|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||30.5 miles (49.1 km)|
|Meets:||A848, B882, B8035|
|Route outline (key)|
The B8073 runs around the northern portion of the Isle of Mull, starting on the A848 in Tobermory, the island's 'capital' and finishing on the B8035 near Salen. It is a route of 31 miles, but by taking the A848 and B8035 you can travel between its two ends in under 14 miles!
The road starts at a roundabout on the A848 at the entrance to Tobermory and curves around the western side of the village. It then picks up the Tobermory River and climbs with it to the shores of 3 linked lochs. At the end of the lochs, a low watershed is crossed and the road drops with views south down Loch Frisa. After winding around some low hills, the scattered cottages of Torr and Achnadrish are passed, with the road starting a long series of strange hairpins down and up the gentle hills. These leads you past a viewpoint and on down to the pretty village of Dervaig. The village's church has a round white tower, more reminiscent of Ireland than Scotland.
Beyond Dervaig the road climbs gently, without any hairpins this time, and runs past scattered cottages and through small forestry plantations, generally heading west but never very directly. After some tighter bends, the road drops steeply down to the beautiful bay at Calgary, a place that gave its name to the city in Canada, because of the emigrants that left Mull after the clearances.
The road climbs up the cliff at the south side of the bay and over another hill, catching glimpses of the Treshnish Isles out to the south west. This section runs across some bleak moorland, with sharp bends and steep hills in places, before dropping down and almost regaining the coast at Kilninian. A mile or so further on at Achleck, a minor road makes a short cut back to Dervaig, but otherwise the road just undulates along a short distance inland, running past a series of cottages, occasionally clustered into villages, with views out across Loch Tuath.
The road drops to the shore briefly at Laggan Bay, before turning past the side road that leads to the ferry for the Isle of Ulva. A steep climb out of Oskamull takes the road over a hill and down to the shore of Loch na Keal. This shoreline is somewhat less populated, but the views are no less stunning as the road now winds eastwards, rarely any distance from the shore, around the head of the loch to Gruline where it terminates on the B8035, formerly the A849.
When the roads were first classified, the current route of the B8073 was part of the then much longer B882, which came to an end just before Calgary Bay. By 1932 this had become an extended A848, with the B8073 created for the remainder of the route to Gruline. This situation remained until at least the 1960s, after which the A848 was cut back once more and the B8073 reached its current length.