|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||23.9 miles (38.5 km)|
|Meets:||B721, B725, A74(M), B7076, A709, B7068, B709|
|Route outline (key)|
The B723 is a cross-country B-road in central Dumfriesshire.
It starts at a T-junction (with extra link roads) on the B721 (former A75) to the west of Annan. The road heads north and soon crosses a bridge over the A75 Annan bypass; there is no junction here. To begin with, the B723 is fairly flat (although it does pass the odd hill) and more-or-less straight. After a couple of miles the road passes between two hills and goes through a wood before the B725 comes in from the left. The B723 is then the dominant partner in a multiplex north across a narrow bridge over the River Annan before the B725 turns off to the right.
The B723 continues north and climbs out of the river valley, before bearing left round the side of a hill and descending to Kettleholm, where it crosses a narrow bridge over the Water of Milk, a tributary of the River Annan. It then continues north along a dead-straight road, bearing to the right to meet the A74(M) at the limited-access junction 18 (northbound exit from, and southbound entry to, the motorway). Most of the old direct line of the B723 from here to its junction with, and terminus on, the former A74 at grid reference NY136805 has now been abandoned as part of the public road network.
After passing over the motorway we meet the B7076 coming in from the right along the old route of the A74. At a roundabout some 400 m further on, the B7076 resumes, carrying on ahead along the original Lockerbie bypass, whilst the B723 turns right to follow the original line of the A74 through town. It meets the A709 at traffic lights. Interestingly, this A-road ends here, thus making it one of a small number of Class I roads to end on a Class II road. The B723 continues north along the High Street before TOTSOing right; the road ahead, now the B7068, is the original A74.
The B723 heads north along Dryfe Road and soon goes over the West Coast Main Line, after which it enters open country and runs along the edge of the valley of the Dryfe Water, a tributary of the River Annan. As the valley narrows, we come close to the river as it flows downstream on our left, and the route now follows the terrain as we climb the valley. At Sibbaldbie, the B723 zig-zags to the other bank of the river by means of a narrow bridge.
Eventually, four kilometres or so further on, the road – having run for the most part a little higher above the course of the Dryfe than earlier – bends to the right to cross the river again, at Boreland, where it bears to the left to begin climbing out of the valley. It reaches open moorland and soon enters a forest, crossing the River Black Esk before reaching a summit further on in the forest. Back in open country, the road descends into the village of Eskdalemuir, where it ends by the church at a T-junction on the B709.