|To:||Spean Bridge (W) (NN208824)|
|Distance:||8.9 miles (14.3 km)|
|Meets:||A830, B8005, A82|
|Route outline (key)|
The B8004 runs parallel to the A82 as it heads north from Fort William to Spean Bridge. It is a highly scenic road with expansive views of mountains – primarily Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries – and the Canal and River Lochy as they meander through the Glen. The road is shown as little more than a track on the 1923 MoT map but it was still important enough to have been classified by 1932.
The road starts next to the Neptune's Staircase Locks on the Caledonian Canal at Banavie, between Caol and Corpach on the A830. The first 50 m of the road are a fairly new alignment, dating back to the improvements on the A830 in the 1960s. It then turns sharp right onto the old coach road from Fort William to Arisaig, which was realigned when the canal opened, and then a sharp left turns north up the Great Glen, and so on to the original route.
The road fluctuates between single-carriageway with passing places and two-way road throughout its length, but the first two miles are generally the narrowest. The road meets its first significant junction at Loy Bridge, where the dead-end Glen Loy road joins just after the crossing of the River Loy. After another two miles, the only other junctions on the route of the road are reached, where the two spurs of the B8005 Loch Arkaig road meet.
We then turn east, crossing the Canal on a single-carriageway swing bridge, before a series of twists and turns brings us to the Bridge of Mucomir, where the River Lochy is crossed as it joins the River Spean. The next mile and a half to the Commando Memorial and A82 are the straightest and widest, terminating with a wide junction on the A82 to provide access to the viewpoint car park at the Memorial on the hill above Spean Bridge.