|Location Map ( geo)
|4.6 miles (7.4 km)
|Route outline (key)
The A880 runs for less than 5 miles along the shore of Holy Loch and Loch Long on the Cowal peninsula. It is one of the very few A-roads in Argyll which doesn't have any NSL sections. Apart from the first half mile, at 40, the whole road is an urban 30 limit.
Ardbeg - Blairmore
The A880 starts at Eachaig Bridge on the A815 a mile or so north of Sandbank (now essentially part of Dunoon). It heads south east to start with, past the old bridge which is now hidden in the trees, and so into Kilmun. The road is right on the edge of Holy Loch for a while, before climbing slightly around the back of some luxurious Victorian villas. The road rejoins the waterside as it enters Strone, where at Strone Point, the road swings round to follow the shore of Loch Long northwards.
The architecture along the roadside is still a range of elegant Victorian villas, interspersed with more modern houses and bungalows. The road remains right on the shore the whole way through Blairmore, past a pier which until fairly recently provides a link across the loch and the Clyde. As the houses become newer, and lower, the end of Blairmore, and the A880 is approaching. The final stretch is a new section, realigning the old road which has been left as a crescent past the houses. At the far end of the village a driveway to Blairmore Farm turns left, marking the current end of the A880 - but there's nothing to mark it. However, the road ahead was part of the A880 when originally classified in the 1920s, so let's continue.
Blairmore - Ardentinny
The road immediately changes as it leaves Blairmore, dropping from proper S2 to not much more than single-track a few yards past the NSL signs. Held in place by a retaining wall, the road wiggles along the shore past the caravan park at Gairletter and on northwards. Two and a half miles north of Blairmore, the road reaches Ardentinny, a village of scattered houses, the majority of which sit on the landward side of the road. A tight bend at a bump brings it to the former Ardentinny Hotel, which does sit on the shore side of the road. Immediately beyond are two cottages called Ferry Cottages, after which the road ran along the shore once again. The original end of the A880 was a short distance further on by the church, as the road turned inland once more.
As mentioned above, the A880 number was not originally allocated in 1922; all of the above, was originally numbered B834. The precise date it was upgraded to Class I status is not known, but believed to be the late 1920s. Originally the A880 number (and the B834 before it) applied to the whole road to Ardentinny, presumably to the pier from where ferries historically crossed to Coulport on Rosneath. Much more recently the road has been truncated back to the edge of Blairmore. This change happened between 1988 and 1993, while the old Coulport ferry pier is part of a naval depot and inaccessible.