|From:||Islington Green (TQ316835)|
|To:||High Beach, Epping (TQ427994)|
|Distance:||13.2 miles (21.2 km)|
|Meets:||A1, A1200, A1199, A105, A10, A1207, A107, A1006, A112, A114, A503, A406, A1199, A1009, A110, A121, A1069, A121|
|Route outline (key)|
One of few roads to make it from central London to green pastures, the A104 runs northeastwards from Islington through the suburbs to Epping Forest. It connects with the two A1199s (in Canonbury and Woodford).
Starting near Angel Islington, the A104 diverges from the A1 at Islington Green, and heads north-east along Essex Road towards Canonbury.
At a signalled junction with St. Paul’s Road (the Canonbury A1199) and Newington Green Road (A105), the A104 turns right into Balls Pond Road, meeting with the northern end of the B102 (Southgate Road) at the Mildmay Park crossroads.
The A104 continues east along Balls Pond Road towards the A10 at Dalston Junction, and then along Dalston Lane. At a signalled junction with Graham Road (A1207) and Queensbridge Road (B108), the A104 (and Dalston Lane) briefly turns left to cross over the North London line, before continuing east towards Hackney Downs station.
At a five-way traffic light junction with Amhurst Road and the A107 (the latter being diverted due to the pedestrianisation of the northern end of Mare Street), the A104 heads north along Pembury Road and Cricketfield Road, towards Clapton Pond.
At Clapton Pond, the A104 turns left into Lower Clapton Road, and briefly shares the same alignment with the A107 for about 250 metres: at the Lea Bridge Roundabout, the A104 turns right and heads east along Lea Bridge Road and Lea Bridge itself.
About 375 metres after Whipps Cross, the A104 follows Woodford New Road into the southern end of Epping Forest, a large swathe of greenery owned by the City of London Corporation, and the first notable area of open space when heading outbound on the A104.
Half a mile later a roundabout is reached where we meet the Woodford incarnation of the A1199. That road used to be the A11 and so this was the original northern end of the A104. With the A11 now taking second fiddle to the M11 the A104 has been extended. It meets the A121 to Loughton in Woodford Wells before entering Epping Forest proper. The urban section of road passed through earlier now seems a world away.
At the Wake Arms Roundabout, also known as Fiveways, we meet the A121 again, this time coming in from the east heading towards the M25 at junction 26. The A104 ends here. From the Wake Arms, the old A11 continues northwards, now downgraded to the B1393, though it is still a very busy road. If you were to continue north from here, you'd soon pass Bell Common - and over the top of the tunnel of that name on the M25 into Epping itself. Go further and the road will eventually regain the A11 number, although this doesn't happen until near Cambridge.
Emergency diversion routes
From Waterworks Corner (A406) to the Wake Arms Roundabout (A121), the A104 is part of an emergency diversion route for drivers avoiding the M11 between junctions 4 (Charlie Brown’s) and 6 (Theydon Bois). Northbound drivers follow a solid diamond, while southbound drivers follow a solid circle.