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C1138 (Highland)

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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Ardgay (NH583911)
To:  Baldownie Bridge (NH485915)
Distance:  7.2 miles (11.6 km)
Meets:  C1136,C1140
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
C1138 Ardgay - Baldownie Bridge
This article is about the Class III road numbered C1138 maintained by Highland Council.
For other roads numbered C1138, see C1138

The C1138 runs along the north bank of the River Carron, through Strathcarron to the west of Ardgay.


towards the western end of the C1138 in Strathcarron

The route starts at a TOTSO junction on the C1136 a little to the north of the old bridge over the River Carron at Gledfield, Ardgay. It heads west at first along the edge of forestry, before dropping down to the riverbank. There are trees along the riverbank in places, and the river meanders away and back again, so the water is not always visible. Forestry continues to clad the slopes above the road, but a strip of fields fill the lower slopes, with a series of crofts and farms sitting above the road. After a longer run along the tree lined riverbank, the road cuts away across fields and climbs a little back to the edge of the forest. The substantial property of Braelangwell Lodge sits behind a long stone wall, after which the road meanders back down to the riverbank once more. The forest then comes to an end and the heathery slopes of the hillside drop down to the road. Another mile or so further on, the route reaches a T junction with the C1140 which crosses the river at Baldownie Bridge and doubles back down the glen on the south side of the river.

The road continues ahead, although it is not entirely clear if the C1138 does. After another mile of meandering along the north bank of the winding river, the road finds another junction at Amat, with the old mission hall sitting in the trees just above the road. The road meanders on, and the glen is now open and wide with some stunning scenery to enjoy. The end of the road comes at Croick, where a church built to the designs of Thomas Telford stands next to the farm. A couple of the bridges in Strathcarron display some features of bridges also designed by Telford, although it is unlikely that he built the road itself, and he made his bridge designs available for use.

The old Ullapool Road

Sign at the start of the Old Ullapool Road

The end of the road at Croick has a turning head in front of a gate, with a track continuing west up the glen. The sign to the left is next to the pedestrian gate to the side, forcing walkers and cyclists off the road briefly!! The track continues westwards along the north side of the river through Strath Cuileananch. It is a beautiful, tranquil valley, winding through the hills, with a couple of barns used by the estate along the way. The track is gravelled to start with, but there are patches where the grass has covered the road. There are also a couple of old concrete bridges over the streams that tumble down the hillside. An old farm sits just above the road, beyond which the road is less well used, and the surface is rougher. After a pleasant stretch on the riverbank, the road turns and climbs away. The river turns to the south west past another derelict property, but the road continues westwards, climbing over the shallow pass to Glen Einig. There are patches of woodland, which the road winds between, and numerous dips which readily puddle, making it difficult to keep feet dry!

Crossing the watershed

After crossing the watershed, the road starts to drop into Glen Einig, and soon finds a gate, quickly followed by a ford. At a junction, the road gains a much better surface, and winds down the hillside. At the next junction, the track forks right and winds down towards Oykel Bridge, but the old Ullapool Road forks left, and is once more very rough underfoot, with several sharp dips across unbridged streams, A very steep descent drops down to the main track through Glen Einig, which soon crosses the river at Duag Bridge. Just beyond the bridge is a junction, where the main track continues ahead into Strath Mulzie. A right turn winds up the hill into a parallel valley to the north west. It seems that the old road takes this right turn, while today the route through Strath Mulzie is the more obvious, and leads down to a number of properties at Corriemulzie. Although numerous tracks and paths wind off through these desolate, remote hills. Both routes rejoin at the head of Loch an Daimh.

Another watershed is quickly crossed, and the road starts to drop down into Glen Achall. and soon passes East Rhidorroch Lodge. It then winds along the north bank of the Rhidorroch River, and then past Loch Achall. Below the loch, Ullapool River is crossed, and the road drops steeply down past a quarry to meet the A835 next to Ullapool Bridge at the north end of the main town, with the suburb of Morefield to the north.

C1138 (Highland)
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