The A3212 runs along the north bank of the Thames through Westminster and Chelsea, linking several bridges together. Its route makes it essentially the High Street of the UK Government.
The road starts at the Trafalgar Square roundabout and runs south along Whitehall and Parliament Street. It then goes straight across Parliament Square, just to the west of Westminster Bridge to run along Abingdon Street, between the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey. This continues onto Millbank past the Victoria Tower Gardens before a roundabout is reached at the western end of Lambeth Bridge. This part of the road is saturated with buses, taxis and tourists (and occasionally major state occasions) and is positively car-hostile, even at 11pm on Sunday.
Approaching Albert Bridge
After this, it runs along the edge of the Thames, past Tate Britain to cross the A202 at traffic lights by Vauxhall Bridge. The direction of the river changes then changes from south to west, taking the road with it. After going under the Grosvenor railway bridge it passes Chelsea Bridge and runs onto the Chelsea Embankment, with Battersea Park visible on the far side of the river. The road passes Albert Bridge and finishes soon afterwards at traffic lights by Battersea Bridge on the A3220.
On classification in 1922 the A3212 only ran along Whitehall and Parliament Street, ending on Parliament Square. Abingdon Street was unclassified, presumably being a privately owned road within the precincts of the Palace of Westminster, after which the B310 continued along the bank of the Thames to Battersea Bridge. The A3212 had gained its current length by the 1950s, although it is likely the extension took place much earlier.