The A257 is a local route between Canterbury and Sandwich. It is non primary for its entire length, as goods traffic is signed via the A2 and A256, avoiding the centre of Wingham.
The road leaves the A28 Canterbury inner ring road and starts off along New Dover Road (the original line of the A2), almost immediately TOTSOing left towards St Augustine's Abbey. A turn to the right at a small roundabout brings us on to the main alignment pretty well due east, which by and large follows an early Roman road - conceivably the first road the Romans built in Britain, leading inland as it does from their initial bridgehead and supply base at Richborough.
The modern run to Sandwich is pleasantly rural, past Howletts Zoo (which has unfortunately witnessed several keeper fatalities over the years) and through Littlebourne and Wingham, locally known for its attractive bird park. The village of Ash, with its vineyard, is then bypassed, and the A257 now ends shortly afterwards at a roundabout on the A256 Sandwich bypass.
The original draft for the A257 in Canterbury started on the A28 at Northgate and ran along Broad Street to its junction with Burgate, turning left to go along Longport, where the current route joins. The initial section from Northgate to Burgate became part of the A28 in the final published route list.
The current dogleg to meet the A2 (now A2050) at St George's Place dates from the 1950s.
In Sandwich, the A257 ran along Strand Street, ending at the junction with the then-A256 just south of the Toll Bridge. The road was cut back some time after the construction of the Sandwich bypass.
Original Author(s): Simon Mold