|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||9.4 miles (15.1 km)|
|Meets:||A21, A232, B265, A25|
|Route outline (key)|
The A233 is a minor A-road on the edge of southeast London.
The road starts from a turning from the A21 in the semi-rural south of Bromley known as Bromley Common. If you try to make the turn from the A21 London bound it is not even marked as an A Road as you were supposed to have "cut the corner" via the A232 which crossed the A21 earlier. If you are travelling northbound on the A233 and reach the end you cannot turn right onto the A21. You would have to take the unclassified Gravel Road, which runs parallel.
Bromley - Westerham
The road begins with a 30mph limit but with farmland at either side. Just short of a mile passes and we reach the aforementioned A232 primary route at a traffic-light-controlled crossroads. This is Keston Mark, named after the former pub on the crossroads, now sadly turned into flats. The right turn is towards Croydon and left takes us back to the A21 coast-bound.
Continuing straight ahead, after a further quarter-mile the road gains a 40mph limit. It is now quite scenic. There are three ponds on your right in the trees called Keston Ponds. The source of the River Ravensbourne (known as Caesar's Well) is also here. It joins the Thames at Deptford Creek. In the woods to the right are the remains of a Roman camp called Caesar's Camp; this is not open to the public. The woods to the left are part of Keston Common which have some interesting earthworks and the oldest post mill in Kent.
The B265 then comes in from the right at a T junction. A couple of sharp bends marked with warning chevrons and vehicle activated signs lie ahead. At the first sharp bend on the right are the remains of Roman Tombs and a Roman Villa; they are occasionally open to the public. On the left at the top of the hill is a footpath leading to the Wilberforce Oak, a stump of a tree which commemorates the meeting between William Wilberforce and William Pitt the Younger to discuss the abolition of slavery. William Pitt lived at a nearby house called Holwood that was rebuilt in Victorian times.
Once past the bends some houses appear and we're back to a 30mph limit. Here is a mini roundabout with an unclassified route towards Downe. Presently we leave the houses behind and get back our 40mph limit. The fact that we're now in the North Downs soon becomes obvious, as there is a noticeable valley to the right. We pass the Crown and the Kings Arms pubs as well as some pretty cottages at Leaves Green and then reach the sign marking the start of Biggin Hill, famous as a Second World War fighter base and for its annual air display. Back to a 30mph limit of course.
As we pass the end of the runway, there is a short section of dual carriageway (still with a 30 mph limit) which ends at a roundabout. Nowadays the airport is used for civil aviation, air clubs and some charter flights. Biggin Hill itself is mostly ribbon development and continues for the next couple of miles.
Finally, after 7 or so miles we reach our first NSL sign, which is at the border of the London Borough of Bromley and Kent itself. This is at Hawley's Corner. The spot height here is 245 metres. Ahead lies a quite long and relatively steep hill. At the bottom is the M25 which we cross. There is no junction with the motorway here, although one was shown in early plans.
Immediately after the motorway bridge is a small roundabout. Before this was built the A233 would have continued ahead into the pretty but busy village of Westerham. Now it turns to the left along a newer alignment that follows by the side of the M25 for a quarter of a mile before turning south again. We reach the end of the road at the A25 to the east of Westerham.
Original Author(s): Multiraider2 and A211 Driver