A939 is one of Scotland's top roads
Located in the Scottish Highlands, the A939 (also known as Lecht Road and Old Military Road) is possibly one of the best roads in the UK. The road includes really steep sections (up to 20%).
How long is the A939 Road?
Tucked away in the Cairngorms National Park, the road is totally paved. It’s 59.6 miles (95.9 km) long, running north-south from Nairn (in the Highland council area on the Moray Coast) to Ballater (in Aberdeenshire). The road layout is fantastic with beautiful curves mixed with some rollercoaster-like ups and downs that makes you think you maybe should have skipped that piece of cake on your last coffee stop.
When was the A939 Road built?
For much of its route, it follows the line of the Old Military Road. The road was built after the Jacobite rising of 1745. It was once was an important military road constructed by road builder William Caulfield, an officer in the British Army. Caulfeild was responsible for 900 miles of road and over 600 bridges. Major Caulfeild died in 1767.
Is the A939 open?
Set high in the Grampian Mountains, the road tops out by Lecht Pass at 646m (2,119ft) above the sea level. It's one of the highest roads of the country. The road is typically open all year round, with the occasional closure in winters due to dangerous weather conditions. In fact, it’s regularly the first road in Great Britain closed due to snowfall between Cock Bridge and Tomintoul. It climbs up 4 mountain passes: Dava Moor 1053 ft (321m); Bridge of Brown 1436 ft (438m); Lecht Pass 2090 ft (646m) and Gairnshiel Summit 1836 ft (550m).
How long does it take to drive the A939 Road in Scotland?
To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 1.5 and 2 hours. The drive is well worth it: bumpy, lots of twists and turns, isolated phone reception at time but pretty. It’s located, literally, in the middle of nowhere: bare landscapes, endless views over mountains, sheep and lambs grazing in the fields around you, and so remotely positioned that you might even spot deer or other wild animals. It’s a road that should not be missed out on. It takes you through the kind of sceneries you would expect to see on your drive through Scotland and it is one of those roads that barely has any traffic at all, because most traffic will be on the highway that runs next to the national park.