One of Britain’s oldest and longest roads is the A40. It stands at 260 miles long of tarmac beauty and has been taking people driving on it through some of the most picturesque parts of England and Wales since 1923. It is officially known as the London to Fishguard Trunk road, connecting the Capital of England to what was one of the busiest ferry ports to Ireland and the Isle of Man and to allow the motorist to escape the city and get out onto the open road. Along the way it takes in the towns of High Wycombe, Oxford, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Monmouth Abergavenny and Carmarthen to name but a few. It is also the inspiration for the M40 Route for its start and shares a common build heritage with its sister road the A4. It is partly based on ancient trackways but it is the invention of tarmac such as that provided by Tarmac Contractors Yorkshire that have made this road what is it today.
Going east to west it begins in the Capital right in the heart of the city of London. Standing at this point it is hard to believe where the road ends and, whilst it has seen many upgrades along the way, it still starts and ends in the same place. Its official start is at St Martins Le Grand which also gives birth to the great North road of the A1. It goes up to Holborn where it is carried majestically over its sister road the A4 by the Holbourn Viaduct, a wonderful example of Victorian Engineering. Anyone driving on then has the task of negotiating the 6 lane roundabouts of Denham and one must take care to not stray onto its younger, yet bigger brother, the M40.
Out of London it become a speedy dual carriage way for a while following its bigger brother road until it moves away and settles into a single carriageway and passes through its way to Beaconsfield and High Wycombe. On it goes to Oxford becoming busy again as a major route into the city of the dreaming spires.
Out of Oxford it runs through the beautiful Northern end of the Cotswolds offering access to the many picturesque villages before reaching its highest point and descending majestically into and right through the middle of Cheltenham and onto Gloucester. It bypasses the shires capital and becomes a main route until turning single carriageway again and snaking its way through the Forest of Dean to Ross on Wye. Here it takes over from the M50 and allows people to access Wales via Monmouth.
It skirts the Brecon Beacons goes through the fair town of Carmarthen before crossing the wonderful Pembrokeshire peninsula to end at Fishguard. A very nice road trip of some 7 hours in duration.