|To:||North Port (NM959415)|
|Distance:||15.2 miles (24.5 km)|
|Meets:||A828, Loch Etive, A85, Loch Awe|
|Route outline (key)|
The B845 is split into three unconnected sections and on the map looks like rather a pointless road. However, the road was designed to be a through route, connected by ferries.
Barcaldine to Bonawe
Leaving the A828 at Barcaldine, the road climbs through Gleann Salach, before dropping back to sea level on the shores of Loch Etive at Ardchattan. Here, we turn eastwards, passing through the small village of Bonawe to the Quarry beyond. To the modern visitor, this seems to be the end of the road, with large car parking areas near the Quarry entrance. However, the rather perilous road that winds through the rocks at the narrows of Loch Etive leads to a disused slipway that once provided a ferry across to Taynuilt (See Connel Bridge page for more info.).
Bonawe to Taynuilt
This is the shortest part of the B845, running from the southern slipway of the former Bonawe Ferry crossing into the village of Taynuilt and the A85. It starts in a small car park area popular with fishermen, but soon disappears between high hedges. These hedges successfully disguise the fact that the road is on a narrow (natural) causeway poking into the loch at the mouth of the River Awe. The road is, as with the other sections, narrow and only sparsely served with passing places although today this is probably one of the busiest sections with regular coach trips passing through Taynuilt to visit the Bonawe Ironworks. The road TOTSOs right at a T-junction in Brochoy before crossing the Glasgow to Oban railway by Taynuilt station to end at a T-junction on the A85.
Taynuilt to North Port
After a short sojourn east along the A85, the B845 once more appears, a little to the east of Taynuilt. It starts by running parallel to that road, albeit climbing the hill as it heads east. There is then a sharp hairpin bend before the road turns southwards to continue its journey through Glen Nant to Kilchrenan and then North Port on the shores of Loch Awe. A mile before its end, the B845 now TOTSOs with a minor road than heads south-west along the shores of Loch Awe to the remote forestry village of Dalavich.
As with at Loch Etive, a ferry service once operated across Loch Awe to the B840 on the southern shore, but by the 1960s it too had become uneconomic, and was withdrawn. Today there is no sign of the former slipway, although the road now terminates in the front yard of a Hotel which is a common feature at ferry crossings in the Highlands. The hotel has landscaped gardens, so the slipway and its road may have been purposefully removed.
As can be seen from the map to the left, the B845 did not originally extend to the north of Loch Etive, rather it started at Taynuilt on the A85. The extension to the north may have occurred in 1935, but this map from the previous year shows the road through Gleann Salach as no more than a 'Footpath or track'. Confusingly, the 1939 Ten-Mile Map shows the (unnumbered) northern extension in black, rather than in blue, the normal colour for a Class II road. It was the B845 by 1946, however.