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B8007

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B8007
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (7)
From:  Salen (NM444671)
To:  Achosnich (NM690647)
Distance:  23.9 miles (38.5 km)
Meets:  A861, unclassified
Highway Authorities

Highland

Traditional Counties

Argyll

Route outline (key)
B8007 Salen - Achosnich
B8007 Spur to Kilchoan Pier

The B8007 runs along the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, making it the westernmost classified road on the British mainland. The road was originally unclassified but had gained its number by 1932.

Route

Salen - Kilchoan

The B8007 near Laga

Leaving the A861 at Salen the road starts out as S2 running through the village, but very quickly one lane just disappears into the foliage and it becomes a single-track road. At this point it is good quality single-track, reasonably wide with plentiful passing places, but it does gradually get narrower as it runs westwards through the woodland on the shores of Loch Sunart. This section feels quite enclosed with trees and rocks to the right and more trees on the left concealing views across the loch to Morvern. After about three miles, the road climbs over a headland and briefly emerges from the trees to get a good view across to Carna before it begins the run down to Laga, where it curves gently around the hillside behind Laga Bay.

Around here some of the road has been widened to S2 standard, with many signs promoting that the European Union has part funded the project. One such section takes the road around a rather precipitous rocky headland at the western end of Laga Bay, with the sea directly below. The road then narrows again and climbs through the trees, before a long straight takes it into the scattered village of Glenborrodale. The road curves around the back of the rocky, tidal bay, and then passes the castle on the far side. After Glenborrodale, the road continues to wind westwards, alternating between shoreside stretches and climbing slightly over rocky promontories. The views across Loch Sunart can be quite spectacular - sunlight glistening on the water on a bright day, or a brooding, moody atmosphere when overcast. Even when the cloud rolls in across the water, the tantalizing glimpses can be spellbinding.

After curving round Glenmore Bay with its distillery, the woodland thins out a little, and the views get better. Two rocky beaches lie just below the road before it begins to climb away from the loch. Shortly after passing Ardslingnish it passes at a popular viewing point with views over to Mull in the distance, and a footpath down to the sandy beach far below. Here the nature of the road complete the change. From running along the shore, closed in by woodland, the road is now in open countryside as it climbs through the hills around the back of Ben Hiant and Beinn nan Losgann, mountains that drop steeply down to the sea making it almost impossible for the road to continue along its course on the coast.

The road crosses a wide, flat valley floor, with a tight blind bend round a rocky knoll. It can then be seen ahead climbing steadily across the flank of the hills, and so with good sightlines, although slightly narrower than before, better progress can be made due to the improved visibility. The summit of the route is reached as the valley pinches down to a low pass, beyond which traffic should slow as the road drops down over blind crests and around tight bends in a ledge cut into the hillside. A couple of sections of the road here have been widened and resurfaced, but mostly around the blinder bends and crests. Ahead, Loch Mudle can be seen, surrounded by forestry, but by the time the road reaches the loch, the gentle slopes between are cloaked with trees hiding the loch from view.

The road is now passing around the back of the mountains, the forested slopes above the road having been felled and replanted in places. The outflow from Loch Mudle flows north down a wide valley, which offers some stunning views out to the Small Isles, giving a different perspective from the normal postcard views from the beaches at Arisaig. A wide junction in open moorland sees a minor road turn right and head down to Kilmory and Fascadale on the north coast. The B8007, meanwhile, climbs again, over another low watershed, before a steady descent to the banks of the Allt Choire Mhuilinn. After wiggling along above the stream for nearly a mile, the road turns west and crosses the hillside in two long straights to reach Kilchoan, the largest settlement on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula.

Kilchoan - Arndamuchan Point

Kilchoan is, however, a tiny settlement by normal standards but sizeable for the area, with shops, hotels, restaurants and a tourist information centre. A spur of the B8007 heads off down to the shore at Mingary Pier, where a ferry crosses over to Tobermory on Mull. The spur seems to date to the same time as the rest of the B8007; logically it should have had its own number to begin with but if it did it is not known. The mainline continues west, with a TOTSO right to climb out of the village, signposted 'Lighthouse'. The road continues to be quite open and unfenced at this point as it travels over a sand-dune-type landscape. A right turn by the fire station leads out to the spectacular beaches at Sanna, and then the road winds through the hills past small lochans and the Sonachan Hotel.

Car Park at the Lighthouse

The B8007 classification comes to an end just before Achosnich as the road splits. The road continues ahead to Portuairk, at the southern end of the beaches at Sanna, while the left fork winds out to the Point of Ardnamurchan. Few travel this far on the B8007 just to stop here, and most turn left to continue along the unclassified road, again signposted 'Lighthouse'. The road remains of exactly the same standard as the B8007 just before, as it winds over lumps and bumps below Beinn Bhuidhe, and drops down to the coast, again with views of the Small Isles. One final meander inland leads to the entrance to the lighthouse visitor centre. Automatic traffic lights control traffic into and out of the final few hundred yards up to the lighthouse which stands at the most westerly point in the UK mainland.

The road has travelled 25.5 miles, the vast majority of it being single-track, which means it can take almost an hour from Salen to the Lighthouse. For visitors to the westernmost point, the only way back is to turn around and follow the B8007 all the way back to its junction with the A861 at Salen (or if you've timed it right, take the ferry to Mull); such is the isolation of Ardnamurchan that this is the only way in and out.

TV Stardom

The B8007 had a starring role in episode 3 of Top Gear Series 30, where the show's challenges culminated in a race to Ardnamurchan Point in their off road vehicles, having to go off road on the way to find bulbs for the Lighthouse. Filmed in snowy, wintery conditions, it nevertheless gives a good taste of the road and its dramatic scenery.




B8007
Crossings
Related Pictures
View gallery (7)
Ardnamurchan point - Coppermine - 12864.jpgB8007-glenb.jpgB8007-salen.jpgSunart.jpgCar park at the Point of Ardnamurchan.JPG
Other nearby roads
Mallaig
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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