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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (4)
From:  St Catherines (NN158085)
To:  Lochgoilhead (NN201008)
Distance:  6.3 miles (10.1 km)
Meets:  A815, B828, Unclassified
Highway Authorities

Argyll and Bute

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
B839 St Catherines - Lochgoilhead

The B839 is a cross-country B-road which crosses the neck of the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll. Much of its route is through the intriguingly named Hell's Glen


Hell's Glen

Starting at Ardno north of St Catherine's, on the shores of Loch Fyne, the B839 immediately starts to climb. Comparison with old maps suggests that the junction is now a little further north than it used to be, thanks to the improvements to the A815, and the original junction can still be found in the field a short distance away. The road climbs up through a series of switchbacks, passing through forestry land, but some recent felling has opened up views most of the way. The summit at 222m is quickly reached, and then the road starts the descent of the pretty Hells Glen, also known as Glen Beag. Much of this section has been improved, or at least resurfaced recently, perhaps related to the forestry operations, but it is still essentially single track as it winds down the steep sided valley.

Towards the bottom, the hill steepens, turning round a hairpin, before doing a dogleg over the bridge over the Allt Glinne Mhoir. Just after the bridge, the B839 meets the B828 which has descended from the Rest and be Thankful at what used to be a TOTSO but the junction has now been relined. Turning right, the road runs along between the river and forestry, with some good long straights through this scenic valley. The River Goil is then crossed with sharp bends either side of the bridge, only to be recrossed a little further on.

The second bridge lies just before the road enters Lochgoilhead, and the long dead-end unclassified road to Carrick Castle turns off to the right before it, running down the western shore of Loch Goil. The B839 continues into the village which is nestled around the head of the loch and reaches a large car park on the shore. The loch is used for Watersports and is lined with Hotels and holiday parks. Technically the B839 continues past the car park and some way down the east side of the loch, although the terminus is uncertain. The original 1922 Roads List states that the route ends at Lochgoilhead Pier, but modern maps, and indeed the original MOT map show the route continuing past a line of luxurious detached Victorian villas on the shore side. As it continues south the road steadily deteriorates in quality until it becomes a rough partially tarred track. Certainly the road is classified as far as the pier by the no through road signs, and probably as far as the second or third house on the shoreside, as the road starts to climb away from the loch - so longer than might be expected.

From its number, and looking at a map, it seems odd that it is the B839 that runs into Lochgoilhead, rather than the B828. However, the reason behind this is that back in 1922 the B828 number was originally used in Callander, the current B828 route being numbered as such several years later.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Junction with A815 - Lochgoilhead Pier

Related Pictures
View gallery (4)
Road junction the B839 with the B828 - Geograph - 1572857.jpg's Glen - Geograph - 160507.jpgTop of road down Hell's Glen - Geograph - 1657365.jpgSquirrels.jpg
B800 – B899
B800 • B801 • B802 • B803 • B804 • B805 • B806 • B807 • B808 • B809 • B810 • B811 • B812 • B813 • B814 • B815 • B816 • B817 • B818 • B819
B820 • B821 • B822 • B823 • B824 • B825 • B826 • B827 • B828 • B829 • B830 • B831 • B832 • B833 • B834 • B835 • B836 • B837 • B838 • B839
B840 • B841 • B842 • B843 • B844 • B845 • B846 • B847 • B848 • B849 • B850 • B851 • B852 • B853 • B854 • B855 • B856 • B857 • B858 • B859
B860 • B861 • B862 • B863 • B864 • B865 • B866 • B867 • B868 • B869 • B870 • B871 • B872 • B873 • B874 • B875 • B876 • B877 • B878 • B879
B880 • B881 • B882 • B883 • B884 • B885 • B886 • B887 • B888 • B889 • B890 • B891 • B892 • B893 • B894 • B895 • B896 • B897 • B898 • B899
Former versions: B801 • B805 • B808 • B810 • B812 • B814 • B817 • B825 • B828 • B834 • B835 • B837 • B848 • B851 • B852
B854 • B855 • B857 • B858 • B859 • B860 • B862 • B863 • B864 • B865 • B866 • B867 • B869 • B870 • B872 • B873 • B874
B875 • B876 • B877 • B879 • B880 • B883 • B887 • B889 • B891 • B892 • B893 • B895 • B896(N) • B896(W) • B897 • B898

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