|From:||Forres Bypass (NJ033589)|
|Distance:||14 miles (22.5 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The A940 is a link road between the A96 and the A939, and thus forms the main route south from Forres as well as an alternative to the A941/A95 from Elgin. In the late 18th century it was maintained by the Army as a military road, but it probably existed in some form before then.
Forres Bypass - Dava
The modern road starts at a T-junction with the A96 Forres by-pass, and a short street of stone-built houses takes it to a roundabout where it crosses the former A96 (now B9011) at the west end of Forres High Street. The road briefly follows the Altyre Burn before running through a pleasant and growing area of modern housing with a couple of play-parks. Leaving the town it passes through good farmland, and soon starts to climb through Altyre Forest, which is mostly mature pine though there are some broad-leaf trees too. The terrain here has numerous sandy hills and ridges left by the glaciers of the last ice age. The road bends round the landforms and has short straight stretches where the ground is smoother.
Three miles into the forest is a sign to Sluie Walk - well worth doing (about a mile each way) to enjoy the woods and view the gorge of the River Findhorn. A mile further on is the scattered village of Logie, where there are glimpses of fields, and the B9007 turns off to Carrbridge. Our route continues uphill, through a mixture of forest, fields and moorland, before dropping to cross the River Divie at Edinkillie. Here there is a substantial stone-arch railway viaduct which carried the original Highland Main Line, opened in 1863 (this line lost some of its importance when the direct Aviemore - Inverness route opened in 1898, and it closed in 1965). From the river, the road climbs on a 10% gradient with two sharp bends to reach the valley of the Dorback Burn. The land is partly open, partly wooded, but the fields are now left behind as we reach the fringes of the Dava Moor. Along with the pines are birches and a few rowans, adding colour in season. In late summer the heather on the moor is a brilliant purple. The road reaches its highest point (298 metres) on the side of the heather-covered Knock of Braemoray.
A mile and a half further, and only slightly lower down, the road becomes the boundary from Moray to Highland (although maps suggest that the road itself remains in Moray) and enters the tiny village of Dava, where it meets the A939. Oddly, A940 traffic has priority even though the A939 has the straight line. There is a fine example of an AA phone box at the junction.