A591 road

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A591 shield

Route information
Length43 mi (69 km)
Major junctions
North endBothel
South endSedgwick
Road network
The A591 as it passes between Ambleside and Grasmere

The A591 is a major road in Cumbria, in the north-west of England, which lies almost entirely within the Lake District national park.[1] A 2009 poll by satellite navigation firm Garmin named the stretch of the road between Windermere and Keswick as the most popular road in Britain.[2][3] The 29.8 mile stretch between Kendal and Keswick was also named the UK's best driving road, according to a specially devised driving ratio formulated by car rental firm Avis.[4]


The road begins (at its southern end) 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north-west of junction 36 of the M6 motorway at Brettargh Holt roundabout with the A590 road (54°16′29″N 2°45′38″W / 54.2746°N 2.7605°W / 54.2746; -2.7605 (A591 road (southern end))), close to Sizergh Castle.[5] It bypasses the town of Kendal as a dual carriageway, this £1.9m 3-mile (4.8 km) section opened on 29 August 1971. It becomes a busy single carriageway road as it enters the Lake District. It bypasses the town of Windermere, closely following the north-eastern bank of Lake Windermere. It then travels through the centre of Ambleside, follows the northern side of Rydal Water, passes White Moss Common, follows the eastern edge of Grasmere and passes the village of Grasmere. The road continues over Dunmail Raise and along the eastern edge of Thirlmere. Shortly afterwards it reaches the town of Keswick. It meets the A66 road at a grade-separated junction. Traffic then bypasses Keswick by following the A66 west for 2.2 km to a roundabout where the A591 resumes, continuing in a roughly north-westerly direction, with fine views over Bassenthwaite Lake. The road terminates at the village of Bothel, on the A595 road (54°44′09″N 3°16′24″W / 54.7357°N 3.2733°W / 54.7357; -3.2733 (A591 road (northern end))).[6] The Bothel-to-Keswick section has many acute bends and is particularly narrow in places, leading to many accidents[citation needed].

Storm damage and closure[edit]

The road was badly damaged during Storm Desmond on 5 December 2015 including a part washed away at Dunmail Raise and landslip adjacent to Thirlmere. The closed section of road between Grasmere and Legburthwaite reopened on 11 May 2016.[7] While the road was closed a new trail for walkers, cyclists, and horseriders was built to the west of the road at Dunmail Raise.[8]


  1. ^ "A591 to 2 California Terrace". Google Map.
  2. ^ "End of the Road for the Great British Drive – UK roads drive motorists to despair". Garmin. 2 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Britain's Favourite Road". Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  4. ^ https://leasing.com/car-leasing-news/uks-best-driving-roads-revealed/
  5. ^ Map of The Lake District: South-eastern area (Sheet OL7). Ordnance Survey. 2017. ISBN 9780319263334.
  6. ^ Map of The Lake District: North-western area (Sheet OL4). Ordnance Survey. 2017. ISBN 9780319242438.
  7. ^ "Storm Desmond: A591 reopens ahead of schedule". BBC News. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  8. ^ BBC News (28 April 2016). "New trail to link flood-hit lakeland at Dunmail Rise".

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Coordinates: 54°29′38″N 3°02′19″W / 54.4939°N 3.0386°W / 54.4939; -3.0386 (A591 road)