|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||8.8 miles (14.2 km)|
|Meets:||A593, B5286, A592, A5074|
|Old route now:||A592|
|Route outline (key)|
The B5285 is a cross-country road in the central Lake District.
The road starts on the A593 in the centre of Coniston and heads eastwards. It crosses the Yewdale Beck on the edge of town before reaching the bank of Coniston Water, which is followed to its northernmost point. The road then turns away and follows a stream for a short distance. It then climbs a steep, winding road through the woods, reaching a height of over 600 feet.
The road then starts to descend again, albeit not as steeply. It goes through the village of Hawkshead Hill before reaching Hawkshead itself. To the north of the village it TOTSOs right at a T-junction, the road to the left being the B5286. Our road continues south through the centre of the village, although the original line of the B5285 along the full length of the narrow Main Street has now been rerouted slightly to the east.
When old and new routes meet the B5285 has to TOTSO left to cross the Black Beck and then run along the shore of Esthwaite Water to the village of Near Sawrey, famous for its associations with Beatrix Potter. The road then crosses the hills to Far Sawrey before descending to the shore of Windermere and following it to the ferry pier. As in theme parks, there are signs advising queueing drivers how long it will take to board (although there is little space to U-turn) and eventually the Windermere Ferry is reached, which takes cars and vehicles under 8 t across the lake. The approach road on this side is residential (which must annoy the locals).
Shortly after disembarking from the ferry we reach a T-junction with the A592. Until the early 1930s the A592 ran slightly further to the east, and this junction was the western terminus of the B5284 – with our route turning left to end in the centre of Bowness. Today, however (differently numbered local road signs notwithstanding), the B5285 turns right, follows the A592 southward for a few metres, and then forks left to climb Longtail Hill and end on the A5074 (i.e. on the original route of the A592).