M23 and A23

This is the road from London to Brighton, which has been closely linked with motoring and the enjoyment of the open road since the early twentieth century. For over a hundred years people have been tearing through the South Downs to the coast for the sheer thrill of hitting the road, and even today the annual classic car rally down to Brighton is just one of many events that trace the A23's route to the seaside.

The modern route really begins at the M25, with the A23 into London from there being not much fun at all. The M23 is the first part of the route, connecting to Gatwick Airport and bypassing Crawley before passing the baton back to the A23, which completes the run from there to the A27 at Brighton as a high-quality dual carriageway. The A23 is arguably the more enjoyable bit of the drive, with more interesting hills and corners and the iconic stone pillars framing the long straight road on the final approach to Brighton.

The M23 is an important road in its own right but it's only a part of what it was meant to be, as evidenced by its first junction being numbered 7. It was supposed to continue further north, through South London, to reach the proposed motorway replacing the South Circular, Ringway 2. The horrific line it would have taken, ploughing through affluent suburbs and irreplaceable parkland, made sure the plan was well and truly buried. Unfortunately, this means there is no single obvious route to continue into London from the end of the M23, and the A23 itself is not much more than a local road past Croydon.

You're not looking at the whole M23 and A23

This page is about the parts of the M23 and A23 that are designated a motorway or that have motorway characteristics. Other sections of this road will not be featured here and will not count towards the length of the road as shown below.

Start
Hooley
End
Brighton
Passes
Reigate, Gatwick Airport
Connects to
Length
32 miles
Open Junctions Section
Dec 1974 J7-8 Hooley → Merstham
Nov 1975 J8-11 Merstham → Pease Pottage

Exit list

Junction   Northbound               Southbound  
7
27.7 km
Croydon
London
A23



A23
NORTH



A23
Brighton
Gatwick Airport
M23 (M25 Link)
Redhill
A23
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
2 miles, 3 lanes 2 miles, 4 lanes
8
30.8 km
Heathrow Airport (M4 Link)
Sutton (A217)
Watford (M1 Link)
Dartford (M11 Link)
Maidstone (M20 Link)
Westerham (A25)
M25 Link
M25
(M1)
(M4)
(A217)
M25
(M11)
(M20)
(A25)
Dartford (M11 Link)
Maidstone (M20 Link)
Westerham (A25)
Heathrow Airport (M4 Link)
Watford (M1 Link)
Reigate (A217)
M25 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
8 miles, 3 lanes 8 miles, 3 lanes
9
43 km
Gatwick Airport
(A23)
(A23) Gatwick Airport
(A23)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes 2 miles, 3 lanes
10
46 km
Crawley
East Grinstead
A264
A2011 A264 Crawley
East Grinstead
A264
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 3 lanes 2 miles, 3 lanes
10A
49 km
B2036 B2036 B2036
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
  3 miles, 3 lanes
11
53.5 km
Horsham
A264
Crawley
A23
Services Pease Pottage
A23 becomes M23
A23

A264



B2114



Brighton
A23
Horsham
A264
Services Pease Pottage
M23 becomes A23
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
2.5 miles, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
24.2 km B2114

B2114
Handcross
(B2110)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
   
22 km Handcross
Lower Beeding
B2110
B2110 B2114

B2114
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2.4 miles, 3 lanes 3.9 miles, 3 lanes
18.4 km Warninglid
Slougham
B2115
Cuckfield
Staplefield
(B2114)
B2115 B2115 Warninglid
B2115
Cuckfield Village
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.1 miles, 3 lanes 1.1 miles, 3 lanes
16.5 km Bolney Village Bolney Village
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.1 miles, 3 lanes 1.1 miles, 3 lanes
14.7 km Petersfield
Haywards Heath
Cuckfield A272
Burgess Heath (A2300)
A272 A272 Haywards Heath
Petersfield
A272
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.4 miles, 3 lanes 1.4 miles, 3 lanes
12.5 km Burgess Hill
Goddards Green
A2300
Twineham
Hickstead Village
Services Hickstead
A2300 Burgess Hill
Hickstead
Twineham
A2300

Services Hickstead
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
3.25 miles, 2 lanes 0.75 miles, 2 lanes
11.3 km B2118 Hurstpierpoint
Albourne
Henfield
B2118
LanesLanesLanesLanes
   
6.9 km Albourne (B2118)
Hurstpierpoint
B2117
B2117
(B2118)
B2117
LanesLanesLanesLanes
1.5 miles, 2 lanes  
4.6 km Henfield
A281
Services Pyecombe
A281


LanesLanesLanesLanes
1.1 miles, 2 lanes 4.5 miles, 2 lanes
3.7 km


(A273)
Hassocks
(A273)
LanesLanesLanesLanes
  0.6 miles, 2 lanes
2.8 km Hassocks
A273
A273
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.8 miles, 3 lanes 1.8 miles, 3 lanes
0.0 km N/A A27






A23
SOUTH
A27





Lewes
Newhaven A27
Worthing
A27
Brighton A23
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
Routes

Picture credits