One of the many joys of exploring Scotland is in following a road apparently leading nowhere, only to find that at its end lies something unexpected: a castle, a ruin, some relic of a momentous historical event, or simply some unusual and remarkable views.
The map makes clear that the minor road that hugs the north-west shore of Loch Carron south of the village of Lochcarron is not quite "a road to nowhere", but it is narrow, largely single track, and little travelled.
It wasn't always so. Until 1970 the first four miles of this road from Lochcarron to Strome, formed part of the A890 main road to Kyle of Lochalsh. At Strome, overlooked by the ruins of the nearby Strome Castle, travellers connected with the ferry across to Stromeferry on the opposite shore of Loch Carron. (Continues below image...)
But in 1970 a new road opened following the line of the railway along the south-east shore of Loch Carron to Strathcarron, the ferry stopped operating, the designation "A890" skipped across the loch, and the now unclassified road south-west from Lochcarron became a curiosity rather than part of a significant route from anywhere to anywhere else.
Ironically the new road on the far shore of the loch has had more than its share of problems, being blocked by landslides several times during its lifetime. A number of options are being considered to improve matters, including one that would see the road to Strome carrying traffic to a bridge across the Strome Narrows where once the ferry plied.
The road that continues almost west from Strome for a couple of miles to Ardaneaskan has always been quiet, however, and looks likely to remain that way. A parking area at the far end of the tiny hamlet gives excellent views that make the journey well worth while. These include the mountains of Applecross in the west, a glimpse of distant Skye, the picture postcard village of Plockton to the south-west, and across Loch Carron to the mountains of Lochalsh.
The hamlet of Ardaneaskan itself is largely residential, scattered thinly along the last part of the public road and on the hillside above. A short distance before the shoreside road ends (parking at the road end and walking back is advisable) is a fascinating little Croft Museum set out in an old outbuilding.