|To:||Child's Hill (TQ249864)|
|Distance:||3.4 miles (5.5 km)|
|Meets:||A404, A4088, A4003, A5, A41, A598|
|Route outline (key)|
The A407 is a zigzag road in northwest London.
Harlesden - Childs Hill
We start in Harlesden on the A404 where it is called Craven Park. This street name is actually a triangle of roads with the A404 being the base and A407 the east side. The third side is unclassified but is the original route of the A407; what is now the A407 used to be the A4004.
We are just west of the one-way system and just east of the junction with Brentfield Road, which is an unclassified road but a key road, with the huge Hindu Temple, an amazing structure but would never be otherwise mentioned because it appears on an unclassified road. Brentfield Road takes you to the North Circular Road at the only traffic light on it between the A40 and the A502. The A405 is the North Orbital Route and the A406 is the North Circular Road, and for the early stage the A407 starts parallel to the A406 as an inner dual-carriageway known as Church Road.
At the end of the dual carriageway we have a 3-way roundabout with the roads at 120 degrees of each other. We can go left up Neasden Lane but that would be the B453, so we will take the right-hand branch into Willesden High Road, which is the A407. Church Road itself seemed to head a sharp right just a moment before into another busy shopping area of Willesden.
We encounter another 3-way junction and this time we need to take the left branch to remain on the A407 – the right branch is a main road called Pound Lane with Willesden Bus Garage on the left, but it is actually unclassified. Road classifications in NW10 are strange – a few main roads are unclassified (Chamberlayne Road, All Souls Avenue, Brondesbury Road) and some tiny roads have B classification (Harvist Road). The next 3-lane junction has a traffic light (but nobody turns left at it because they all used Colin Road as a short cut. In fact there are a few rat-runs to cut out Willesden High Road but we will stick on it. Each entrance has one phase for both left and right turns. The left-turn is Dudden Hill Road and the beginning of the A4088 towards Wembley and Harrow (and in fact also ends on the A404).
We continue along Willesden High Road, and stick to the left as the right lane turns into Brondesbury Park (unclassified, as mentioned earlier) which heads towards Queens Park station. Shortly after we have another junction with Walm Lane and this is a TOTSO – we have to turn left into it because if we take the natural route of going straight ahead we'd be on the A4003 Willesden Lane (and the really nice area of Willesden). Willesden Green station is on the left, and a few junctions with small roads, one of them on the right being where Walm Lane itself TOTSOs, but the A407 continues ahead into Chichele Road, now NW2 (as we will remain the rest of the journey) to cross the A5 at Cricklewood Broadway. This is a slightly staggered junction, so we must take a left and then immediate right into Cricklewood Lane, where we pass Cricklewood Thameslink Station. The next traffic light will be the junction of Claremont Road to the left and Lichfield Road on the right, but we also have traffic coming out of the shopping centre on the left (some of it cutting through from the A5 to avoid the traffic light, without actually doing any shopping), plus other traffic merging from the right (also cutting out the light) from Oak Grove, so there is quite a big hold-up here. There is no way to avoid this junction, unfortunately (other than taking the A5 all the way to the North Circular, or heading up Mill Lane and through West Hampstead).
Claremont Road (unclassified) runs by the side of the railway line and there used to be a big industrial estate on the corner of Somerton Road. It runs also parallel between the A5 and the A41 and Hendon Football Club is on this road (Hendon Football Club is actually in Cricklewood). One past this junction Cricklewood Lane is now quieter. Now if for some reason you want to go onto the A41 Southbound you have a problem. Farm Avenue on the right takes you close but when you get to Fortune Green Road you have to turn right onto it. OK, you can then take a left later (possibly into West End Lane) and turn right onto the A41 there. Farm Avenue and the roads off it is the very smart area of NW2. Then a junction with the A41 Hendon Way (no right turn here).
Cricklewood Lane continues ahead and in fact you should turn right into Lyndale Avenue if you want the A41 Southbound as this will take you to Finchley Road (A598) just north of the junction with the A41. Cricklewood Lane itself continues on past some council estates up to the Finchley Road A598 where it terminates (with another no right turn), although you can continue ahead into unclassified Hermitage Lane, which merges with Platts Lane, then take a right onto West Heath Road up to Hampstead Heath at the A502 junction and this is also the route to Highgate Village along the very smart B519.