Start location: unclassified road west of Tomcork (NJ 040 468)
End location: Public road by Craigroy (NJ 121 499)
Geographical area: Moray
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 10.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians, Suitable for horses
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From the end of the public road, northwest of Tomcork, a rough track runs generally northeast to a signposted junction near Johnstripe. Here turn east, along this old right of way which continues past Loch na Braan. There is a boggy stretch of about a quarter mile or so, and at Red Craigs a bridge is down (NJ102481), so it is necessary to cross the burn by stepping stones. At NJ105482, the route turns north, then east, following the burn, before heading northeast past Auchness along its access road to reach the signpost by the public road at Craigroy.
NB There is a place called Tomcork near each end of this route.
OS Landranger 27 (Nairn & Forres) & 28 (Elgin, Dufftown & surrounding area)
We were originally told that this right of way is known locally as the "Loan Road" and it is certainly an old drove road. "The Loan" is often a name found where drove roads come off the hills. The route appears on old maps and may have been used as an access road to the main southerly highway, the Via Regia. With the coming of the railway from Inverness via Forres and south over Dava Moor, this route (or loan) provided a useful link to the station at Dunphail, an important access point for the transportation of cattle to the markets of the south. In 2018, the farmer at Auchness told a ScotWays signposting volunteer that his grandfather drove cattle and sheep over the route.
However, this old track is perhaps better known as the Lone Road. It is interesting to note that the OS 6" 1st edition mapping (1843-1882) marks both Lone (a building at NJ077483) and the Lone Burn. Is Lone the building so-called because it was alone, or was it mis-spelt and named after its location on the Loan Road? The road certainly travels through lonely country, so although it could be named for the building, could its name be a play on words? It is also said to have been used by folk that preferred to be alone, such as cattle reivers or illicit distillers.
The Heritage Paths project would very much welcome further details about the use of this old route, and particularly any additional evidence relating to name derivation.