Girish Mahajan (Editor)

A830 road

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east end:  Lochaber
Primary destinations:  Mallaig
west end:  Mallaig
Length  65.3 km
A830 road

The A830, sometimes known as the Road to the Isles (although in reality it forms only a part of that historic route), is a road in Lochaber, in the Highlands of Scotland, which connects the town of Fort William to the port of Mallaig.


Map of A830, Caol, Fort William PH33, UK


The A830 starts at a junction on the A82 road and immediately crosses the River Lochy. The road passes through several small settlements, including Corpach, Glenfinnan and Arisaig and bypasses the village of Morar. It also follows the shorelines of Loch Eil and Loch Eilt. It ends at the quayside in the port of Mallaig with onward ferry services to the isles of Muck, Eigg, Rùm, Canna and Skye, and a ferry across to the neighbouring peninsula at Inverie which although on the mainland has no other road access.


Until spring 2009 its section between Arisaig and Lochailort was the only remaining single-track trunk road still in use in the UK (apart from a small section of A887 West of Invermoriston) but now all the road is double track. The 7.4-mile (11.9 km) bypassed section has been handed to the local authority for maintenance and designated the B8008.

Thomas Telford engineered what was then called the Loch na Gaul road from Fort William to Arisaig. It was completed in 1812.

The Road to the Isles

'The Road to the Isles' is actually an ancient drove road which leaves General Wade's military road from Stirling to Inverness at Tummel Bridge, along the northern banks of the River Tummel and Loch Rannoch roughly along the present day B846. Where today's road runs out the old road continued over Rannoch Moor towards Kings House on the A82, over the Devil's Staircase and past Kinlochleven, to meet the present A830 at Fort William.


On 25 May 2008 the road was featured in the BBC TV programme Countryfile.


There is a traditional Scottish song about the road, called The Road to the Isles. The lyrics mention locations the road passes, including (in order): the Cuillin Hills, Tummel, Loch Rannoch, Lochaber, Shiel, Ailort, Morar, the Skerries and the Lews.

A satirical song about the road, "The 8-3-0," was written by Ian McCalman (of the Scottish folk group The McCalmans) and published in 1993, before the road's widening. The song lampoons the "single track" nature of the A-status road and depicts unsuspecting tourists dodging tourist buses and fish vans, and returning from Mallaig by train instead.


A830 road Wikipedia

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