The B6542 follows the former route of the A66 through Appleby in Westmorland. The junctions at each end are grade-separated with limited access, although the off-slip from the A66 at the western end also connects to unclassified roads.
From the western end, the road passes beneath the A66 and the railway line, after which the northbound offslip turns off to the right. We drop down gently towards the town centre, where we come close to the River Eden on our right. Here the B6260 turns off to cross the river by a stone bridge and head southwest towards Orton and Tebay.
The B6542 continues southeastwards, passing the police station and former Shire Hall on the left, before starting to climb once more, winding past a rockface on the left as it heads out of town. We pass under the main railway line once more, then over the preserved Eden Valley Railway, before a short straight run brings us back up to the A66 Appleby bypass at Coupland.