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Location Map
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From:  Shrewsbury (SJ488127)
To:  Penybont (SO115640)
Distance:  49.5 miles (79.7 km)
Meets:  A458, A5, A489, A4113, A44
Highway Authorities

Powys  • Shropshire

Traditional Counties

Montgomeryshire • Radnorshire • Shropshire

Route outline (key)
A488 Shrewsbury - Penybont


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.

Approaching Lydham

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.

We continue through hilly countryside, emerging in the Aran Valley, where we meet the A44 primary route at Penybont, a few miles east of the A483 and Llandrindod Wells.

Adam writes:
It is interesting to note that Clun features on a route confirmation sign as the road leaves Shrewsbury - 30 miles away. At Pontesbury, the road splits so that southbound and northbound traffic use a separate narrow street through the village. Beyond Minsterley and smaller Ploxgreen there is a long winding climb through woodland via Hope, the road finally emerges near Gravel's bank with moorland scenery - gorse covered hills. Many miles later, you will find Clun to be a very attractive village with a ruined castle. The road contorts itself through Clun with a hairpin bend before crossing the historic stone bridge over the River Clun which, being only one car-width, has recesses for pedestrians. Then it is a final climb into the wooded hills for the concluding stretch to Knighton.

Original Author(s): Simon Davies

JunctionsEdgebold Roundabout
CrossingsTeme Bridge (Knighton)
Related Pictures
View gallery (20)
A488 climbing out of the Lugg Valley.jpgIMAGE 090.JPGJunction of A5 and A488.jpgThe Hope Valley and the A488.jpgToll House Farm.jpg
Other nearby roads
ShrewsburyA4541 • A458 • A49 • A491 (Shrewsbury - Cemmaes Road) • A5 • A5012 (Shrewsbury) • A5013 (Shrewsbury) • A5064 • A5112 • A5112 (Emstrey - Shirehall) • A5113 • A5124 • A5191 • A528 • A53 • B4380 • B4386 • B5062 • B5064 • B5067 • E34 (Old System) • Holyhead Road • NCN81 • T11 (Britain) • T17 (Britain) • T57 (Britain) • T83 (Britain)
A400 • A401 • A402 • A403 • A404 • A405 • A406 • A407 • A408 • A409 • A410 • A411 • A412 • A413 • A414 • A415 • A416 • A417 • A418 • A419
A420 • A421 • A422 • A423 • A424 • A425 • A426 • A427 • A428 • A429 • A430 • A431 • A432 • A433 • A434 • A435 • A436 • A437 • A438 • A439
A440 • A441 • A442 • A443 • A444 • A445 • A446 • A447 • A448 • A449 • A450 • A451 • A452 • A453 • A454 • A455 • A456 • A457 • A458 • A459
A460 • A461 • A462 • A463 • A464 • A465 • A466 • A467 • A468 • A469 • A470 • A471 • A472 • A473 • A474 • A475 • A476 • A477 • A478 • A479(W) • A479(E)
A480 • A481 • A482 • A483 • A484 • A485 • A486 • A487 • A488 • A489 • A490 • A491 • A492 • A493 • A494 • A495 • A496 • A497 • A498 • A499
Defunct Itineraries & Motorways: A403 • A404(M) • A405 • A407 • A423(M) • A430 • A437 • A446(M) • A455 • A464 • A475 • A491