Cromarty is the historic county town of the small, and scattered county of Cromartyshire, latterly merged with Ross-shire and now covered by the Highland Council. Perhaps because the county ceased to be a separate administrative entity in 1890, the town has not grown like so many others did, and remains little more than a small village clustered around a harbour. Lying at the end of the 'Black Isle', a long peninsula between the Cromarty Firth and the inner Moray Firth, Cromarty is only just over 20 miles from Inverness by road, but somehow feels much further when you finally reach it! It is, however, a pretty place, worth the journey, with a lot of history packed into the surrounding area.
There are only two classified roads to Cromarty, the main A832 which has come along the southern side of the Black Isle from the Tore Roundabout on the A9. Along the way it passes the larger town of Fortrose, before climbing over the hill to Cromarty itself. Following the northern shore of the peninsula, the B9163 is perhaps a more scenic approach to the town, but it reaches the A9 further north next to the Cromarty Bridge. For many years, Cromarty Harbour had a car ferry service across the narrow channel to Nigg on the far side. However, problems with boats and the harbour have meant that the service has been suspended for a number of years, and a passenger only service provided at times.
When the roads were first classified, the Black Isle fell within Zone 8, however when the A9 was extended north, it became Zone 9, leading to the routes being renumbered. In line with others in the area, the original B863 became the B9163, but the A833 rather than gain a 9 number became an extension of the A832.
|Fortrose, Munlochy, Inverness (A9)|
|Balblair, Conon Bridge, Culbokie (B9169)|
|Fortrose, Munlochy, Inverness (A88)||Now A832|
|Balblair, Conon Bridge||Now B9163|
|Nigg||currently passenger only service|