|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||4 miles (6.4 km)|
|Meets:||A210, A222, A2001, A224, A223|
|Route outline (key)|
The A211 is an urban A-road in southeast London.
The road leaves the A210 at the top of Eltham High Street and throughout its length follows the course of the old London - Maidstone - Hythe road. The A211 is called Footscray Road for its first mile or so. At first it's quite narrow until the roundabout but it soon widens. After a short while there is a fork called Clare Corner with the B263 bearing off towards Chislehurst and there is a wooden signpost complete with a horse trough (now full of flowers). Clare Corner takes its name from Clare College at Cambridge who were local landowners. The A211 carries on with playing fields on our left, which include Charlton Athletic's Training Ground. A queue of traffic tells us that we have arrived at New Eltham, which was formerly known as Pope Street. We pass New Eltham station, pass over the Dartford Loop Line and go straight on the traffic lights. There is a nice row of trees on our right and we leave London Borough of Greenwich and enter the London Borough of Bexley. Immediately on our right is a road that is appropriately called County Gate (until 1965 this was the boundary of the County of London) and is the last chance to join the A20 Eastbound before Sidcup; the A211 parallels the A20 but does not actually meet it.
After a short while we enter Sidcup (meaning flat topped hill) and the A211 becomes Main Road. We run beside the A20 Sidcup By-Pass. At one stage there was a junction here but no trace remains. This marks the original southern end of the A211 where it ended on the A20; when Sidcup was bypassed in the 1920s the A211 took over the old road through town.
We gradually climb up to Sidcup Police Station where we go straight on at the lights with the A222. There are often queues here although the junction has recently seen some remodelling. We follow Sidcup High Street through another set of lights with the A2001 (not signposted on the ground) and pass down Sidcup Hill to Foots Cray. The ancient road forked left and used Rectory Lane but the New Cross Turnpike Trust constructed Sidcup Hill in the 18th Century.
Foots Cray was quite a pretty village according to old photographs but my advice is to get through as quickly as you can - traffic permitting. The A224 is to our right but we go straight at the lights into Foots Cray High Street, pass the Tudor house and over the River Cray. The A211 becomes Maidstone Road and ascends a hill to journey's end at Ruxley Corner where we meet the A223 and B2173, which continues ahead along the former A20.
Original Author(s): Charles Amis