|From:||Newcastle under Lyme (SJ846459)|
|Via:||Whitchurch, Wrexham, St Asaph|
|Distance:||73 miles (117.5 km)|
|Meets:||A34, B5044, B5352, B5044, A531, A51, A529, A5015, A530, B5398, B5395, A41, B5476, B5398, A495, A539, B5069, B5426, B5130, A528, B5100, B5446, A5152, B5098, A483, B5426, B5430, B5102, A5104, A542, B5431, B5429, A494, A543, A541, B5428, B5381, A55, A547, A548|
|Former Number(s):||A53, A55|
|Old route now:||A547, B5381|
|Route outline (key)|
Section 1: Newcastle under Lyme – Whitchurch
Starting on the A34 we head first of all south along Pool Dam, then due west. The first few hundred yards of road (as far as the B5352) were originally A53 but became A525 in the 1920s. We soon leave Newcastle, passing a roundabout as we reach fields and small pockets of woodland to the north of Keele University. The road is fairly straight and level, the Keele bypass section running through cutting and under a bridge just before we reach the turning on the right for the B5044.
At Madeley Heath the A531 bears off to the right, but we bear left via a TOTSO to pass under the M6 motorway (although there is no junction here), then turn more sharply left as we reach Middle Madeley. At the south side of Madeley, we turn right, and pass over the West Coast Main Line before running south west to Woore, now in Shropshire, where we meet the A51, crossing it at a staggered junction.
We continue westwards along the A525 along a pleasant enough road, but with few outstanding features on it - just a collection of small villages and farms. At Audlem we meet the A529 and multiplex with it briefly in order to cross the Shropshire Union Canal in a section with numerous locks. Then it is back to flat arable countryside all the way to a junction with the A530 from Nantwich. A short link road (the A5015) carries traffic wishing to turn right onto the A530. Traffic turning left, to remain on the A525, has to TOTSO. From there we continue to a roundabout on the eastern edge of Whitchurch, where we turn left to bypass the town – the old route taken by the B5398.
At the next roundabout we cross the old A41, then a few hundred yards later, we begin a multiplex with the present A41 and the A49 around the southwest of the town – a single carriageway bypass. We turn left at the next roundabout, picking up the old A525 (now B5398) as it emerges from the town. Straight away, we cross another branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, then a mile later, the A495 turns left on its trek across mid Wales just after we cross the border into Wales.
Section 2: Welsh Border – Ruthin
At one time all of the previous section was primary, with the A525 ceasing to be primary at the junction with the A495. Primary status now is debatable, with maps and signs disagreeing, although a drive along the road will easily suggest why it might have been downgraded. From the junction with the A495, however, the A525 is definitely non-primary. We pass The Chequer, a small hamlet on a right-hand bend, before we reach Eglwys Cross – the first hint that we are now in Wales (eglwys = church). The A539 turns left off the A525 just beyond here, but we continue north-westwards towards Bangor on Dee (Bangor-is-y-coed), which we bypass to the south-west.
After crossing the broad river plain, where the B5426 turns left along a very straight course, we continue to Marchwiel, where a left turn opposite the Church marks the start of the A528. From here, it is a short trek into the heart of Wrexham - the largest town in North Wales. We follow the southern leg of the inner ring road (this isn't easy) to pick up the A525 heading west again to a diamond interchange with the A483 western bypass at J4. The area is much more densely populated now compared with anything we've been through up until now, with the exception of the very beginning. We climb up to Coedpoeth – the eastern boundary of which is marked by Offa's Dyke. Then we reach a skewed cross roads, where the right-hand B road is the B5430 and the left-hand one the B5426. We multiplex briefly with the B5430 before forking off to the right (the B5430 runs straight on).
We wind our way down into Bwlchgwyn, where we turn sharp left to reach another set of cross roads with the B5430 – here we discover that the B-road would have given a shorter journey than the A525 through Bwlchgwyn.
We continue south-westwards past a reservoir, and the landscape is now very different from that east of Wrexham – the road is hillier, more wooded, and has a wilder feel about it. We run through a valley to the south of the steep-sided Moel Garegog, and to the north of Llandegla Forest, itself on a steep hillside. We pass a staggered cross roads with the A5104 then run straight westwards past the end of the A542.
We bear left at a junction with the single-track B5431, and descend through the windy Nant y Garth Pass. The valley opens up to a flat landscape, with hills a few miles away on either side and we run northwards through Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd on the east side to the Clwyd Valley towards Ruthin. The last few miles are parallel to the A494 which runs on the west side of the river. We used to multiplex around the north of the town centre with the A494 but a northern bypass has now been built and that's the way we go, turning right at the end onto the original route of the A525 to run through Rhewl alongside the Afon Clywedog on its way into Denbigh.
Section 3: Denbigh – Rhyl
We bypass Denbigh itself, leaving another A-road which may or may not be part of the A543 (and certainly is the pre-bypass route of the A525) to take traffic into the town centre. We run along the edge of the town, houses on the left and fields on the right, to reach another roundabout where we cross the A543. We then run northwards alongside a dismantled railway (now a footpath), along a straight road, curving slightly to the left after passing Green, to reach Trefnant. The right turn at the cross roads at the village centre is the A541, but we continue northwards to St Asaph. The road's present route is its original route but between the 1940s and 1970s the A525 followed what is now the B5381, with the A541 taking on the section vacated.
At St Asaph Cathedral we reach a mini-roundabout on the pre-bypass A55. It's possible to turn right along a spur of the A525 to reach the current A55 at J27A which is a LILO in the westbound direction only.
If you turn left at the cathedral, you cross the river then turn right to reach the "new" A55 at a full-access grade-separated roundabout at J27. From here, the A525 is dual carriageway. We reach a roundabout with the A547 on the southern edge of Rhuddlan, multiplexing with it (with the A525 number dominant) as we cross the River Clwyd on the Rhuddlan bypass. We turn left at the next roundabout and the A527 turns right. We continue through the outskirts of Rhyl, terminating on the A548 one-way loop next to Rhyl railway station. Before the pedestrianisation of the High Street, the A525 continued on to the sea front.