Entering Gardenstown from the south
The B9123 is a relatively short road on the Banffshire coast, serving the coastal community of Gardenstown. The road was originally unclassified but had gained its number by 1932.
The road starts at a staggered crossroads on the B9031 about 6 miles east of Macduff and heads north, curving gently round the low Hill of Findon. It then starts to descend, and passes the modern housing developments at the top of the Gardenstown. As the road passes the local shop, it steepens and doubles back on itself at the junction with the minor road to Crovie. After a short distance, another bend sees the road double back again and you almost get the feeling you are leaving the town behind, with grassy banks on either side of the road. However, this seems to be due to the steepness precluding development, as the road continues to plunge down the hill into the older part of Gardenstown.
Gardenstown, like so many of the small fishing villages along this coast, is an old settlement of small terraced houses squeezed into gulleys and ledges on the steeply sloping hillside above the shore. The roads serving the houses are rarely wide or straight, and many houses can only be reached along winding footpaths. However the B9123 has so far remained a wide S2 through the town and continues to be so as it rounds another bend outside a church and continues the descent. Some modern maps show the B9123 terminating near here, but the old route continues down, turning around 3 sides of a small house opposite Main Street, before narrowing considerably as it approaches the harbour area near the shore.
Today the 'main road' continues ahead into the car parking area at the east end of the harbour area, but the B9123 actually TOTSOs left to double back once more along Harbour Road to terminate at the western end of the harbour. This may be the end of the B9123, but the road continuing ahead is one of the most exhilarating and, of course, terrifying roads in Scotland. It is a largely concrete road running west along the shore to serve the houses strung along the bottom of the cliff. In places perhaps only 7 or 8 feet wide, between gable-end walls and sharp drops onto the sometimes rocky beach below, it also rises and falls as it traverses buried rocks. Parked cars, meandering pedestrians and oncoming traffic add to the fun / terror. It is, of course, a dead end, with a turning-cum-parking area at the end which can be congested at times, and then the whole road has to be retraced, but this time the driver is on the inside, with less idea of where that precipitous road edge is. It seems unlikely that anything as large as a Tesco delivery van could make it safely...