Fly-drive travellers to the US have had the brakes put on tours along the iconic Highway 1 California coast road.

Mudslides and damage to a key bridge in Monterey County following heavy winter storms has forced the closure of the coastal highway which links Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Motorists are being advised to take an alternative route due to the damage to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.

The detour from the Monterey area to the famous Hearst Castle involves going inland on Highway 101, away from the coastal attractions.

However, British Airways, which highlighted the closure of the coastal road, said: “Visitors driving this route can still experience some of the grandeur of iconic Highway 1, and this alternate route takes about the same amount of time to drive as the straight Highway 1 route requires – about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

“Visitors driving along Highway 101 will still be able to travel from Monterey Peninsula to San Luis Obispo County.

“Visitors will instead travel through beautiful wine country and will still experience breathtaking coastal views south of Ragged Point.

“Hearst Castle – 15 miles south of Ragged Point – is fully open and accessible to visitors and Highway 1 south of Hearst Castle is fully open and accessible.”

This article has been updated, following the opening of the route south of Palo Colorado