|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||near Lochawe (NN132283)|
|Distance:||3.4 miles (5.5 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
In other parts of the country, where road numbers are in short supply, the B8077 would either be part of the B8074, or unclassified. In Western Scotland, they do things differently. After all, the only people that will ever use the road are those who live along it and those, like you and me, who are curious.
So what does it do? Where does it go? Ummm.
It serves the village of Stronmilchan. Well, I say village... It also provides access to the start point for the two Munros above, and finally, it acts as a bypass to the congested A85 through Dalmally. Well, maybe not.
Starting at the western end, the road forks off the A85 as that road swings south across the new bridge over the River Orchy. To start with, the road is remarkably wide, and you almost get the feeling that there are white lines and cat's eyes under the top surface of tarmac. Obviously, this is thanks to its former status as the A85, but 70-odd years later?
After about a mile, the road turns to the south, crossing the two branches of the River Strae as it does so. The first stream is crossed on a modern S2 concrete bridge, the second on a 19th-century single-track stone bridge. After this, the road remains single-track for much of the route. Here and there it widens briefly, but soon drops back as we pass the houses of Stronmilchan on our left. Then, suddenly, the road widens and turns sharp right to cross Dalmally Bridge, an 18th-century three-arch stone bridge across the River Orchy. On the further side, the road is a full S2 width, as it passes under an avenue of trees, past Dalmally's unusual church and so to the junction with the A85.
The B8077 was one of the later numbers to be allocated, and for a very simple reason. Until the late 1930s, the A85 followed this route west from Dalmally. Originally the A819 went over the hill past the Duncan Ban MacIntyre monument but was moved onto its present coastal route in the mid-1930s. When the new bridge at the head of Loch Awe was built, the A85 was routed over the "new" A819 and over the bridge, whilst the road vacated became the B8077.