|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||14.1 miles (22.7 km)|
|Meets:||A223, A221, A211, A2001, A20, A208, A21, A2015, A234, A214, A215, A232, A212, A213|
|Route outline (key)|
The A222 is a reasonably long route linking different areas of outer South London.
Bexley - Bromley
The A222 starts in the narrow Bexley High Street, which has a great deal of character. We head west and soon TOTSO left into Hurst Road by Golden Acre and the B2210 carries straight on. We climb up a hill with good views of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford behind us and then descend through a series of bends passing a large Victorian house (now a community centre) and arrive at a roundabout with the A221.
We carry straight on (still Hurst Road!). On our right there is a former lodge house for Lamorbey House, once a great estate. Lamorbey House is still in existence as Rose Bruford College of Acting & Drama about a kilometre to our right. At the end of Hurst Road we TOTSO to our left with the B2214 coming in on our right from Eltham at a traffic-light-controlled junction. We are now in Station Road and we pass under the Dartford Loop Railway and pass through a set of traffic lights (a dreadful bottleneck in the rush hour). We ascend Station Road, go straight at the next set of lights (more traffic) with the A211 by Sidcup Police Station and then pass through 2 sets of lights (yet more traffic), past a Morrisons supermarket and the Manor House (now a registry office). We have some parkland on our left and a pub called Sidcup Place, which was one of Sidcup's mansions. The A222 briefly becomes dual carriageway as we pass Queen Mary's Hospital which ends at Frognal Corner.
This junction was remodelled in 1987 and we pass over the A20 (Sidcup By-Pass). It was originally a set of traffic lights. We swap Sidcup and the London Borough of Bexley for Chislehurst and the London Borough of Bromley.
The A222 becomes Perry Street and takes on a semi-rural feel. The houses also become grander. The access to Thompsons Garden Centre was built as a temporary road when Frognal Corner was being rebuilt in 1987. The thatched cottage only just escaped demolition!! We gradually climb and pass a sign to Scadbury Park, a former estate where Thomas Walsingham (more about him later) on the left. This road was also the original course of Perry Street before the A222 was widened and straightened in the 1950s? There is often a long queue of traffic here since the traffic island at the right turn for Ashfield Lane was lengthened. We pass several playing fields and then the early stages of Chislehurst Common. At the traffic lights at the War Memorial with the A208 the A222 carries straight on. However it is worth taking a short detour up Royal Parade. There is a pretty village sign with Queen Elizabeth I knighting Thomas Walsingham (who lived at Scadbury Park).
Anyway we carry on across Chislehurst Common with the remains of flooded gravel workings on our right. Just before the mini-roundabout the B263 (Prince Imperial Road) comes in on our right. This road is named after Napoleon III's son whose family lived in nearby Camden Place, now part of the Chislehurst Golf Course. At the mini-roundabout the B264 passes across our way and the large and attractive detached house on our right (The Cedars) was the home of William Willett, the inventor of British Summer Time. On our left is Chislehurst & West Kent Cricket Club, one of the oldest in Southern England.
There is a brown tourist sign for Chislehurst Caves which are ancient chalk mines and were used as a large shelter during the Second World War. Next we pass a pretty country pub on our right, the Ramblers Rest and we come to the top of Summer Hill. Up until the 1960s there was a water tower in the design of a Tudor house. It was demolished because traffic levels were increasing and vehicles had to take turns pass through the arch in one direction only. Summer Hill takes us under the main line between Charing Cross and the Kent Coast and Hastings by Chislehurst station. We leave Chislehurst for Bickley (part of Bromley) and pass over the Kyd Brook (not that you would notice). We climb the other side and TOTSO at a mini roundabout for Bromley. There is a pre-Warboys sign here. The houses appear to get grander and grander and we pass the bulk of St Georges Church on our right. At the next set of traffic lights, which was remodelled around 1985, the B265 bears off to the left and in little while the B264 rejoins the A222 by a pretty cottage. The road dips down into a little hollow (Widmore Green) for some more traffic lights that were set up in c. 1985. The start of a bus lane warns us that we are approaching Bromley town centre. Indeed the traffic has been known to tailback to Chislehurst Common.
Bromley - Croydon
We soon approach a major junction with the A21 (Kentish Way/Tweedy Road), where we need to take the middle lane and we pass through the pedestrianised High Street (was A21) and bear to the right and then turn left into Beckenham Lane. On our right is Bromley College, which is a lovely group of almshouses grouped around two quadrangles for retired clergymen and their wives.
Incidentally, when taking the A222 eastbound, you can only turn left out of Beckenham Lane into the High Street and turn right into Tweedy Road and multiplex with the A21 until the second set of traffic lights where you should turn left for Chislehurst.
Leafy Beckenham Lane winds down into the valley of the River Ravensbourne and there is often a traffic jam here. We arrive at 'Shortlands Village' and pass beneath a series of low railway bridges which carries the lines from Victoria and Blackfriars to Kent services and through several sets of traffic lights. A house in Shortlands Road to our left was the home of Enid Blyton. We climb up a slight hill along Bromley Road and leave Bromley for Beckenham, passing by some more grand houses. At the next traffic lights the B230 crosses our path and Bromley Road bears off to the left taking the older course. Manor Road must have been a later improvement - not sure when. At the next set of traffic lights with the A2016 we pass down Beckenham High Street with Ye George Inn, a pretty weatherboarded pub on our left, and at the War Memorial roundabout with the A234 and A2016 we TOTSO to the left along Croydon Road. This leads us to a unusually shaped roundabout at Elmers End with the A214 and we bear right and then left. At the next set of lights the A214 bears right and we pass a large Tesco on our right. There are a couple of small industrial estates to our left and right.
Next we pass over a humped back bridge over the railway line to Hayes and we leave Beckenham and the London Borough of Bromley for the London Borough of Croydon. We are now in Long Lane and we pass on our left Long Lane Woods which has a bird sanctuary on the far side. At the next set of traffic lights we need to take the left hand lane as the A215 briefly joins us until the next set where we need to take the right hand lane and the A215 turns left. We pass pretty Ashburton Park on our right and then follow Lower Addiscombe Road, which brings us to Addiscombe shopping centre. We pass over a level crossing with Croydon Tramlink and the Addiscombe Tram Stop. There was originally a low railway bridge here when there was a railway between Elmers End and Sanderstead but this closed in 1983 along with Bingham Road station.
Further along on our right is the building of the former Addiscombe station which closed when Croydon Tramlink took over the running of services between Elmers End and Woodside. At a small roundabout the B243 comes in on our right and immediately afterwards a spur of the A222 (the original 1922 route) leads to the delights of Croydon, complete with the office block in the middle of a former roundabout decimated by the tramlink as well as the A232. Now on the former B267, the road name changes to St James's Road and we cross the series of tracks from London Bridge and Victoria to Brighton and the south coast. We come to a unique figure-of-eight gyratory with the A212 where we turn left, then right and finally left. The railway between London Bridge and Victoria and West Croydon passes beneath. The A222 then ends meekly at a junction with the A213, where that road has to TOTSO.
Original Author(s): A221 Driver