The A424 is a scenic drive through the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, beginning at Burford in Oxfordshire on the A361, and running north-west through Stow-on-the-Wold to meet the A44, just a few miles short of Fish Hill and the Worcestershire border. In combination with the A40, it offers an alternative route between Oxford and Worcester which avoids the busy market town of Chipping Norton.
The road starts a short distance from the A40 on the A361 in the small Cotswold town of Burford. It is signposted from the roundabout between those two much longer routes, and its southern terminus departs the A361 from a mini-roundabout just north of the narrow bridge that carries that road over the River Windrush (complete with pedestrian refuges). A left turn at the mini-roundabout takes you into the A424, while the A361 turns right towards Stow-on-the Wold.
The road gains a 50mph speed limit from the beginning, and soon turns sharply to the right to climb steadily along an almost straight course through farmland. We come close to the top of Gallows Hill (around 200 m) then drop down a short distance along a gentle grade before rising gently through steeper countryside towards Wyck Beacon, at a height of 250 m. In the process, our route passes by the 13th-century Cotswold Merrymouth Coaching Inn, and the rather more recent RAF Little Rissington, while crossing over from Oxfordshire into Gloucestershire. There is the opportunity to turn left onto an unclassified road that leads to Bourton-on-the-Water and Upper and Lower Slaugher, all picture-postcard settlements which typify this part of the world. Also typical is the gently rolling landscape, until we drop down Wyck Hill to meet the Fosse Way (here part of the A429) at a signal-controlled T-junction with a filter lane for southbound A424 traffic coming the other way.
This marks the start of the A424's multiplex with both the A429 and the A436, from which it climbs steeply uphill as S2+1 to Stow-on-the-Wold. This section of road is signposted as A429 through Stow, and both the A424 and A436 numbers remain hidden. It is therefore with some relief that after passing through the town centre (and losing the A436 again), the multiplex ends in a mirror image of how it began; with a T-junction accompanied by a filter lane, this time in our favour. Almost immediately there is another T-junction to the left, fromm which the B4077 heads off towards the important Teddington Hands roundabout and Tewkesbury.
As we leave Stow, we descend the hill into a dip in what is still largely farm land before climbing gently past the village of Longborough. The road then straightens out again as we pass an OS Trig point near Sezincote. From here it is a straight flat run to the northern terminus of the A424, which meets the A44 at a fork, from which the latter road continues along the Roman alignment we have followed from Stow, towards Broadway, Evesham, and Worcester.