|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||1.9 miles (3.1 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The B8085 is a short road at the southern end of the Isle of Colonsay.
The route starts around a mile west of the Ferry Pier in the village of Scalasaig, the island's biggest settlement. The junction with the B8086 is completely unsigned, and the road heads off south without even a give way line. A short straight leads to a brief climb around some bends that weave between the only houses passed on the whole route. The road then winds and undulates across the rocky and boggy moorland, with a number of tracks leading off to unseen properties further east towards the coast.
Before long, the sea comes into view ahead and, after a slight descent, a relatively straight run leads down to the car park at the end of the road. Maps mark the place as Gavard, but the house bearing that name sits half a mile to the west along a rough track. The car park is where the B8085 ends, but not strictly speaking its destination. Even though the car park is right on the beach, tyre tracks can normally be followed off across the flat sands, disappearing into the water for all but a couple of hours either side of low tide. Whilst the water can get quite deep at high tides, by low tide the whole beach, called The Strand, is pretty much dry and stretches across to Oronsay on the far side.
Whilst not a public road, far less part of the B8085, no journey along that route is complete without a splash through the few remaining puddles as the tide recedes to reach Oronsay. A bumpy, rocky track winds along the high tide line at first, before climbing clear and crossing to the farm at the heart of this charming island. Now owned by the RSPB, the farm's origins are in the ruinous Priory that can be explored alongside. As long as you follow the tide out you will have more than enough time to explore the ruins and make it safely back to the car park on foot.