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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (5)
From:  Annan (NY179675)
To:  Gretna (NY323672)
Distance:  9.5 miles (15.3 km)
Meets:  A75, B723, B724, B722, B6357, A75, B7076
Former Number(s):  A75
Old route now:  B7076
Highway Authorities

Dumfries and Galloway

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
B721 Annan - Gretna
B721 Gretna - Guards Mill Interchange
B721 Gretna - Gretna Green

The B721 runs along the original line of the A75 between Annan and Gretna.


The route starts on the A75 at the western end of the Annan bypass and then heads east into town, meeting the B723 and B724 in quick succession at spacious junctions obviously dating back before the bypass. The small settlement of Howes is passed through, with multiple junction before the River Annan is crossed on Annan Bridge, immediately taking the B721 into the town centre. It runs along the High Street, which soon widens into a small square in front of the Tollbooth, and then a much larger market place a little further along. Shops line both sides, housed in fine buildings built from the local red stone, and the B722 is met at traffic lights. As the shops start to peter out, the High Street narrows down to become Church Street, continuing east past older housing. Scotts Street is a little wider, but the houses still stand at the back of the pavement, and then a roundabout serves the entrance to a supermarket. A second roundabout marks the junction with the B6357 on the edge of town, with fields beyond, although there are still numerous roadside houses at first.


Now in open country (although a surprising number of buildings still line the road) the road continues east, crossing the Carlisle to Dumfries railway line and entering the tiny settlement of Dornock. Right turns lead towards the Solway Firth, but only tracks and footpaths reach it along here. There is then a short rural section, winding across fields, before Eastriggs, largely built to house workers at the nearby ammunitions factory during World War I. The B721 follows Annan Road through the village, passing some more modern housing and a small industrial area at the eastern end. The route then continues east on long straights across the flat coastal plain to Rigg, passing a scattering of houses and farms along the way. Rigg is a tiny place, and at the further side the road crosses the Kirtle Water as it comes alongside the A75. The two routes run parallel for the best part of a mile until a short link road turns off to the north to connect the two roads - the two routes have always met near here.

The B721 then heads into Gretna along Annan Road, passing modern housing estates, a hotel and caravan park. Older housing follows, and then the small town centre is reached. Most of the shops lie off to the right, facing onto a park, with traffic lights at the junction. The final stretch passes another modern housing estate, with small hotels opposite, and then the route comes to an end at the Crossways Roundabout on the B7076. At one time the route continued to the right to cross the River Sark into England and end on the A74 at Guards Mill Interchange. When that road was upgraded online to motorway status the B7076 local access road took over this easternmost section of the B721.


The original route of the B721 showing the proposed bypasses

As stated above, the current route of the B721 is entirely the pre-bypass A75. The original B721 did exist in the Gretna area, however, but it is not known whether there is any continuity between old and present routes. It seems somewhat unlikely, however, as the A74 and A75 Gretna bypasses were built first, in 1972, meaning that the B721 and A75 would have 'swapped' when the new roads opened.

As shown in the map to the left, the old route started on the A75 to the west of Gretna and headed around the north of town, crossing the A74 at a skewed crossroads. It then continued into Gretna Green where it ended on the original line of the A6071. The skewed crossroads included a spur which passed to the east of the war memorial. This appears to have been the original line of the B721, creating a short multiplex with the A74. The junction was rebuilt with the spur in the 1930s, and then into its current layout after the A74 bypass opened. The northern section of the original B721 is now part of the B7076 whilst the rest is unclassified.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Newhouse - Gretna Green

Related Pictures
View gallery (5)
Eastriggs - Geograph - 465490.jpgStreet Scene, Dornock - Geograph - 1558819.jpgBarn and house on B721 at Rigg - Geograph - 487252.jpgA75, dual carriageway - Geograph - 1869884.jpgAnnan Approach.jpg
Other nearby roads
B700 – B799
B700 • B701 • B702 • B703 • B704 • B705 • B706 • B707 • B708 • B709 • B710 • B711 • B712 • B713 • B714 • B715 • B716 • B717 • B718 • B719
B720 • B721 • B722 • B723 • B724 • B725 • B726 • B727 • B728 • B729 • B730 • B731 • B732 • B733 • B734 • B735 • B736 • B737 • B738 • B739
B740 • B741 • B742 • B743 • B744 • B745 • B746 • B747 • B748 • B749 • B750 • B751 • B752 • B753 • B754 • B755 • B756 • B757 • B758 • B759
B760 • B761 • B762 • B763 • B764 • B765 • B766 • B767 • B768 • B769 • B770 • B771 • B772 • B773 • B774 • B775 • B776 • B777 • B778 • B779
B780 • B781 • B782 • B783 • B784 • B785 • B786 • B787 • B788 • B789 • B790 • B791 • B792 • B793 • B794 • B795 • B796 • B797 • B798 • B799
Earlier versions: B705 • B706 • B707 • B708 • B713(E) • B713(W) • B714 • B715 • B716 • B724 • B727 • B730 • B734
B735 • B736 • B739 (S) • B739 (N) • B743 • B744 • B746 • B752 • B761 • B762 • B763 • B765 • B773 • B783 • B785 • B789 • B791 • B795
Anomalous numbers: B77

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