|Distance:||7.5 miles (12.1 km)|
|Meets:||A2, A102, B211, A205, A209, A221, A220, A223, A2000, B2186, A226, B2174|
|Old route now:||A2, B2174|
|Route outline (key)|
The A207, running as it does along the route of the Roman Watling Street, is straight practically all the way. Most of the route was originally classified as the A2, with only the section to Welling forming the original A207. When East Rochester Way was built to relieve Welling, Bexleyheath, and Crayford, the obvious step was taken of extending the A207 number further along the route.
Charlton - DartfordWe begin at the Sun in the Sands roundabout at the junction of the A2 and A102, named after a local pub. The first section of the road is not quite on the Roman route and we curve slightly to the right when we join it. This is Shooter's Hill Road. It crosses the A205 South Circular at traffic lights on the edge of Woolwich Common - a notorious bottleneck as I remember it - and then starts to climb up Shooter's Hill itself, passing the Memorial Hospital on the right. The second-highest point in London, after Hampstead Heath, is at the water-tower at the top of the hill. We then plunge back down again through Oxleas Wood and into Welling, the name of the route becoming Bellegrove Road. A209, we move into Welling High Street, the main shopping street. Wickham Lane (which still is the A209!) comes off to our left, and we head into Park View Road.
The next major junction is with the A221 Danson Lane, which gives local traffic access to the A2. After this we're into Bexleyheath and the oddly named Crook Log, home of the local swimming baths, which then becomes Bexleyheath Broadway. A new section of dual carriageway called Albion Road (which was opened in 1991) relieves the centre of Bexleyheath, taking us off our Roman course for about half a mile. However, we shall be in no doubt when we rejoin it, for the road is now named Watling Street!
After reaching a roundabout on the A220 at the east end of Albion Road we turn left then right to join Watling Street. The "obvious" Roman name does not last long, however, and as London Road we meet the A223 and descend into Crayford, with its one-way loop. Eastbound traffic takes the original route through town, meeting the A2000 in the process, whereas westbound traffic takes the longer but less congested Roman Way (which clearly isn't!) to the south.
After the two carriageways join there is a roundabout and a bridge over the Dartford Loop Line. We then leave Greater London (although apart from the signs there is nothing on the ground that would indicate this) and reach a roundabout immediately afterwards. This marks the start of one of the Dartford bypasses and the road ahead into town is the A226. The bypass itself is not the A207 as would be expected (although it was once) but the B2174. As such, this roundabout marks the terminus of three roads, the A207 amongst them.
When the A2 Bexleyheath bypass was built in the 1927, that road rejoined the first Dartford bypass (of 1924) along the route of what is now the A2018. The A207 was extended to meet it but in 1972 it was cut back to its current eastern terminus and the section renumbered B2174.