|Location Map ( geo)
|Wrotham Heath (TQ633580)
|45.3 miles (72.9 km)
|A20, A227, B2019, A225, A224, B2042, M25, A21, B2211, A233, B2026, B2024, B269, B2025, A22, B2235, B2236, A23, A242, A217, B2032, B2038, A24, A2003, B2126, A248, A246, A247, B2234, A3100, A320, A322, A3
|Route outline (key)
The A25 was a major east-west route to the south of London. It has now been bypassed by the M25 but is still partly primary.
Wrotham Heath - Redhill
The A25 starts at a set of traffic lights with the A20 at Wrotham Heath, just to the south of M26 J2A. It's a primary road west from here to Sevenoaks, probably because of the lack of east-facing slip roads at the M25/M26 Chevening Interchange (one of my pet grumbles). We pass through the villages of Platt and Borough Green, then round a high-speed bypass for Ightham, which has a deceptively tight bend. The A25 then goes through a wooded area, although sadly not as wooded as it was before the 'hurricane' in 1987, to the south of Kemsing. This bit is all two lanes, although I seem to remember it was once three, with a suicide alley down the middle. Then we descend into Seal. The road is quite narrow through here, and can sometimes be a bit of a squeeze when there are lots of lorries on the road.
The A25 has never actually gone into Sevenoaks town centre; instead, it skirts it to the north. Traffic for the town centre coming from the east would do well to use the B2019 Seal Hollow Road, which goes past Knole Park and lands you right in the middle of the town. The A25, however, ploughs on to the west, crossing the A225 at the Bat and Ball crossroads (the eponymous pub is long gone). Then along Bradbourne Vale Road to meet the A224 (old A21) at a couple of roundabouts in Riverhead. We then go through Bessels Green and cross the A21 Sevenoaks bypass. This links to M25 J5 to the north, and long distance traffic for the west should leave us here. Note that, coming eastbound, traffic for Maidstone is signed to use the A21 (north). Don't do this (unless you're a member of the blue line brigade), as you'll have to make a large detour via Swanley junction 3 of the M25 and the M20, owing to the lack of slip roads at Chevening. Instead, use the A25.
Things are a lot more sedate now: we pass through a couple of villages, and the town of Westerham, then into Surrey. The traffic is often heavy in Oxted, however, and there can be long delays at the lights. After a few miles, we reach a roundabout with the A22 Godstone bypass, which will take you to junction 6 of the M25. The A25 goes into Godstone itself, which has a one-way system around the village green. Then we climb through Bletchingley, over the M23 at a great height, and down through Nutfield into Redhill.
Redhill - Guildford
Redhill and Reigate are a nightmare to drive through during peak hours - I wouldn't recommend it. Much of the traffic is funnelled onto the eastern A25, as this provides the main access to and from the eastern M25. However, things may improve a bit when junction 7 of the M23 is remodelled. This will mean that traffic can use the M23, then turn back onto the A23 and head into Redhill that way.
After the horrors of Reigate, we're back in the country now. The M25 bends away to the north to carry on its orbit of London, and we travel westward at the foot of the North Downs, which makes for some quite dramatic scenery. The A25 passes through Dorking and crosses the A24. We then travel through some picturesque villages, such as Wotton, Abinger Hammer and Gomshall. After bypassing Shere, there's a short bit of dual carriageway at the junction of the A248, near the Silent Pool. However, there's only one through lane in each direction now, with the others being used for turning movements only.
We then turn northwards and take the North Downs head-on. The road twists uphill, before emerging at Newlands Corner, named after a notorious highwayman. There are some lovely views of the Weald from the summit towards the south. Heading downhill towards Clandon Crossroads, we then meet the A246 and A247 at a TOTSO, and head west through Merrow and into Guildford. The A25 takes a turn to the North along Boxgrove Road, passes under the Guildford - Effingham Junction railway line and then crosses the A3100 (old A3) at a roundabout. Heading west again, the road finishes at the A3/A322 junction (part of this is a 'useless multiplex', as the A322 continues south into the town centre along Woodbridge Road.
Originally the A25 used to avoid Clandon Crossroads, heading along Trodds Lane (now the very minor D4009) until Newlands Corner, where the road ended on the A246. This road still has the air of a major route about it except for the modern traffic calming so was presumably declassified to avoid the residential area.
In the 1960s at the earliest, it was decided to extend the A25 to meet the A3 and so the road was extended west along the A246 before running north along that road's spur through Boxgrove to end on the original line of the A3 bypass. It took over part of this road when the current bypass was built.
Shere Bypass was opened on 7 May 1960 by Sir Jocelyn Bray. The 0.7 mile road was built partly on National Trust Land and was in a shallow cutting. Width was 50 feet with an S3 33 foot carriageway and a 6 foot footpath. Cost was £90,000.
Other than these, apart from a couple of minor realignments and incorporation of some one way systems (notably at Reigate), the route of the A25 is very similar today to when it was originally classified.