|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Smithfield Market (TQ317817)|
|Distance:||0.7 miles (1.1 km)|
|Meets:||A401, B502, A5201, unclassified|
|Route outline (key)|
The B501 is a road in Central London that runs between Islington and Smithfield Market and is called St John Street. However, not all of St John Street is part of the B501: the short section north of the junction with Rosebery Avenue that leads to the ring road is the A401, which road heads down Rosebery Avenue towards the West End leaving St John Street as a mere B-road. Perhaps theatre-land is a more worthy destination for an A-road than a meat market. On the subject of theatres, though, you don't have to go that far, for one - Sadlers Wells - is just around this junction.
I am going to follow this road heading towards the centre, the less usual way.
In spite of being in "central" London the northern stretch is fairly residential and suburban-looking. City University is to the left in Northampton Square just before we reach the crossroads with Skinner Street and Percival Street, the B502. Much of St John Street around this area is lined with small shops and offices, and the roads coming off it are generally residential in nature; many of these are blocked off for through traffic or are one-way. One such road, Sekforde Street, is one-way towards St John Street and is a fairly narrow road with terraced housing on both sides. Another, Compton Street, has several blocks of flats and a school as well as a few local shops.
We continue on to meet the A5201 Clerkenwell Road and the B501 becomes less residential and more business-like. The Southern stretch of St John Street is mostly office blocks plus some shops and the odd pub and café. Farringdon Station is just to the west and as we reach the Southernmost point there is a junction with St John's Lane that takes us there. There are a few other roads with St John in the title around there.
Finally we hit Smithfield Market on Charterhouse Street. Some maps list this as part of the B500 but this is disputed and appears on other maps as unclassified - certainly Charterhouse Street was the B500 at one time but it has been declassified since. It is rare for a B-road to terminate on an unclassified road but it can happen, especially in this area.