|To:||Georgemas Junction (ND155601)|
|Distance:||14.2 miles (22.9 km)|
|Meets:||A99, B870, A9|
|Old route now:||A9|
|Route outline (key)|
The A882 is at first glance not much of a road. Caithness is technically in the 'Highlands' despite being as flat as the proverbial pancake. Nevertheless, the A882 does have character, albeit of the desolate kind. Wick, at the eastern end of the road, was once the busiest herring port in Europe, as well as being the original home of Caithness Glass.
Wick - Georgemas Junction
Beginning at the junction with the A99 in the middle of Wick, the A882 runs westwards through Sinclair country on the way to Georgemas. Whilst the Clearances here weren't as brutal as they were to the south and west, there is still an air of emptiness as you head through the small settlements of Milton, Haster and Bilbster. Therefore, after about eight miles, Watten comes as a bit of a shock. It's like a small village in the Home Counties, rather than a Highland one. The A882 crosses the B870 to Mybster at a pub called 'The Brown Trout'.
From here to the end of the road, the emptiness resumes. The only things that break the tedium are a brief view of Loch Watten, to the right of the road a mile or so to the west of the town and the bridge over the Wick to Inverness railway line at Clayock. The road continues straight into the northbound A9, with the A9 to Inverness being a lefthand turn. The station at Georgemas Junction lies just over a quarter of a mile south on the A9.
The signposting is:
WB; Watten and Thurso. EB; Wick
Original Author(s): Graham
The A882 number wasn't allocated in 1922, but by the time the 1932 OS map was published, the number had been used for Wick - Thurso, via John o' Groats. When the A9 was pushed north in 1935, replacing the A88, the two routes were swapped, so that it was the A9 that went to John o' Groats (but not Thurso), meeting an extended A836. For a couple of years, the A882 extended across the A9 to Wick Harbour (replacing the original A896), but by 1938 the section east of the A9 had been renumbered A8002; this is now unclassified.
Wick - Scrabster
Before the A9 was rerouted to Thurso instead of John o' Groats, the A882 used to continue through Thurso to the Ferry Pier at Scrabster. This explains the current TOTSO with the A9, as that road used to be the, now defunct, A895.
The other anomaly that this throws up is that the A882 is now entirely east of the A9, and so entirely out of zone!