A4/Chippenham - Marlborough
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||17 miles (27.4 km)|
|Meets:||A420, A342, A3102, A361, A4361, B4003, A345, A346, B3052|
|Route outline (key)|
From the Bridge Roundabout in Chippenham, the A4 follows the route of the Avenue La Fleche, bypassing the town centre, and then Pewsham Way, another purpose-built route avoiding the eastern suburbs, however it might be quicker to go on the old route if the road is clear.. It rejoins its original course on the eastern outskirts of the town, through the village of Pewsham, and then goes on to pass through Derry Woods, where the A342 branches off, on its way to Calne. The northbound A3102 to Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon leaves at a roundabout on the western fringes of Calne, and the southbound A3102 towards Melksham leaves at the centre. Passing via the intriguingly named Labour-in-Vain Hill, it continues eastwards to the roundabout at Beckhampton, not far from Avebury Stone Circles. Access to this site is provided via the northbound A4361 (formerly the A361) to Swindon, while the A361 with its original number proceeds southwards from the roundabout towards Devizes.
This section of the A4 is largely unmodified, with sensible speed limits, and typical open chalk downland scenery until reaching the Kennet Valley. It passes the chalk mound at Silbury Hill, part of the complex of Neolithic monuments in this area. After passing through the villages of West Kennett (junction with the B4003) and Fyfield, it enters the town of Marlborough through an archway forming part of Marlborough College. Taking a turn to the left as the A345 to Pewsey continues straight ahead, it then becomes what is reputedly the broadest High Street in England. The High Street's central strip is mainly used for car parking, but is occupied by market stalls on certain days. Eastbound and westbound traffic is separated by this strip, effectively creating two one-way streets.
The A4 yields to the primary A346 for a short distance after this - modern classification practices having no respect from the historic numbering system - and then continues out of the town into Savernake Forest.