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B8008

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B8008
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (10)
From:  Arisaig (NM675970)
To:  Mallaig (NM663866)
Via:  Morar
Distance:  9.8 miles (15.8 km)
Meets:  A830, A830
Former Number(s):  A830
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Highland

Traditional Counties

Inverness-shire

Route outline (key)
B8008 Arisaig - Beoraidbeg
(A830) Beoraidbeg - Glasnacardoch
B8008 Glasnacardoch - Mallaig
This article is about the current B8008 from Arisaig to Mallaig.
For the former B8008 through Kirkhill near Beauly, see B8008 (Beauly)
.

The B8008 is a surprisingly recent addition to the classified routes of Scotland, taking over the former sections of the A830 as it has been realigned. As a result, it is now possible to enjoy one of the most breathtaking roads in Scotland, with spectacular views across to the Small Isles and the Cuillin on Skye, without having to concentrate every ounce of energy on the traffic!

Route

There are three distinct sections of the B8008, each separated by brief multiplexes with the new A830. Each section serves the three main settlements on this western seaboard of Lochaber. Combined with a couple of spurs, this gives a total of 8 junctions between the B8008 and A830.

Arisaig

After emerging from the final upgraded section of the route, the A830 arrives in Arisaig, and meets the B8008 at a T junction, where it turns left, west into the village. The road quickly drops down past a mixture of old and new houses to the shore, where car parks offer fine views across the island-studded bay. At the end of the main street, the road turns back inland at the hotel to rejoin the A830. However, this final section is a spur and halfway up the hill the mainline of the B8008 takes a left turn. It quickly drops to single track and north runs past the church and school. Opposite the school, a footpath to the right is the old start of the Kinloid Road. The B8008 widens out to two lanes again and crosses moorland to another junction with itself. At each of these junctions, priority is given to the roads joining the A830, but all of the tarmac is the B8008.

The B8008 passing between Traigh Beach and the Golf Course

The mainline of the route turns left and drops back down to the shore, turning sharply by a hotel and passing the turning to Keppoch before heading north across the low lying Mointeach Mhor. The shore weaves in and out in stunning bays and headlands, the wide sandy beaches dotted with rocks and islets. It all makes for an idyllic holiday destination, so it is no surprise to see the land between the road and shore dotted with caravans. The road crosses over a rocky hill at Bunacaimb, and almost touches the beach beyond. Then it cuts across another headland with a caravan park, and reverts to single track. The beautiful wide sandy bay ahead is Traigh Beach, backed by a golf course in the dunes, and with a couple of small car parks. The best views on this coastline are from the beaches and rocky headlands here at Traigh, with Eigg and Rum providing a spellbinding backdrop, especially when the sun sinks down behind them. The road snakes around just inches from the beach in places, and the fine silvery sand can lie on the road after a storm.

More beaches, with the famous white or silver sands of this coastline, are passed as the road continues north beyond Traigh, but the road is never so close, instead winding through the rocky landscape just inland. Most of this section is nominally S2, but there are still some narrow pinch points to negotiate, not to mention a number of blind bends and crests. A car park is hidden in the dunes at Glenancross, before the road again turns eastwards beside the short River Morar. After passing another car park at the top of a crest, it drops right down to the beach (the road is often covered in sand) just short of the junction with the A830.

Morar

Level Crossing in Morar

The B8008 has been provided with a staggered crossroads where it crosses the A830 on its way into Morar. It then winds its way around some improbably sharp bends (for a former trunk route) as it crosses over the River Morar (reputedly the shortest river in Britain, especially at high tide) and almost simultaneously under the railway viaduct. There are some impressive falls here too, harnessed for hydro-electric power. Two right turns lead out along the north shore of Loch Morar, with footpaths continuing to some isolated properties along the shore, and over the hills to Tarbet on Loch Nevis. At the entrance to Morar is a level crossing with the railway line, and then the road through the village is narrow and constricted by painted footways providing safe routes to school. At the northern end, the road dips down and swings to the left - a right turn continues past the cemetery and is the old line of the road. It then meets the A830 for the sixth time and turns right, the two routes multiplexing for about a mile.

Mallaig

After the multiplex with the A830, the B8008 once again reasserts itself, turning off to the right at Glasnacardoch. The road can be seen from the A830 climbing steeply to sharp bends over the railway line before disappearing into the southern edge of Mallaig. It then drops down the hill into the centre of the village, where a TOTSO with the unclassified road round the bay is reached. Here it turns left, back to the A830 at its terminal roundabout. Turning right at the roundabout takes us to the ferry port. The village of Mallaig is a bustling port and holiday destination, with plenty of take aways and restaurants catering for the hordes of people disgorged by the Jacobite (Hogwarts Express) steam train excursions throughout the summer.

History

The current incarnation of the B8008 probably came into being in 1989 when the A830 was upgraded from the north end of Morar to the new roundabout in Mallaig. Probably, because so far no maps showing this upgrade in isolation have been found, so it is possible that the number was applied with the next upgrade. This came in 1994 when the Morar bypass opened. The Arisaig section followed in 2003, so completing the B8008 route. Before the Arisaig section was built, there was a temporary arrangement at Kinsadel, the southern end of the Morar bypass, utilising the loop of old road which is now the cycle route. Since 1989 when the Mallaig bypass was built, a number of maps have suggested that the A830 and B8008 did not meet in Mallaig, and that instead the short section of Station Road was part of the unclassified C1166 which runs around the bay. Most maps now show this as part of the B8008.




B8008
Crossings
Roads
Places
Related Pictures
View gallery (10)
B8008-traigh.jpgWww3.jpgB8008-traigh2.jpgLevel crossing, Morar - Geograph - 4772383.jpgMorar Level Crossing 2017.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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