|Length:||25 miles (40.2 km)|
|Meets:||A897, B873, A836|
|Route outline (key)|
The B871 is a reasonably long road in eastern Sutherland.
It starts on the A897 (former B872) in Kinbrace, a tiny settlement that does actually boast a school and a station. The road heads southwestwards, S1 from the outset. It quickly crosses the railway line at a level crossing by the station to swing more northerly in order to cross the Bannock Burn (not to be confused with the more famous one near Stirling) before heading upstream alongside the River Helmsdale.
After passing Loch Achnamoine the road turns to head northwards to climb across the (treeless) Badanloch Forest before bearing westwards again to skirt an actual wood and pass to the north of Loch Rimsdale. The road continues across the moorland to pass the Palm Loch and go between two hills to descend – over some distance – into the Strathnaver. In the hamlet of Syre the River Naver is crossed just before the road reaches a T-junction (a TOTSO on the southbound B871). To the left is the B873 and we turn right.
We now head north along the valley for some distance. The road passes through a few scattered settlements but is far less bleak than during the first half of the route. The valley widens out as it continues downstream but the B871 continues to hug the western edge, meaning that it does not have to cross the river at all – although at times the river's meanders do mean that the road has to squeeze into the available space.