Motorway Services Online

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Motorway services are still open for snacks, fuel and toilets - more details.


Gretna services

Location:

A74(M) between J21 and J22

Signposted from the road.

Postcode:

DG16 5HQ

map and directions

Access/Layout:

Single site located between junctions with access to both sides.

Rating: See the reviews



Formerly and idyllically known as Gretna Green, this is the first services you'll pass as you head in to Scotland on the A74(M).

Facilities

Catering: Burger King, Harry Ramsden's, KFC, Starbucks, The Good Breakfast, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks on the Go Shops: Canny Scot Shopwebsite, Waitrose & Partners, WHSmith Main Amenities: Game Zone, Showers Hotel: Days Innbook Charging Points: Electric Highway 50kW CCS, 50kW CHAdeMO & 43kW Type 2; IONITY 350kW CCS; Tesla Supercharger 120kW & 150kW CCS Forecourt: BP, Londis, Costa Express, Dunkin' Donuts, f'real Milkshakes, Rollover, Tango Ice Blast, AdBlue4You, Free Cash Machine

Parking Prices

First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 for a further 24 hours and HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £27 (or £29 to include a £10 meal voucher).

Prices can be paid in the shop, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.

This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Welcome Break
Gretna Service Area
Gretna
Dumfries & Galloway
DG16 5HQ

🌍 Operators (Official Websites):


Trivia and History

Gretna entrance 2019.jpg
One of the two entrances, with blue doors, Starbucks on the left, and Burger King on the right.

Camera icon

Opened by Forte's Little Chef 1972
Re-built and re-branded as Welcome Break 1992
Renamed from Gretna Green 2010

The service area has an un-gated access to the B7076. This and the road layout in the area means that the service area is often treated as an unofficial junction. It's a hangover from the original road layout on the A74.

During April 2017, the filling station was sold by BP Express to MRH. MRH later merged with MFG who added a Londis store and 4 IONITY electric vehicle charging points in 2020.

Pre-Motorway History

Originally Gretna was a pair of petrol stations staggered on the A74. There was a flyover between them, which provided access to each side of the road and the road to Springfield.

Forte built a large amenity building here on the northbound side, with a Little ChefHistory, The Granary restaurant, and the country's first Little Chef Lodge.

The hotel was rebuilt in 1985, and then became a Travelodge in 1989.

In 1992 this section of the A74 was replaced by a motorway. Strictly speaking only the southbound filling station was affected by this, and a new junction provided access to the old facilities. However, the old facilities were outdated, too small, and not in an ideal position.

As a result, Forte knocked down the old facilities and built a new forecourt, motel and amenity building on a larger section of land, roughly occupying the same area. New signs were erected pointing to the "Accom. and services", while other sources called the place 'Gretna', even though publicity continued to call it by its full name for some time.

Due to the site's history, the forecourt at the new service area was branded BP and not managed by Forte/Welcome Break, who would normally operate a Shell when building a large service area from scratch. As a result, when Granada were forced to sell Welcome Break's sites in 1997, Gretna Green was classed as a Forte service area and not a Welcome Break one and wasn't included in the sale by default. Granada were given the choice of either transferring it to Welcome Break, or keeping it and paying the new Welcome Break £14million instead. As they already owned two nearby service areas, Granada opted not to pay for Gretna Green.

Design

The main amenity building has units built in a courtyard around a Burger King (previously Julie's Pantry) in the centre, with two glass roofs following the main walking paths around the building. This creates a site much larger and more airy than nearby Abington.

At the time, Welcome Break wanted their services to each have a unique shop. At Gretna, this was the Canny Scot Shop, and it is the only one still to be open.

Some of the space now used by the Harry Ramsden's outlet had previously been used by an extended WHSmith store.

Although the front of the services has been refurbished many times, the interior doors are still in their original blue-and-yellow colour scheme. As with most Welcome Break service areas, David Fisher was commissioned to paint some artwork, which was displayed all around the back wall. It has since been painted over.

The service area has lengthy access roads, designed to provide relaxation by looking like an upper market property. The car park was equipped with mock-historic lamp posts, with a round bowl at the top of a short post, like you might find in a hotel or restaurant of the same era. Unusually, these extend all the way along the slip road to the motorway. Posts like these normally light up a car park or pedestrian walkway, but at Gretna they're used to light a road with a 70mph speed limit.

The original facilities were positioned roughly where the modern park is now.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Annandale Water (23 miles)Services on the A74(M)Todhills (M6, 6 miles)
Southwaite (M6, 21 miles)
Abington (49 miles)Welcome Break servicesnone nearby

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