The A890 is an important, long distance but non Primary route from Lochalsh, Applecross and Skye on the west coast of the Highlands to Easter Ross and so the Highland Capital of Inverness. It provides an alternative route to the A87 further south. It is also an important route for residents of the Lochalsh, Applecross and Strathcarron areas, connecting them to Kyle of Lochalsh and its services, as well as the High School in Plockton. It is also a historic route, which has seen many improvement schemes over the years.
Despite all of this, it is perhaps best known for the rock falls and landslides which periodically close the Strome Ferry Bypass section, and have led to calls for a bypass of the bypass.
The A890 is a cross-country route in sparsely populated, mountainous terrain. For most of its length A890 runs close to the famous Dingwall – Kyle of Lochalsh railway. Like many Highland roads, A890 was entirely single track until the 1960s, but road improvements in recent years (along with improvements on the A832) have made it increasingly popular among locals as an alternative route between Inverness and the Isle of Skye, avoiding the tortuous A82 along Loch Ness.
The old route of the A890, via the Strome Ferry, was built by Thomas Telford around 2 centuries ago. However, the majority of his road has now been upgraded, leaving lengthy stretches of old road to explore.
Once the lynchpin of this route, the Strome Ferry survived for centuries until the 1970s. Today, the slipways remain, along with the village of Strome Ferry (No Ferry) on the south side of Loch Carron, and fortunately too as they were hastily brought back in to use early in 2012 when a landslide closed the bypass route.