A338 road

A338 road

The A338 is a major trunk road in southern England, that runs from the junction with the A35 at Bournemouth in Dorset to the junction with the A420 at Besselsleigh in Oxfordshire, roughly 92 miles long.

Route of Road

The road begins in central Bournemouth, before heading northward as a grade separated dual carriageway, one of the main roads in the South East Dorset conurbation. From near Bournemouth International Airport it follows the western side of the Avon valley, joining the route of the A31 road heading north-east for 1½ miles to cross the valley, before turning left at Ringwood in Hampshire where it joins the original, single carriageway route to the east of the river.

Heading northward up the east side of the Avon, it crosses to the west again near the town of Fordingbridge. After crossing into Wiltshire near Downton, it meets the A354 road at a roundabout on the southern outskirts of Salisbury (Britford), before joining the route of the A36 road as it bypasses the city centre to dual carriageway standard. It meets the A30 road at a roundabout, before continuing in a north-easterly direction, to follow the entire length of the River Bourne. It has a junction with the main A303 road, which it crosses, and then travels through the town of Tidworth. From there the road travels north to Collingbourne Ducis, where it twists through the village around the church to a mini-roundabout. It turns right to continue northwards alongside the Bourne through another narrow stretch at Collingbourne Kingston to another mini-roundabout before again heading north.

Near Burbage the continued route north to Swindon is designated A346, the A338 turning off to the right at a roundabout and heading east then north-east and crossing the border into Berkshire. It passes through the town of Hungerford, where it meets the A4 road (to Marlborough and Newbury). It meets the M4 motorway at junction 14, passes through the village of Great Shefford and heads roughly northward into Oxfordshire. It goes through Wantage where it meets the A417 road, and past the villages of Grove, East Hanney and Frilford. It terminates at its junction with the A420 road near Bessels Leigh, six miles south-west of Oxford.

The part of the A338 south of the A31 to the west of the Avon consists mostly of relatively newly built road. Originally, the A338 went from Ringwood to Christchurch on the east side of the valley, along what is now the B3347.


The A338 figures in Thomas Hardy's 'Jude the Obscure', chapter 3. The point where the road crests the downs before beginning the steep drop into Wantage ('Alfredston') is the spot where young Jude stands one evening and looks out for the first time on Oxford ('Christminster'). [DI Rosie Blanchard, http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/r10/notes.php?number=A338]

External links

* [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/r10/notes.php?number=A338 SABRE page on the A338]


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