|Length:||9.6 miles (15.4 km)|
|Meets:||A6, B5252, A49, B5253, B5250, B5249, B5247, A59|
|Route outline (key)|
The road leaves the A6 in the centre of Chorley and follows the old line of that road through the town centre before bearing sharply right by the town hall at its original eastern end. There is a one-way system on the edge of town where the road meets the B5252 Gillibrands Link Road to the south and West Way to the north; this road acts as the Chorley western bypass and is the obvious route to/from the A6 without passing through the town centre.
Once the A581 leaves Chorley, it immediately enters Euxton and crosses the A49, multiplexing with it for a short distance between two mini-roundabouts. The road goes over the M6 without a junction then crosses fields and TOTSOs at the B5249 on the eastern side of Croston. The road then bends left in the centre of the village to cross the Preston to Ormskirk railway line and go over the flat land to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The road ends on the far side at a T-junction on the A59 to the north of Rufford.