| A595 road
M6 motorway Junction 44
A1(M) motorway Junction 60
The road begins west of Carlisle, just outside the city at the A595. The initial 5.13 miles (8.26 km) stretch is newly opened as part of the Carlisle Northern Development Route, a road bypassing Carlisle from west to north. Crossing the River Eden and the West Coast Main Line, the road intersects with Junction 44 of the M6 at Greymoorhill. From Junction 44 of the M6, the A689 runs roughly south-east to a roundabout, with the B6264. From here, the A689 heads east, and crosses the River Irthing at Ruleholme, then it meets the A69 at a roundabout junction. The A689 joins the route of the A69 around part of the Brampton bypass. Near the village of Milton, the A689 turns right, and continues through Milton and Hallbankgate before crossing the border into the county of Northumberland.
The route continues roughly south-east, and re-enters the county of Cumbria just north of small market town of Alston. After passing through Alston, the A689 eventually crosses the border into County Durham, where the route still heads gradually south-east through Weardale. At Killhope Cross between Killhope and Nenthead the road reaches a height of 2,056 feet (627 m), making it the equal highest paved pass in England (or 3rd highest A road in England.)
At a roundabout with the A68, the A689 briefly joins the route of the A690, before turning right in the town of Crook (for a few years has bypassed Crook town centre and now uses a new bypass). Heading south-easterly still, the A689 encounters the town of Bishop Auckland, where it temporarily heads north-easterly (where it merges with the A688), before setting off in an easterly direction north of Bishop Auckland.
The A689 meets the A167 at the Rushyford roundabout, then shortly comes across the A1(M) at Junction 60. The A689 by-passes the town of Sedgefield, and becomes dual carriageway standard for the remainder of the route, after the section between Sedgefield and Wynyard was upgraded to dual carriageway in 2001. The A689 meets the A19 near Wolviston, before turning north-east and eventually terminating close to the centre of Hartlepool.
- "Carlisle Northern Development Route". Cumbria County Council.
- A Compendium of High Roads and Road Passes in Great Britain, Alan Kind & Friends http://web.me.com/mondard/Hodology/Highest_Roads_files/Highest%20Roads%20Part%201.pdf
- A689 Carlisle-Hartlepool - from SABRE's "Roads By 10".