Motorway Services Online

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Tickled Trout services


M6 at J31
(also accessible to traffic on the A59)

Signposted from the road? From A59 only



map and directions


Single site located at a junction.


An amusingly named service area positioned by the River Ribble.


Catering: Riverside Bar & Lounge, Scottish Steakhouse Amenities: Macdonald Hotels (Tickled Trout) Outdoor Space: Grass verge only Forecourt: BP, Nisa Local, Subway, Costa Express, LPG (FloGas), Free Cash Machine

Parking Prices

First hour free for cars, after which the following charges apply:

Up to 2 hours (including free period): £1. Up to 3 hours: £3. Up to 4 hours: £5. Up to 5 hours: £7. Up to 6 hours: £9. Up to 24 hours: £12.

There is no parking available for vehicles over 2.1M high.

Prices are paid at the pay machines situated in the car park or via the Good2Go Parking mobile app.

These fees are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.

Parking within the hotel car park is for hotel guests only and is barrier controlled.

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

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Tickled Trout Services
Preston New Road

🌍 Operators & Official Websites:

Trivia and History

Looking down an empty dual carriageway towards a roundabout.
The view towars the service area from the motorway in 1959.

The service area is named after the Tickled Trout Hotel, which is next to the forecourt. The adjacent motorway junction is often referred to as the Tickled Trout as a result.

The first building here was built in the 1930s on Preston New Road, called the Riverside Café. The eastbound A59 access road is on the original alignment of the road. As a result, it was initially known as Riverside services.

In 1958 the UK's first motorway junction was built next to Tickled Trout, attracting a lot more traffic to the area. Around this time, the site had a forecourt added to its eastern end, and The Tickled Trout Hotel was built at its western end. The service area itself was never signed from the M6, and with its small size, it was never going to be. The entry was from three right turns on the A59.

The hotel was owned by Carton Holdings, with Riverside Restaurants providing the catering. It joined the MacDonald's Hotels chain in the mid-1990s.

When the Preston Bypass was widened in 1993, the A59 was diverted onto a new alignment, making the service area feel less attached to that road, with a new entrance direct from the motorway junction's roundabout.

The hotel has received several extensions over time. Permission was secured for the western end of the hotel to be demolished in 2004, allowing an underground parking area to be built. This would have also seen the existing eastern end of the hotel receive an extension up to five-storeys high to compensate for the lost rooms. This proposal was renewed in 2013 but was never taken forward.

Forecourt History

The forecourt has also received several refurbishments, with Mobil leading the work in the 1980s and 1990s. As part of their 1995 refurbishment, they had planned to introduce a fast food restaurant to the sales building, but this didn't happen. McDonald's also submitted plans in the same year to build a stand-alone drive-thru restaurant adjacent to the hotel but permission was refused. The site was rebranded to BP in 1997 following the merger of Mobil with BP.

The filling station was sold to The Brookfield Group in the mid-2000s, who rebuilt the forecourt in 2010, introducing a new two-storey sales building with a shop on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor. The new sales building opened on 4 February 2011 and featured Brookfield's own-brand shop, including a 'Fresh Bake' bakery which served Douwe Egberts coffee on the ground floor and offices to let on the first floor rather than the intended restaurant. The original plans for the building mentioned a possible BP Connect branded store as well as a Subway store in replacement of the bakery.

The first floor offices were empty until 2012, when the area was converted to a retail unit and became home to The Cake Decorating Company. They later vacated the building in 2017 and the unit is now up for let once again.

The sales building became a Nisa Local store in 2014, and in late 2015 the bakery was replaced with a Subway store. Coffee is now provided by Costa Express machines.

The shop is set to receive a significant remodel in April 2024, with works commencing on 15 April. The remodelled store is set to feature additional ranges as well new food to go offerings similar to The Brookfield Group's site at Pocklington.


Charnock Richard (10 miles)
Rivington (M61, 13 miles)
Blackburn with Darwen (M65, 10 miles)
Services on the M6Lancaster (15 miles)
noneServices on the A59Barrow (13 miles)

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