|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||13.2 miles (21.2 km)|
|Old route now:||B872|
|Route outline (key)|
Running around the shore of the Rosneath Peninsula, the B833 is one of the more pleasant roads of the Clyde Estuary.
It starts in Garelochead at a triangular junction on the B872 and heads south along the shore, at first just above the beach, but then detouring inland for a time past Rockville. This is the end of the Garelochhead village area, beyond which the B833 passes along one of the least developed sections of its route, with just occasional properties in the trees above the road. After a mile or so, the scattered row of houses of Rahane is passed, and just beyond a right turn climbs steeply up and over the spine of the peninsula to meet the other end of the route. Ahead, the road continues past a scattering of properties to Clynder and on into Rosneath itself. To the left, and rarely far away is the Gareloch, with Faslane and Rhu on the further shore.
Rosneath is by far the largest of the villages along the route, with shops and services to serve the large housing estates, as well as the thousands of tourists who visit the area every year. Having hardly deviated further than a stones throw from the loch so far, the road turns inland through the village and after Rosneath, it leaves the shore behind altogether as it climbs behind Gallow Hill to Kilcreggan on the Clyde. A number of left turns lead out to the properties, and large holiday park, closer to the shore. A short distance after the road regains the shore in Kilcreggan a pier provides a passenger ferry across to Gourock on the southern shore of the Clyde. The road then continues to hug the shore as it runs west through the village, before turning north, along the eastern side of Loch Long.
The roadside through Kilcreggan is lined with a long procession of luxurious Victorian Villas, with the occasional newer house squeezed in between. Some of these houses are hotels or guest houses, others retain their original role of being relaxing getaways for the great and the good of Glasgow. Newer housing estates sit higher up the hill behind, many of the houses having stunning views, whilst being away from the bustle of the shore. The next village to the north is Cove, although the two have grown to meet each other. Cove is perhaps even more exclusive than Kilcreggan, with many more large Victorian villas built by wealthy Glaswegians as weekend retreats in the days when the steamer would call at a pier every mile or so along this coastline.
Eventually, the houses become further and further apart, with woodland dropping down the hillside between. Ardpeaton is little more than a row of houses, some on the shore side, but the road soon cuts back across. Finally, at Coulport, the B833 terminates at a roundabout in front of a military installation. However, there is a shortcut back to Garelochhead as a new road has been built (as an extension of the A817, although it is officially unclassified), to connect the various military sites around Garelochead together. Officially, the road is a private road, patrolled by the Military Police, so drive safely! For most of its length, it runs along the hillside above the B833, but often lined by trees. You also need to be aware of tanks and Army Lorries undergoing manoeuvres!
Originally the B833 left the A814 at the western end of Garelochhead. When that road was rerouted onto the bypass the B833 was initially extended north to meet it at Whistlefield Roundabout, with the rest of the former A814 route given the B872 number. More recently, however, the whole of the pre-bypass A814 was renumbered B872, cutting the B833 back to its original starting point. The exact chronology of these changes is uncertain, with the route north of Garelochhead still signed as both the A814 and B872 (on different signs at the roundabout) in 2021!
At the other end, the B833 originally continued north west from its current terminus along the shore for around three quarters of a mile to Coulport Pier, from where a ferry crossed Loch Long to Ardentinny and the B834. The road survived after the ferry stopped and was only cut back when the naval base took over its land in the mid 1960s.