It starts on the B5359 (former A34) to the north of Alderley Edge town centre and heads west out of town. It soon crosses a bridge over the A34 bypass but there is no junction here. The road now skirts the outer suburbs of Wilmslow and reaches the B5086 at a mini-roundabout in the unusually named Row-of-Trees.
The next couple of miles have too many buildings lining the road for it to be described as rural. However, the area is certainly not urban and the road passes a number of fields before reaching the village of Mobberley, another place that seems to have been affected by ribbon development.
After a short rural section the B5085 enters the suburbs of Wilmslow, running parallel to the railway line. It goes through Cross Town (presumably named after St Cross church which is passed) before bending to the right a short distance further on, where the road ahead is marked as no entry. The road ends soon afterwards at traffic lights on the A537.
This final section was originally the B5084, with the B5085 continuing on along the no-entry road. That is still numbered B5085 and provides access in the other direction from the A537.