal next to Muirtown Basin, and then reach the signalised junction with the unclassified King Brude Road, which sort of makes a western bypass for the city. The road then narrows significantly as we head towards Clachnaharry, passing between old houses and then over the narrow, traffic-light-controlled railway bridge. Soon afterwards we leave the city behind, and enjoy a pleasant run along the shores of the Beauly Firth for about a mile.
We dip inland briefly at Bunchrew, before rejoining the coast. However, this is an even briefer visit as we slip under the railway line. The road continues to curve gently as we pass through Lentran and then head inland, away from the Firth to Inchmore. When this road was still the A9, Kirkhill was bypassed, the old road now being the B9164, which we meet again beyond the A833 junction.
After crossing the River Beauly on the Lovat Bridge, we immediately turn northwards at the junction with the A831, and cross the railway again as we enter Beauly. This is a pleasant small town with a wide square in the middle, and the ruins of an Augustinian Priory at the northern end. The road north is then a wide avenue through trees to Windhill, where we pick up the industrial estates of Muir of Ord.
Section 2: Muir of Ord – Ardullie
The B9169 cuts off the corner to the A832, so forming a kind of bypass to the east of Muir of Ord, which we enter soon after, and meet the A832 properly. There is a short multiplex across the narrow railway bridge, and then the A832 continues ahead as we bend round to the right. The small town is soon behind us as we follow the railway line north to Conon Bridge. Here we meet the B9163 and very short B9162. After crossing the River Conon, we pass through Maryburgh and meet the new A835 road at a roundabout.
We now follow the railway line, and beyond that the Cromarty Firth as we approach Dingwall, county town of Ross-shire. The road used to follow Station Road and Tulloch Street through the town, but has now been diverted further west, meeting the A834 at the other end of the High Street. After rejoining the old route along Craig Road, we soon leave the town behind us and continue to follow the railway and Firth shore north eastwards to the Ardullie Roundabout with the A9 at the northern end of the Cromarty Bridge.