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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (1)
From:  Eltham (TQ424754)
To:  Orpington (TQ467669)
Distance:  7 miles (11.3 km)
Meets:  A205, A210, A20, B226, B263, A222, B264, A224
Old route now:  A205, A223
Highway Authorities

Bromley • Greenwich

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A208 Woolwich - Eltham
A208 Eltham - Orpington


The A208 is a little displaced from the other A20x roads. It runs north-south through southeast London.

Section 1: Eltham - Blackheath

The road start sat the Well Hall roundabout in Eltham. This used to be a major traffic junction with the A2 Rochester Way and the A205 Westhorne Avenue/Well Hall Road (South Circular).

In 1987 the Rochester Way Relief Road was completed which was a bypass of a bypass and Well Hall roundabout's status was reduced. The A208 (Well Hall Road) passes the Progress estate on our left which was built in the style of a village around 1915 to house workers at the Woolwich Arsenal.

On our right is the Well Hall Pleasance, which has recently been restored to its former glory and contains a Tudor barn (now a pub). The Well Hall itself included Edith Bland and her husband as one of the occupants. You may know her better by her maiden name which she used as an author - Edith Nesbit. Well Hall was demolished some years ago.

We then pass under the Bexleyheath Railway line and pass over the Rochester Way Relief Road which is in a cut and cover tunnel at this point. On our left is Eltham Station which replaced Eltham Well Hall and Eltham Park stations, which were demolished when the relief road was built.

At the traffic lights, Sherard Road bears off to the right and this was the original road to Eltham before the A208 Well Hall Road was built. We climb up to Eltham High Street (A210) passing St John's Church on our left. After the traffic lights, the A208 becomes Court Yard and then Court Road in quick succession.

Court Yard is a former Royal Palace which fell out of favour with Queen Elizabeth I. In the 1930s Stephen Coultard offered to restore the Great Hall as long as he could build a house for himself next door. English Heritage own Eltham Palace, which is an unusual mixture of 16th Century and 1930s Art Deco.

Court Road winds its way down amongst the detached housing passing the entrance of Royal Blackheath Golf Club. This is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world and moved to its current site from Blackheath in 1923. The club house is Eltham Lodge, built by a former owner of Eltham Palace in 1664 when the palace was inhabitable. The park just before the railway bridge on our left called The Tarn was also part of the grounds and includes the remains of an ice well.

Section 2.Blackheath - Orpington

Before the traffic lights with the busy A20 Sidcup Road we pass over the Dartford Loop Line and pass Mottingham railway station. After the lights we arrive at Mottingham Village and turn left out of Court Road into Mottingham Road. Off to our right is the B226 leading towards Grove Park. The next stretch is dead straight and forms part of the boundary of the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bromley. We pass some almshouses on our right that were established after the original almshouses in Shoreditch became the Geffrye Museum.

Parade of shops in Chislehurst

At the next traffic lights we arrive at Chislehurst and then climb up White Horse Hill and drop down Red Hill into the small shopping centre of Chislehurst West (formerly known as Prick End!). We pass the pretty Prick End Ponds and the B263 crosses our road and leads to the A222, Camden Place (part of Chislehurst Golf Course), where Napoleon Bonaparte's descendants lived in exile, as well as Chislehurst Caves. We pass through the sylvan Chislehurst Common and arrive at the traffic lights with the A222 (often a bottleneck in the rush hour).

We are now in Royal Parade, considered to be the main part of Chislehurst and full of smart boutiques and antique shops as well as large residences. There is a village sign displaying the knighting of Sir Thomas Walsingham, who lived at nearby Scadbury Park, by Queen Elizabeth I. The B264 comes in on our right and we pass through the pretty woodland of St Paul's Cray Common and Petts Wood. A short walk on our right brings us to the William Willet sundial, which commemorates the man who gave us British Summer Time.

After passing the railway bridge over the lines from London Victoria to the Kent Coast, we wind along Chislehurst Road through the upmarket area of Petts Wood and descend into Orpington. Since the 1960s the route of the A208 has been straightened to follow Perry Hall Road instead of the narrow Chislehurst Road. We then join the Orpington one way system and turn left on to the former A223 (some maps still claim this is a disembodied section of that road) to meet the A224 at a set of lights. The A224 takes traffic out to the M25, A21 and the depths of Kent and Sussex. The pond in the Priory Gardens on our right is the source of the River Cray.


The original northern end of the A208 was on the A206 in Woolwich town centre. This section was soon renumbered as part of the new A205 South Circular Road.

Original Author(s): Chris Amis

Related Pictures
View gallery (1)
Parade of shops on the A208 in Chislehurst village - Geograph - 1135775.jpg
Other nearby roads
A2 • A2(M) (Kidbrooke - Falconwood) • A206 • A207 • A209 • A210 • A211 • A220 • A221 • A222 • A295 (Bexleyheath) • A2018 • B213 • B250 • B253 • B292 • B2186 • B2210 • B2214 • T34 (Britain) • Watling Street
A21 • A223 • A224 • A232 • A2012 (Orpington) • B258 • B2158 • B2187 (Orpington) • M25
NCN1 • A117 • A205 • A206 • A1010 (Canning Town - North Woolwich) • A1011 • A2016 • A2041 • A2204 • B210 • B213 • EuroVelo 5 • Ringway 2
A200 • A201 • A202 • A203 • A204 • A205 • A206 • A207 • A208 • A209 • A210 • A211 • A212 • A213 • A214 • A215 • A216 • A217 • A218 • A219
A220 • A221 • A222 • A223 • A224 • A225 • A226 • A227 • A228 • A229 • A230 • A231 • A232 • A233 • A234 • A235 • A236 • A237 • A238 • A239
A240 • A241 • A242 • A243 • A244 • A245 • A246 • A247 • A248 • A249 • A250 • A251 • A252 • A253 • A254 • A255 • A256 • A257 • A258 • A259
A260 • A261 • A262 • A263 • A264 • A265 • A266 • A267 • A268 • A269 • A270 • A271 • A272 • A273 • A274 • A275 • A276 • A277 • A278 • A279
A280 • A281 • A282 • A283 • A284 • A285 • A286 • A287 • A288 • A289 • A290 • A291 • A292 • A293 • A294 • A295 • A296 • A297 • A298 • A299
Defunct Itineraries: A239 • A268 • A270 • A273 • A274 • A277 • A278 • A280 • A282 • A285 • A292(W) • A292(E) • A295

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