|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||18.8 miles (30.3 km)|
|Meets:||A872, B822, A875|
|Old route now:||A883|
|Route outline (key)|
The B818 is a a long B-road in south Stirlingshire, crossing the Campsie Fells by using the valleys of the River Carron in the East and the Endrick Water in the west.
It starts on the A872 on the western side of Denny. This section of the A872 is relatively new, forming a relief road for the town centre, and along with the M80 has caused the realignment of this section of the B818. The new road runs a little to the south and crosses parkland before going under the M80, which sits on a shallow embankment across the Carron Valley. The B818 then follows the valley of the River Carron upstream, passing through the small suburban villages of Stoneywood and Fankerton, with new housing estates on the old industrial sites below the road. For the next couple of miles the road runs along a ridge to the south of the river valley but presently it descends the steep hillside to cross the river at the narrow New Carron Bridge. Staying comparatively narrow, the road quickly passes the Carronbridge Hotel and climbs through the tiny settlement of Muirmill to reach the Forestry Commission car park which offers walks to a deserted medieval village. This lies just below the dam for the Carron Valley Reservoir, an interesting body of water that sits astride the country's central watershed and so has a dam at both ends.
Running along the northern shore of the reservoir, the road is generally much wider and smoother than has been encountered so far, perhaps thanks to it having been improved when the reservoir was created. However, unlike many reservoir roads, there is little evidence here for the road having been moved to allow the valley to be flooded. To start with, there is a narrow strip of trees between the road and the water, but as the shore turns to the north west, the road edges closer to the water with fine views across the reservoir. Towards the western end, the reservoir has flooded the original route and so the road has to follow a new course. This starts where the new road kinks inland around a slight bay, just after a couple of new houses, with a gate on the shore side across the old road line. Even now, though, the old road is not far into the water, with sections still visible on the shore, especially when the water level is low.
The B818 then reaches the end of the reservoir and crosses below the western dam into the valley of the Endrick Water. Back on its original course, the road follows the river downstream, crossing it at Gartcarron Bridge after a short run through forestry. Heading downhill now, the road becomes steadily narrower, and with ever tighter bends it becomes nearly impossible to maintain any speed and stay within the centre line. The further down you get, the narrower the road feels, especially when the white line disappears, as it is hemmed in by steep banks and dry stone walls, but then suddenly the road turns sharp left, crosses Low Bridge and reaches a T-junction on the B822.
The two routes share a short multiplex west into the pretty village of Fintry where the B822 forks right across the river and the B818 continues ahead; this does allow the B818 to widen to a proper S2 once more. As the B818 continues downstream above the River Endrick, the valley becomes wider and the river more meandering; the road therefore runs some distance to the south of the river. It continues across the fields and through the scattered community of Ballikinrain with the hills rising steeply to the left and the wide valley to the right. Road and river get steadily further away with each meander before the B818 comes to an end at a crooked crossroads on the A875 to the north of Killearn.
Originally the B818 started on the A803 in Camelon, to the west of Falkirk. It then headed northwest, loosely following the River Carron to Denny to pick up its current route, multiplexing with the B817 for a short distance en-route. This section had become the A883 by 1932. In Denny itself, the road subsequently started at the eastern end of Duke Street, opposite the A883. The construction of the A872 relief road, and the M80 beyond has led to further changes to the route, but the old bridge across the Castlerankie Burn survives a little further downstream, now used as a pedestrian bridge. The B818 then followed the surviving stretch of Duke Street to the junction with Grove Street, where it turned due west under the motorway, with the old stone boundary wall survivng on the western side.
At the western end the road originally crossed the Endrick Water on the old stone Honeyholm Bridge at Graystone, to the west of Fintry. It then headed west through Balfron to Balfron Station, where it crossed the A81 before ending a short distance further on on the A811. Again by 1932, the A875 had been created and the B818 rerouted to meet this to the south of Balfron, with the old route being declassified.
The draft proposals for the 1935 renumberings would have seen the B818 extended along the entire route of the B834. However, while the suggestion is marked as 'Agreed', it was never carried through. Rather curiously, a little further down the same sheet, it is suggested that the B818 itself be renumbered throughout as part of an extended B905, taking that route out of zone. Why both of these proposals appear in their own right, rather than as a fully joined-up single number route is a mystery, but the proposal to renumber the B818 as B905 is marked 'No'!