A road extending east and west across South Britain. Beginning at Dover, it ran through Canterbury to London, and thence to Cardigan. The word is a corruption of Vitellina strata, the paved road of Vitellius, called by the Britons Guetalin. Poetically the “Milky Way” has been called the Watling Street of the sky.
“Secunda via principalis dicitur Wateling-streate, tendens ab euro-austro in zephyrum septentrionalem. Incipit ... a Dovaria ... usque Cardigan.” —Leland.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894