The A5271 is a short A-road through the town of Keswick in the North Lakes.
The route starts at at a TOTSO junction with the A591 on the eastern edge of Keswick. It was originally the mainline of the A591 which explains this junction, with that road now backtracking along the former A594 / A66 to meet the Keswick Bypass.
Our road, meanwhile, drops down to the side of the River Greta and follows it past the ancient Calvert's Bridge, under the former railway bridge and on towards the town centre. This is reached on Victoria Street, which turns sharply right as it crosses Station Street. A left turn takes us onto the short Bank Street before another right-hand bend takes us into Main Street at the northern end of the pedestrianised town centre. Here we pass Museum Square, home to some of Keswick's many museums, and then meet the first junction with the B5289.
We are now starting to leave the busy centre behind us, soon crossing the River Greta, with the James Bond and Pencil museums on the right just before the bridge. It is now the A5271's turn to TOTSO, with the B5289 continuing on up High Hill, while we turn right into Crosthwaite Road. The river remains on our right, albeit flowing in the opposite direction from earlier, but as the road curves to the left the river turns right, and soon we are at the roundabout junction that marks the end of our road. Ahead is the A591, with the A66 heading east and west.
As alluded to above, the A5271 was formerly the route of the A594 through Keswick and then the A591 to the north (the TOTSO on High Hill still remembers the old numbering). However, when the numbers were first allocated, the A591 headed only south from the town, whilst the road to the north was allocated the B5290 number.
In the 1970s, the A594 was heavily upgraded and became an extension of the A66. The A5271 came into being later, when the route of the A66 was shifted to the bypass.