|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||16 miles (25.7 km)|
|Meets:||A226, A296, A282, A20, A25, A224, A21|
|Former Number(s):||A2, A21|
|Old route now:||B245|
|Route outline (key)|
The A225 is a north-south road in west Kent, paralleling the M25 for most of its route. It is the smallest-numbered A2xx road wholly outside Greater London.
Dartford - Sevenoaks
The road starts on the A226 one-way system in Dartford town centre. It heads south along Lowfield Street and soon reaches a set of traffic lights on the first Dartford bypass, which was opened as the A2. That road has now been moved onto the second bypass and so to the right is the B2174 whilst to the left is a spur of the A225. It meets the A296 at a roundabout and continues as a useless multiplex to the A282 at J1B. The A282 also provides access to the A2 and M25 which is useful as the A225 has no interchange of its own with either of these roads.
Returning to the mainline, the A225 continues south as the Darrent valley road - and in fact it follows the Darrent from here for most of its length. A pretty run it is too, once beyond the A2 and M25 south of Dartford. We keep to the west of the river at first, through Sutton at Hone, and skirt South Darent while passing beneath an imposing high-level railway viaduct a few yards from Farningham Road Station on the London to Dover line.
A mile or so further on and the road passes under another motorway, the M20, as it reaches the attractive village of Farningham and a roundabout on the A20. There's a short multiplex here bypassing the village, then at a right turn the A225 resumes. The road used to go down through the village, which has a nice centre by the river, with mill, manor house and an old bridge. South of Farningham we now run to the east of the Darrent, soon to arrive at Eynsford, an even more picturesque village: there's a castle to the right as one approaches, and a picture-postcard ford next to a narrow bridge that you have to use when the water's high. Two famous-ish classical composers, E. J. Moeran and Peter Warlock, once lived in Eynsford. The lane through the village leads to Lullingstone Park, where there's a notable Roman villa and an excellent bird of prey centre. The whole landscape seen from the hillside above the valley is excellent Sunday afternoon stuff.
On the A225 goes, keeping the London-Sevenoaks line company through pleasant countryside, and still shadowing the river, which has an associated walk, the Darrent Valley Path. At Shorham a track up to the left leads to White Hill, a noted nature reserve. A mile on and we zigzag through Otford, an ancient village with the remains of Archbishop Lanfranc's palace and a pool called Thomas a Becket's Well. For a few yards the A225 traces the line of the Pilgrims' Way, before going pretty well due south once more, to cross the M26 - the third motorway to be crossed without a junction. (I have a feeling one was planned here, but of course has not been built. As a result villages on the A25 from Maidstone are still beset with heavy lorries.)
Now we are on the northern outskirts of Sevenoaks; to the right the Darrent finally peters out near the waters of the Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve, whilst we arrive at a traffic light-controlled crossroads with the A25 by the Bat and Ball pub. Now it's half a mile into Sevenoaks proper, which has some twee shops in a pleasant town centre. Here the A225 used to terminate, joining the old A21 (now renumbered A224 north-west out of town), but these days it still continues south, where the A21, which now bypasses the town, once ran. This allows A225 drivers to catch a glimpse of the magnificent Knowle Park, with its manor house, an estate which is home to a famous herd of deer. A few yards on and we pass Sevenoaks School on what has become Tonbridge Road, which skirts the Knowle grounds before meeting the A21 at a GSJ at the southern end of its bypass - and here the A225 comes to an end, leaving a choice of the B245 into Tonbridge, or the A21 for Hastings.
After the railway bridge by Eynsford station the A225 has been widened and you can see the old road, now a lay-by on your left. Just after this on your left is a turn off to Lullingstone Castle, family home of the Hart Dyke family, and a bit further on a turn off to Shoreham and the Lullingstone Park Nature Centre. Further on the A225 passes through an exciting chicane under the railway bridge. After Shoreham station the A225 narrows and passes through a wooded area.
You might like to mention that the duck pond at Otford that forms the centrepiece of a roundabout is the only listed stretch of water in the UK. Also you could mention that when the A225 passes over the M26 it becomes dual carriageway for about 1 mile. The Bat & Ball public house has been demolished and is now a car showroom although the station of the same name remains. You could mention that you climb up St John's Hill (part of the Greensand Ridge) into Sevenoaks and just before you come to the town centre you go pass the The Vines cricket ground where the seven oak trees were until the 1987 hurricane. They have been replaced by seven small saplings. Sevenoaks takes its name from a John Sennocke
When the old A21 was renumbered it became the A2028 and was latterly changed to the A224 in 1986 when the M25 between Junction 3 and 5 was built. After passing Knole Park, A225 goes down River Hill which has a climbing lane.Although the A225 currently terminates at the roundabout junction with the A21 and B245, after the Sevenoaks & Tonbridge By-Pass was completed in the mid 1960s the A225 carried on to Tonbridge until the road was renumbered in the mid 1970s to become the B245.
Original Author(s): Simon Mold
The original southern end of the A225 was on the A21 in Sevenoaks. When the town was bypassed the ex-A21 to the north was renumbered A2028 (and is now A224) whilst the road to the south became an extension of the A225. To begin with this extension ran to the A227 in Tonbridge but it has now been cut back to the southern end of the Sevenoaks bypass, with the road to Tonbridge now the B245.