A686 road

The A686 is a road in Northern England. It runs from Penrith in Cumbria to Haydon Bridge in Northumberland. The AA named the A686 "One of the Greatest Drives in Britain" owing to the dramatic scenery of the Pennines hills encountered along its route. The road is popular with motorbikers, and due to the great number of steep bends many casualties occur along the road. It was recently voted 9th best drive in the country by Top Gear.

UK road A686

The A686 below Hartside - geograph.org.uk - 1073084
The A686 looking east below Hartside
Route information
Length36.5 mi[1] (58.7 km)
Major junctions
South endPenrith
54°39′19″N 2°44′32″W / 54.6554°N 2.7423°W
North endHaydon Bridge
54°58′23″N 2°14′10″W / 54.9730°N 2.2361°W
Road network


The A686 begins at a roundabout with the A66 road and A6 road on the edge of Penrith though it originally started in nearby Carleton at a crossroads with the former route of the A66. The road heads in a north-easterly direction crossing the River Eden before going through the village of Langwathby. It continues through Melmerby and across the Pennines before reaching the isolated market town of Alston.

It meets the A689 road (to Brampton and Bishop Auckland) and then crosses the border into Northumberland. It continues past the villages of Ninebanks, Bearsbridge and Whitfield. It meets the B6305 road to Hexham, and 3.1 miles (5.0 km) later terminates at its junction with the A69 road just east of Haydon Bridge.


  1. ^ "Driving directions to A686". Google. Retrieved 21 September 2013.

External links

Coordinates: 54°48′01″N 2°27′10″W / 54.8004°N 2.4529°W

Black Fell (Pennines)

Black Fell is a hill in the North Pennines, England. It is located just north of the A686 road, west of Alston and is one of the most northerly parts of the Pennines.

Carleton, Eden

Carleton is a suburb of the town of Penrith, Cumbria, England, that has seen a huge growth in housing since the 1960s and is, of 2018, still expanding due to the Carleton Meadows, Carleton Manor and Woodberry Heights developments. It was formerly a separate small village or hamlet one mile east of the centre of Penrith.

Haydon Bridge

Haydon Bridge is a village in Northumberland, England, with a population of about 2000, the civil parish Haydon, being measured at 2,184 in the Census 2011. Its most distinctive features are the two bridges crossing the River South Tyne; the picturesque original bridge for which the village was named (now restricted to pedestrian use) and a modern bridge which used to carry the A69 road. A bypass was completed in 2009 and the A69 now bypasses the village to the south.The modern village is divided in two by the River South Tyne, whereas the old village (Haydon) was to the north, on the hill overlooking the river; all that remains is a Norman church now reduced in size from the original, which used stone taken from nearby Roman Hadrian's Wall. The A686 road joins the A69 just to the south east of the village, linking Haydon Bridge with Alston and Penrith.

Haydon Bridge Viaduct

Haydon Bridge Viaduct carries the A69 Haydon Bridge bypass across both the Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle railway and the River South Tyne, about 1⁄2 mile (0.8 km) west of Haydon Bridge.


Langwathby is a village and civil parish in northern Cumbria, England, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north east of Penrith on the A686 road. The village lies on the banks of the River Eden.

The village is centred on a large village green next to which stands the village pub, post office and village hall. There is a primary school on the road to Little Salkeld.

At Langwathby Hall was the visitor attraction and working ostrich farm called Eden Ostrich World, which closed in 2012.

The Settle to Carlisle Railway has a railway station in the village.

The parish includes the nearby village of Edenhall which was a separate parish until 1934.

Langwathby is also the base of the 'Pride of Cumbria', one of the helicopters run by the Great North Air Ambulance Service

Listed buildings in Alston Moor

Alston Moor is a civil parish in the Eden District, Cumbria, England. It contains 87 buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these,

three are listed at Grade II*, the middle grade, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The parish contains the market town of Alston, the villages of Garrigill and Nenthead, smaller communities, and the surrounding countryside. Nenthead was surrounded by mines, particularly for lead, and some of the listed buildings in and around the village are associated with this industry. Otherwise, most of the listed buildings are houses and associated structures, shops, public houses, hotels, and churches in and around Alston. There is a series of milestones provided for the local turnpike trust. The other listed buildings include a wayside cross, bridges, a former brewery, a former mill, former railway station buildings, a market cross, municipal buildings, a war memorial, and a memorial pump.

Melmerby, Cumbria

Melmerby is a village and civil parish in the Eden district, in the county of Cumbria, England. It is a small village with a population of around 200. The village is 9 miles to the east of Penrith, a thriving community with immediate access to Junction 40 of the M6 motorway and a main line railway station serving London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Melmerby is a quiet backwater with excellent links to other parts of the UK. Surrounded by beautiful countryside it sits between the North Pennines with its highest point, Cross Fell to the east and the World Heritage Lake District National Park 10 miles to the west. It is relatively quiet because the area is not as popular with tourists as other parts of Cumbria. It has ample facilities to support visitors who choose to travel outside the Lake District National Park which can sometimes become congested in high season. The River Eden is bridged about 4 miles (6.4 km) away at Langwathby, and Long Meg and Her Daughters, the 3,500-year-old stone circle—the second largest in the country—is nearby at Little Salkeld.

New Haydon Bridge

The New Haydon Bridge is a bridge across the River South Tyne providing access to and from the village of Haydon Bridge.

Old Haydon Bridge

Old Haydon Bridge is a footbridge across the River South Tyne providing access between the Northern and Southern sides of the village of Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, England.


Ousby is a village and civil parish in Eden district, in the English county of Cumbria. It is a Thankful Village, one of 52 parishes in England and Wales that suffered no casualties during World War I. The parish had a population of 362 in 2001, which had increased to 442 at the 2011 Census, and includes the hamlets of Crewgarth, Row, Shire and Townhead. Melmerby parish was absorbed on 1 April 1934, on 1 April 2019 Melmerby became a separate parish again.

Pennine Cycleway

The Pennine Cycleway is a Sustrans-sponsored route in the Pennines range in northern England, an area often called the "backbone of England". The route passes through the counties of Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland. It is part of the National Cycle Network (NCN). Sustrans founder John Grimshaw calls it 'the best National Cycle Network route of the lot'.The majority of the route follows NCN 68. It also makes use of several other NCN routes including 6, 54, 62, 70, 7, 72 and 1.

It has a total length of about 327 miles (526 km). The route was opened in stages in 2002–03.

Penrith, Cumbria

Penrith ( pen-RITH) is a market town and civil parish in the county of Cumbria, England. Penrith lies less than 3 miles (5 km) outside the boundaries of the Lake District National Park. Historically a part of Cumberland, Penrith's local authority is currently Eden District Council, which is based in the town. Penrith was formerly the seat of both Penrith Urban and Rural District Councils. From 1974 to 2015, Penrith had no town council of its own, and was an unparished area. A civil parish of Penrith was recreated in 2015. Penrith Town Council was formed in 2015 and the first elections to the council took place on May 7, 2015.

Warden Bridge

Warden Bridge is a road bridge across the River South Tyne near Warden.

A roads in Zone 6 of the Great Britain road numbering scheme

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