|From:||Greenland, Sheffield (SK391889)|
|To:||near South Elkington (TF309871)|
|Via:||Maltby, Gainsborough, Market Rasen|
|Distance:||62.8 miles (101.1 km)|
|Meets:||A6102, M1, A6109, A6178, A630, A618, A6123, A6021, M18, A634, A60, A638, A161, A620, A156, A159, A15, A1103, A46, A157|
|Route outline (key)|
The A631 is a cross-country route, largely primary, running west to east between South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. During the course of its 63 route miles across a variety of landscapes both industrial and deeply rural it meets with and crosses 18 other A roads as well as two motorways.
Greenland - South Elkington
The A631 starts as part of the "official" Sheffield outer ring road. It starts at Greenland, in the East End of Sheffield, and forms a dualled road to meet the M1 at the southern end of J34, on the Tinsley viaduct. It then splits in two with a short spur running along the lower deck of the viaduct to allow access to the northbound M1 as well as the A6109. The main route then takes a 180-degree turn (marking the original beginning of the A631) and heads to meet the A630 at Canklow, beginning a short multiplex with the A631 number dominant (it was here many years before the A630 turned up!). It flows along the southern edge of Rotherham, through many a roundabout and junction, staying dualled throughout.
At Wickersley it passes the M18 at J1, then passes through the mining towns of Maltby and Tickhill. At Tickhill it turns through two right angles, collecting in, and spitting out the A60 in the process. That road is dominant in the multiplex despite the fact it has essentially been replaced by the A1(M) in this area.
After passing under the A1(M), the A631 delivers us at the doors of Bawtry, a market town strategically placed on the Great North Road, in the shadow of the East Coast mainline. There is a short multiplex along the A638 (former A1) before the A631 leaves Bawtry heading eastwards, passing Everton, and heading to Gainsborough. There are short dualled bypasses of Gringley on the Hill and Beckingham.
At the entrance to Gainsborough you pass over the River Trent. This is one of four crossings of the Trent downstream of the A1 at Newark (the other three being the A18 and M180 near Scunthorpe, and the A57 toll bridge). Although the original route of the A631 east of Gainsborough was along the present B1433 it has always used the current bridge. Leaving Gainsborough up the hill, you then pass through miles of countryside, with a nodding glance to Caenby Corner where it meets the A15 Ermine Street, a popular stop off point for coach trips to the coast.
After being primary and (relatively) straight east-west for some distance, there is an unexpected sharp bend to the right just after Bishopbridge, where the A1103 bears off to the left taking primary status with it. The A631 now zigzags through West Rasen to reach Middle Rasen, where there is a multiplex along the A46 through the village. At the near side we have priority but we turn off at the other end to regain the A631 number and pass through the centre of Market Rasen. The road through town is wider than expected - but there is a low railway bridge en route. We leave town past the racecourse before passing through a wood.
The final throes of the A631 is a picturesque journey through the Lincolnshire Wolds, before finally ending on the A157 just before the A16 Louth bypass. From here the holiday resorts are yours to choose from, although generally you can pick from Mablethorpe, Ingoldmells or Skegness. Anywhere else, and you've come the wrong way.
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