Arguably the UK's most famous service station, Tebay is a family-owned site which is nestled in the scenic part of the M6, with two buildings offering great views over a special part of the country. Its duck pond, farm shop and caravan park make it an unusual destination on the motorway network, and one that has won a lot of die-hard fans.
Lorry drivers may prefer the J38 Truckstop, which is also ran by Westmorland and located a mile to the south at junction 38.
Catering: Barbecue Shed (seasonal opening), Kitchen, Quick Kitchen, Quick Coffee
Shops: on both sides: Farm Shop, Butchers Counter, Cheese Counter, Deli Counter
plus northbound only: Gelato Counter, Patisserie Amenities: on both sides: Westmorland Hotel, Caravan Park, Children's Play Area, Free Cash Machines, Meeting Room, Showers
and southbound only: Changing Places Outdoor Space: Outdoor dining terrace and grass by duck pond; Dog Walking Area, Picnic Area Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway 50kW CCS, 50kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2; Tesla Supercharger 150kW CCS Forecourt: Esso, Shop, Deli Counter, Coffee Bar, Food to Go, LPG
First 3 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £13 and caravans, motorhomes and HGVs £22 which includes a £6 meal voucher.
Prices can be paid for in the Quick Kitchen, with instructions in each car park.
The fees are enforced by Westmorland Limited.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Westmorland Motorway Services Ltd
Trivia and Design
See also: History:Tebay
Tebay starred in its own four-part documentary series on Channel 4, which broadcast through July 2021. The programme, which looked at how the service area is managed and met its suppliers, was a hit with a broad range of viewers, pulling in over a million viewers and more than Wimbledon did. In the weeks that followed there were reports of queues of traffic approaching the service area. A Christmas episode and second series were created, and a sequel about Gloucester has been commissioned.
Many people believe Tebay is the only one of its kind. Westmorland in fact run a couple of service areas, which all follow the same principles. In fact most of the talk about Tebay tends to be about its northbound side, which is the older of the two and was deliberately positioned by the government so that it would have the best views possible. The stunning landscape and local wildlife might have helped Tebay be so memorable, but it would be nothing without Westmorland's ethos and relationship with their landscape.
As a smaller operator, Westmorland choose not to take part in Transport Focus's annual industry survey, causing confusion when the media fawn over the survey's top scorers and Tebay is not there.
While there is plenty of detail on how Tebay services came about, by far the most common question from the posse is "why can't all motorway services be like Tebay". The answer is that its owners took a gamble on a contract which all the big names had turned down, and they approached it with no experience in how the motoring or food retail industries work, but with a lot of knowledge about farming and about Cumbria.
That different background is why Tebay turned into a place that is free from tacky advertising and big-name franchises, making it look more like something from the National Trust than the motorway network. It's a model which works best with small companies, who are able to pay attention to every detail and aren't chasing the highest profit margins or the largest audiences.
In 2010 the service area raised £3,500 for the Cumbria flood appeal. It continues to support local charities, such as the local mountain rescue service.
Tebay is one of the few sites where signage encourages customers to use the Rear Access, although 'no entry' signs are still in use. The back road is mainly there to serve the hotel and caravan park, which are technically built off-site as they use land which the Ministry of Transport didn't regard as part of the original service area. Since the government sold its interest in service areas, Tebay now forms part of a 120 acre site that its owners manage, including High Chapel farm, which supplies the service area. A team of rangers looking after the Tebay's wildlife, including the famous ducks.
The motorway network's first two farm shops were opened here in 2003 by Prince Charles. These continue to be what makes Tebay famous, especially among its devoted fanbase. There is now a large gift shop too, which sells products made locally.
Part of the caravan park was converted into a garden in late 2022, funded with £150,000 from Westmorland and a £180,000 lottery grant. The garden opened in early 2023, with local charity Growing Well managing the project, and it is hoped that the project will offer volunteering opportunities to people whose health might benefit from the experience. Produce from the garden is sold in the service area.
Westmorland are launching their own 'Westmorland Charging' electric chargers in 2023, with the northbound side set to gain six chargers and two chargers for the southbound side. These were expected to go live in late 2023, but delays with getting additional power to the site has deayed the launch date here until early 2024.
The northbound side is set to gain a new Changing Places facility in early 2024, and the southbound farm shop is set to gain a new gelato and patisserie counter to mirror the northbound farm shop.
|Burton-in-Kendal (M6 northbound, 21 miles)|
Killington Lake (M6 southbound, 11 miles)
Scotch Corner (A66, 44 miles)
|Services on the M6||Southwaite (26 miles)|
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