A832, Achnasheen, UK
This Great Road, originally written by Ali Cusick, was featured in issue 87 of Total 911.
The A832 starts in the east, at a small village called Garve, but our suggested drive really begins at Achnasheen, slap bang in the middle of Scotland between Inverness and the Kyle of Lochalsh.
We suggest you end the drive around the west coast, near Gairloch, but if you wanted a big tour, you could very easily continue to follow it north and loop around to Ullapool, in a Scotland bike tour fashion. All those roads are in themselves worth of attention.
We’ve suggested the A832 because not only does it cut through some incredible scenery, but in the main it is wide, with superb surface, gentle corners, and with excellent sight lines. Ideal 911 territory, then. Indeed, so open are the sight lines that at times, even travelling at the national speed limit can seem like you are hardly moving.
We’re open and on two lane Tarmac as we pick up the road out of Achnasheen. Immediately you get a taste of the next half hour. There’s a near constant view of the road ahead for a few hundred yards, usually a longish straight with a sweeping curve right in the far distance. Loch a’Chroisg appears on the left, and the road in the distance weaves on, and on and on….
All the way down the loch, bends are few, and when they do appear, are very slow, gentle and scarcely a trouble. It’s not until a few miles after the water ends that bends really begin to feature. Even then, you’ll be hard pressed to require much input on the wheel at all.
LATITUDE: 57.5793, -5.0761 LENGTH OF DRIVE: 29 miles POINTS OF INTEREST: FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION: The Old Inn, Gairloch
Beinn Eighe mountains, Torridon
Hebridean Whale Cruises
Sealife Glass Bottom boat cruise, Gairloch
Auld Alliance Bed and Breakfast, Gairloch
LATITUDE: 57.5793, -5.0761
LENGTH OF DRIVE: 29 miles
POINTS OF INTEREST:
FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION:
The Old Inn, Gairloch
A little over half way to Kinlochewe, a stunning view appears after a right hand bend of the road weaving down Glen Docherty towards Loch Maree in the far distance. There’s a small layby on the right hand side, which we urge you to stop and visit. Take a few snaps of your car, and take ten minutes to savour being in such incredible scenery.
The descent down to Kinlochewe is soon knocked off, and there’s a chance for fuel if you need it at a charming petrol station in the village. Inhabitation is quickly dispensed as another pair of National Speed Limit signs announce the next leg to towards the coast.
Loch Maree appears on our right, and the road continues in the same, incredible vein all the way to the end of the loch. From then on, it narrows, with passing places dotted about. Speed is down, but enjoyment is no less apparent. Weaving through forest and then coast road, the small village of Gairloch rolls into view.
We all enjoy driving, and we all enjoy a good stretch of road suited to the motor car we’re at the controls of. This is definitely a road matched for the 911 character. More than that, the location is something worth travelling to in itself; there’s recent scientific evidence to show that being in the landscape is good for our health and wellbeing – particularly mental health.
Visiting this area, you couldn’t help bet agree with this. It is a real tonic to be in open scenery that makes the compact English Lake District look like a garden rockery.
So there we are. A location to tick all the boxes, rewarding both you and your car. You want more? There is; to get to Achnasheen, you’ll have to have driven the A82 through Glencoe – a previous Great Road subject – and will be an hour’s drive from the Pass of the Cattle – another Great Road we’ve covered. Fill up, book the B and B, and get up there.