|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||12.8 miles (20.6 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The B8043 serves the remote, and tiny, population of Kingairloch. It only has two significant junctions - one at either end. Anywhere else in the UK, this road would barely even be unclassified; however, in the West Highlands of Scotland, such roads are of strategic importance, in their own way! The road was originally unclassified but had gained its number by 1932.
Starting at the northern end, the B8043 turns south off the A861 as it enters Glen Tarbert and crosses from Loch Linnhe to Loch Sunart. We head southwest and for the first 2 or 3 miles we cross open moorland, first climbing to skirt round Lochan Doire a' Bhràghaid before dropping down to the shore of Loch Linnhe at Kilmalieu. There are stunning views from the summits of the two climbs, north out across Loch Linnhe to the Corran Narrows, and south down the firth of Lorne to Lismore and beyond. The long descent is gentler than the climb from the north, and offers great forward visibility as the road meanders downwards. The view is then momentarily lost as we skirt a patch of woodland, before opening up once more as we reach the shore next to a semi-derelict shed and near a wide tranquil beach.
From Kilmalieu to Camasnacroise, we are never far from the shore, as the road weaves along, often on a precipitous ledge cut into the steeply sloping hillside as it plunges into the deep waters. This narrow ledge is probably the remains of the raised beach created at the end of the last ice age when the land started to rise faster than the sea level. In places the road is supported by a retaining wall up to 6 feet high, and the passing places are little more than grass-covered dents in the cliff face.
We turn inland once more to pass the once lonely cottage of Glengalmadale, but the old steading next door has now been converted to a luxurious B&B. We cross the Glengalmadale River on a two-span concrete bridge similar to the one across the River Tarbert at the beginning of this route. Around the next corner, the small settlement of Camasnacroise lies on its own little unclassified 'road' as the B8043 climbs steeply up the hillside behind the row of whitewashed cottages and church, turning west past Kingairloch House and on to its terminus on the A884 just west of Lochuisge.
Much of the road along Loch Uisge was reconstructed in 2004-5 when a new hydro-electric scheme was implemented on the loch. This caused the water level to rise slightly, and the road, which had always been susceptible to flooding in places, was submerged. The rest of the route had been damaged by construction traffic and has also been rebuilt, with many of the old bends and bumps straightened out.
Very little traffic uses the road, despite its offering an alternative route from Corran to Lochaline, which is surprisingly the same distance as the A-roads, and there is very little difference in the time either.