|Distance:||49.5 miles (79.7 km)|
|Meets:||A458, A5, A489, A4113, A44|
|Route outline (key)|
The A488 is a cross-country A-road straddling the border between England and Wales.
Shrewsbury - Penybont
The road begins in Shrewsbury at a gyratory on the A458 on the opposite side of the Severn to the town centre (although some maps show the start as being on the gyratory by the station; the road runs along Smithfield Road to cross Welsh Bridge). It's a single-carriageway suburban road heading south west out of the town, crossing first of all, the B4380 (ex A5), then, a mile or so outside the town, crossing the dual carriageway A5 Shrewsbury southern bypass, back into the 4-zone.
We pass through Hanwood, almost dancing with the Shrewsbury to Machynlleth railway line that we cross three times in little over a mile. Then we follow the path of a disused railway via Pontesbury and Minsterley. South of here, the ground becomes more undulating, as we enter the Hope Valley. Open fields give way to wooded sections and we follow the route carved out by the river over many centuries. Soon we reach the England–Wales border, though for the moment we stay on the English side, except for a very brief excursion where the road crosses the river, shadowing it for a couple of miles to the south.
Soon we reach the A489, which multiplexes with us for a few hundred yards to Lydham. After that road turns off, we bypass, as we always have done, Bishop's Castle - the biggest place since Shrewsbury. After that, we again follow the contours into a hillier area, finding the path of least resistance through the hills, via Clun (which has narrow roads and sharp corners) to Knighton. Here we cross the border into Wales (properly this time), then reach a T-junction where we TOTSO left to meet the A4113, where we TOTSO right. We then cross the line of Offa's Dyke before heading in a more westerly direction through very hilly ground, then dropping into the Lugg Valley. The B4356 forms the main valley road, and we soon cross the river, and head up a tributary valley to the west.
Original Author(s): Simon Davies