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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (11)
From:  Smithston, Maybole (NS321117)
To:  Sandyford (NS381256)
Distance:  14.9 miles (24 km)
Meets:  A77, B7045, B7034, A713, A70, B744, B743, A719
Former Number(s):  B713
Highway Authorities

East Ayrshire • South Ayrshire

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
B742 Smithston - Coylton
(A70) Coylton - Hillhead
B742 Hillhead - Sandyford
B742 Sandyford - Monkton

The B742 is a lengthy C-shaped B-road to the south and east of Ayr in Ayrshire.


Smithston - Hillhead

The route starts on the former A77 at Smithston to the north of Maybole. With the opening of the Maybole Bypass in 2022, the old main road was lazily renumbered as the B77, a number which, as a two digit B road, is completely outwith the original numbering principles for the mainland UK. The junction is a sharp fork, with the B742 dropping away from the B77 and narrowing almost immediately as it heads northeastwards. The remains of a centre line can be seen as it drops down to cross a small burn, then winds across fields to meet the B7045 at a crossroads, where the B742 has to give way. Beyond the junction, the centre line is again intermittent as the road turns hard left and starts to climb. As it levels out, it passes through some woodland, and then runs along the hillside well above the River Doon rather than down in its valley. Several large farms are passed as the road descends a little, before turning north, and winding along the eastern edge of the wide valley floor. Soon it reaches the meandering river and crosses Dalrymple Bridge to enter Dalrymple itself.

The bridge is narrow, but Main Street soon widens out with room for parking bays on both sides of the road. The B7034 comes in from the left opposite the inn and the B742 is the dominant number in a short multiplex past the shops, which ends when the B742 TOTSOs left at a former fork junction onto Burnton Road. So far, the route has passed mainly older stone buildings, many of which are brightly painted, but the northern part of the village is largely modern housing estates, with few properties facing directly onto the road. Beyond the edge of the village, there are a scattering of houses strung along the roadside as it crosses fields, and then passes under the striking Burnton Viaduct, which carries the largely disused Dalmellington Branch Line. Passenger services ceased in 1964, since when the line has remained open for a decreasing volume of freight, largely related to open cast mining.

Going to Coylton

The route now climbs across undulating fields to reach the A713 at a summit of 101m. The main road is crossed at a realigned staggered crossroads, from where the route continues northeastwards. It climbs a little higher and then straightens out as it passes to the north of Martnaham Loch, which is scarcely visible down to the right. Other smaller lochs are hidden in trees nearby as the road remains on the top of the ridge between them, rather than running through the valleys. A couple of shorter straights follow before the road starts to wind down the end of the ridge, with the village of Coylton visible down to the left. The route then turns hard left at a T junction with a minor road and soon after reaches a T-junction on the A70 midway between Coylton and the smaller village of Hillhead..

Hillhead - Monkton

There is now a multiplex eastwards through the village for about half a mile before the B742 resumes by turning left by the last house. A couple of short straights lead it across fields before it winds down and crosses the Water of Coyle on the Old Bridge of Coyle. Just beyond the bridge, a sharp left turn at a T junction leads to a winding climb up through trees to escape the narrow valley cut by the river. The route then undulates north west across fields to a crossroads, from where it begins the descent into the valley of the River Ayr. The route becomes twistier as it drops down through trees before coming onto the river bank. A sharp left turn then turns it across the narrow Gadgirth Bridge over the meandering River Ayr. A short straight crosses the flood plain on the far side, and then the route climbs out of the valley, with a few of the houses of Annbank Village visible up to the left.

At the top of the hill, the route crosses over another freight only railway line and turns to run alongside it. It then meets the [[B744], with a very short multiplex back over the railway line before the two roads separate once more. The B742 has priority throughout and after a couple of windy bends it enters Mossblown. The church is passed at the entrance to the village, and then the route winds uphill along Annbank Road with open fields stretching off to the left, despite many older buildings including the school and a shop standing to the right. The only village buildings on the left of the road are the surgery and community centre at the crossroads in the centre of the villager. Here the B742 has to gi8ve way as the B743 (former A758) is crossed at a staggered crossroads, after which the road goes under the railway line again at the western end of the village. After a short run alongside the railway, a gentle winding descent across fields turns the route north west once more. It ends on the A719, where that route has to TOTSO immediately before the Sandyford Toll Roundabout on the A77 Prestwick bypass.


As originally classified in 1922, the B742 only ran between the A77 near Maybole and the A70 in Coylton. Then at some point between 1932 and 1936, possibly in 1935, it was extended north via Mossblown and the former B713 to Monkton, where it reached the A77 again. In the 1950s the runway of Prestwick Airport was built largely on top of the section of B742 immediately east of Monkton. The route was therefore cut back to the A719, giving it its current length, with the B739 subsequently created further north as an alternative route. The abandoned section of the B742 into Monkton is more fully described on the B713 page.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Nether Culzean - Dalrymple - Junction with A70 near Coylton

Related Pictures
View gallery (11)
Going to Coylton - Geograph - 615289.jpgThe Road To Boghall Cottages - Geograph - 615264.jpgFactory on the B742 - Geograph - 382695.jpgJelliston - Geograph - 184993.jpgRailway Bridge at Mossblown (C) Mary and Angus Hogg - Geograph - 3634396.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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