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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (4)
From:  Gairlochy (NN173841)
To:  Loch Arkaig (NN172887)
Distance:  5.9 miles (9.5 km)
Meets:  B8004, C1153
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
B8005 Gairlochy - Loch Arkaig


A typical scene on the B8005

The B8005 is one of the most tantalisingly scenic small roads in Scotland, winding through trees and offering glimpses of stunning views on its way from Gairlochy to Loch Arkaig. The road was marked as little more than a track on the 1923 MoT map but the road was obviously important enough to have gained Class II status by 1932. At the very start of the road are signs informing drivers that the road is an 18mile long no through route, one of the longest in the country.

It starts on the B8004 at Gairlochy, where one spur climbs up from the Canal Bridge to meet another which has maintained the contour of the B8004 from Banavie. The road then winds along through trees offering occasional glimpses across Loch Lochy to the hills beyond. These views have been opened up a little with the felling of the forestry below the road over the last decade. On the return (heading south) these glimpses are of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries. After about two miles, the road finally drops to the loch shore at Bunarkaig, where the private road to Achnacarry, seat of Cameron of Locheil, turns off to the west. A short distance beyond, the road crosses Bunarkaig Bridge over the mouth of the River Arkaig. Until spring 2013 a number of smaller bridges either side of this bridge, were timber or narrow structures. However, as part of a major upgrade of the road onwards along Loch Arkaig, possibly related to the increased felling on forestry land, the bridges have now been rebuilt in concrete, some with stone parapets.

The road now weaves along the marshy shore of the loch as it forms bays and headlands, traffic watching out for walkers on the Great Glen Way, before reaching Clunes and turning inland again. At Clunes, a forest road continues north up the Great Glen to the head of Loch Lochy at Laggan, but the B8005 has far more exciting prospects ahead. The next mile and a half is known as the Dark Mile, or Mile Dorcha in Gaelic. It is a very atmospheric route, with the trees slowly closing in as the road winds its way through the gorge that was cut millions of years ago by a previous course of the River Arkaig. At the far end it suddenly emerges from the trees to find the spectacular falls of Eas Chia Aig. The road crosses the 200-year-old bridge over the Chia Aig and becomes unclassified as it reaches the junction with the other end of the Achnacarry Estate Road at the foot of Loch Arkaig.

Intriguingly, some modern maps mark the end of the B8005 as being at Clunes, while most of the estates in the area show the whole length along the north shore of Loch Arkaig as being the B8005, more than doubling its length. The road along Loch Arkaig is, however, the C1153 according to the Highland Council.

Related Pictures
View gallery (4)
B8005-1.jpgChia-Aig Bridge.jpgNew bridge on B8005 - Geograph - 3418283.jpgBridge over River Arkaig, Bunarkaig - Geograph - 2644505.jpg
B8000 – B8099
B8000 • B8001 • B8002 • B8003 • B8004 • B8005 • B8006 • B8007 • B8008 • B8009 • B8010 • B8011 • B8012 • B8013 • B8014 • B8015 • B8016 • B8017 • B8018 • B8019
B8020 • B8021 • B8022 • B8023 • B8024 • B8025 • B8026 • B8027 • B8028 • B8029 • B8030 • B8031 • B8032 • B8033 • B8034 • B8035 • B8036 • B8037 • B8038 • B8039
B8040 • B8041 • B8042 • B8043 • B8044 • B8045 • B8046 • B8047 • B8048 • B8049 • B8050 • B8051 • B8052 • B8053 • B8054 • B8055 • B8056 • B8057 • B8058 • B8059
B8060 • B8061 • B8062 • B8063 • B8064 • B8065 • B8066 • B8067 • B8068 • B8069 • B8070 • B8071 • B8072 • B8073 • B8074 • B8075 • B8076 • B8077 • B8078 • B8079
B8080 • B8081 • B8082 • B8083 • B8084 • B8085 • B8086 • B8087 • B8088 • B8089 • B8090 • B8091 • B8092 • B8093 • B8094 • B8095 • B8096 • B8097 • B8098 • B8099
Earlier iterations: B8000 • B8006 • B8008 • B8026 • B8039

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