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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (1)
From:  Whipsnade (W) (SP994187)
To:  Luton (TL089210)
Via:  Kensworth, Slip End
Distance:  7.8 miles (12.6 km)
Meets:  B4506, B4541, A5, A505
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Central Bedfordshire • Hertfordshire • Luton

Traditional Counties

Bedfordshire • Hertfordshire

Route outline (key)
B4540 Whipsnade – Packhorse
(A5) Packhorse – Markyate
B4540 Markyate – Luton

The B4540 is a largely rural road on the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border. The route was originally unclassified but gained its number in the mid-1930s.

Starting from a junction with the B4506 just southeast of that road's northern terminus on the B489, we first head southeast and climb steeply up the Dunstable Downs. A high security fence on the right-hand side marks the boundary of Whipsnade Zoo. We pass the zoo's visitor car park on the left and public entrance on the right before going through a gate (usually left open) to enter Whipsnade village. We cross the expanse of the green and pass a turn for the village's other tourist attraction: the National Trust's Tree Cathedral. Having come close to practically no other buildings we pass through another open gate to reach Whipsnade Heath, meeting the B4541 at a roundabout.

After a gentle zigzag the B4540 reaches the far more obvious village of Kensworth and runs along Common Lane before descending Lynch Hill back across the fields. At the bottom is the A5183 (the former A5) which is met at a triangular junction in the middle of which stands the Packhorse pub. The A5183 now takes over our route for about a mile until at the start of the Markyate bypass, the B4540 sets off again at a left turn controlled by traffic lights.

On a more-or-less dead-straight alignment the route passes a smaller animal park and then runs through the village of Slip End. After a tunnel under the M1 just north of J10 (the motorway is wider than expected here as the slip roads haven't yet joined it) we reach a T-junction on the edge of a golf course. Here we turn left to pass between the golf course and the motorway before turning right at another T-junction a kilometre further on.

Now, having arrived in the suburbs of Luton, we head east up Farley Hill, initially passing a park on the right but soon the route becomes fully residential. On the approach the town centre the road becomes semi-industrial. A flyover carries the A505 inner relief road over our route, and the road ends here at a very tight GSJ.

Related Pictures
View gallery (1)
Kensworth and its Village Shop - Geograph - 193375.jpg
Other nearby roads
B4500 – B4599
B4500 • B4501 • B4502 • B4503 • B4504 • B4505 • B4506 • B4507 • B4508 • B4509 • B4510 • B4511 • B4512 • B4513 • B4514 • B4515 • B4516 • B4517 • B4518 • B4519
B4520 • B4521 • B4522 • B4523 • B4524 • B4525 • B4526 • B4527 • B4528 • B4529 • B4530 • B4531 • B4532 • B4533 • B4534 • B4535 • B4536 • B4537 • B4538 • B4539
B4540 • B4541 • B4542 • B4543 • B4544 • B4545 • B4546 • B4547 • B4548 • B4549 • B4550 • B4551 • B4552 • B4553 • B4554 • B4555 • B4556 • B4557 • B4558 • B4559
B4560 • B4561 • B4562 • B4563 • B4564 • B4565 • B4566 • B4567 • B4568 • B4569 • B4570 • B4571 • B4572 • B4573 • B4574 • B4575 • B4576 • B4577 • B4578 • B4579
B4580 • B4581 • B4582 • B4583 • B4584 • B4585 • B4586 • B4587(N) • B4587(S) • B4588 • B4589 • B4590 • B4591 • B4592 • B4593 • B4594 • B4595 • B4596 • B4597 • B4598 • B4599
Earlier iterationsB4500 • B4504 • B4528 • B4529 • B4534 • B4544 • B4553 • B4557 • B4558

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