View Full Version : Rare but true...Motorway Services wins justified award

Krystal n chips
26th May 2012, 10:32
Not often that awards are fully justified...too many are simply mutual backslapping ( bit like some of the ahem, more pious contributors on here in fact....:E ) exercises.... anyway.....as anybody who has visited and many on here have commented on...this location really does justify the award...:ok:

Tebay motorway service station awarded five stars for culinary delights | Money | The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/may/25/tebay-motorway-service-station)

The only risible bit is the part involving the Highways Agency and "customer service":yuk:...given that if any organisation exceeds and surpasses the term "unfit for purpose" and the criteria for being dysfunctional it's this agency...

26th May 2012, 10:46
Yeah but I bet the toilets are like any other service station ! :cool:

26th May 2012, 10:51
When I saw the header I just knew it had to be Tebay. It really is superb - including the toilets. The views out of the dining area onto what was called Westmorland when I was at school are fantastic. If ever there was a "prize" for the worst it has to be whatever the one is on the M2 near Rainham.

26th May 2012, 12:08
Having visited more than my fair share over the last couple of years I can say they have definitely improved where what "I" want becomes a bit more important that what they wish to serve.

On one occasion on a late friday night travelling from up north I stopped at 1 services and looking for Fish and Chips, the piece of fish on display had seen better years and they initially wish to serve that but when asking for a fresh piece it was done with minimum of fuss and not queried.

Its still expensive though but now take AA card with me for discounts.

26th May 2012, 12:40
Tebay really is superb, must be embarrassing for the other UK services who seem to target mediocrity at best.

The same people recently got planning permission for another services on the M5, somewhere near Gloucester as I recall.

26th May 2012, 13:59
Concur with other posters, Tebay is very good. On our drives North from Fareham to Aberdeen we always aim to breakfast at Tebay. 6 items (if I recall correctly) for 5.99 plus a slice of toast. Not scrawny little items either, real sausages, bacon, black pud etc. Yummy!

G&T ice n slice
26th May 2012, 14:25
Always stop briefly southbound, since that's about 1 hour from home and means I can have a god cup of coffee & let the doggie have a runabout. Usually around 05:30-06:00

Always stop for a meal northbound usually around 21:00 since saves thinking about feeding myself when I get home. Doggie has a closely supervised runabout because there's a lot less open space.

Toilets always clean, shop has lots of interesting stuff that looks nice to eat.
I've never not had a nice cuppa or nice meal. After one 18-hour roundtrip I actually went round the foodservice thrice, much to the amusement of the staff.

Staff always friendly & helpful.

I just pray they never succumb to the lure of millions from one of the big 'groups'

26th May 2012, 14:55
Used to only be on the Northbound side, a good half-way house when visiting the North British rellies.

Even better it's now on both sides - and the farm shop is great too.

Begs the question - why are all the others so [email protected]?

Sir George Cayley
26th May 2012, 15:13
Big up for Tebay. Why is it so good when others fail to impress?

People - simples.


26th May 2012, 16:01
The last time I was there, about five years ago, it was looking a bit tired and in need of refurbishment. I presume this has now been done. The food and staff were good.

If your journey does not pass there, this is a handy guide to eateries within a few minutes of the UK motorways....

Home | 5minutesaway. Search & find or avoid motorway services. Find hotels, motels, restaurants on UK motorways, junctions. (http://www.5minutesaway.co.uk/)

26th May 2012, 16:13
In about 3 weeks time wife and I are driving from Ashford to Rudheath (near Northwich). Is there a good service station about half way there for lunch stop - perhaps soon after joining the M6? Or are they all so bad or expensive that we would be better taking sandwiches?

Lon More
26th May 2012, 16:17
Big up for Tebay. Why is it so good when others fail to impress?

People - simples.

Family owned I believe. Last there a couple of years ago and it looked a bit in need of refurbishing then. Don't know if it's been done though

Lon More
26th May 2012, 16:20
JWP1938 I used to use Off the Motorway (http://www.offmotorway.com/) in book form. You might find something on the web site.

26th May 2012, 16:31
UK motor services are even worse when you begin comparing them to mainland Europe - fabulous products in Italy, squeaky clean auto-wash toilets in Germany ... :)

west lakes
26th May 2012, 16:36
Tebay services provides a choice and source of such unrelated delicacies as Bury Black Pudding, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, Penrith Fudge and Kendal Mint Cake.
They also operate the Reghed Centre just off Jct 40 another place worth a visit

Milo Minderbinder
26th May 2012, 16:45
depending on time of day, but if I were doing that journey I'd probably carry on up the M1 and miss Birmingham, turning onto the A50 at the East Midlands airport junction and cross to Stoke, joining the M6 there

The service stations on both routes are the usual poor fare. You'd do better to find a roadside pub somewhere

B Fraser
26th May 2012, 17:54
Yep, I guessed correctly. A super place to stop for a break. The only downside is last time I was there, fuel was considerably more expensive than normal.

26th May 2012, 18:06
Motorway service areas tend to be significantly more expensive than 'other' places as they have no competition . . .

26th May 2012, 20:03
And I think they have to pay a considerable amount for rent too, they don't own the ground, just the "right to sell" on the ground.

Milo Minderbinder
26th May 2012, 21:20
I have a feeling the Tebay north one is unique in that the site is owned by the operator, not leased. It was built much much later than the others after the rules were relaxed
Its owned and operated by the family of the farmer who owned the land - hence the "Westmorland Farmers" tag
Not sure about the southbound one as thats actually some way away, north of Tebay

26th May 2012, 21:35
From the interweb:-
Tebay Services were built by the original landowners (Dunning family) who sold some of their farm land to facilitate the M6 development, but kept ownership of some of their land next to the motorway for their own future development.
In 1972 the Dunning family went into partnership with a number of local businesses and formed the company Westmorland to develop the Tebay northbound services.
The southbound services opened in 1993, but the northbound side opened approximately 20 years earlier.
It forms the head office for Westmorland who run several businesses in the area.
In 2008 the southbound services were refurbished and became the only motorway service station with a butcher's counter.

flying lid
26th May 2012, 21:44
Lovely scenery around Tebay also. The run over Shap summit is allways interesting, both by car or train.

Tebay was a different place before the M6 was built back in the 60's, just the moors and the railway line. Back then Tebay had an station & engine shed, and most trains had to have a second (banking) engine attached.


Now the electric Pendolino's fly past, the grade is no problem, the M6 is at the side of the railway through the valley.


I agree Tebay services is good, if even just stopping for a pee.


26th May 2012, 21:45
I tend to avoid anything which says MOTO.
Strensham, Stafford, Tibshelf and Tebay are 'OK', but there is far better off the motorway.
Tebay realised they were on to a winner and is now over-priced. A little bit of 'Rip Off Britain' in the Westmorland fells. We tend to leave at Penrith and head west for 10 mins to The Horse and Farrier in Threlkeld.
It is also a shame that Forton doesn't fully exploit the potential of the Pennine Tower.

air pig
26th May 2012, 21:59
The hotel at the back is very good as well, owned by the Dunning family. Stayed there many times, good for new year.

Milo Minderbinder
26th May 2012, 22:01
"It is also a shame that Forton doesn't fully exploit the potential of the Pennine Tower"

Security considerations stopped the elevated restaurant from being used years ago.
The GPO Tower bomb was responsible.
From what I hear locally the work required to bring the lift shafts up to safety standard would prevent a reopening to the public - its just used as offices now

-and surely given the view it should be the "Bowland Tower"??

PS did you know it was used as an external shot for the Dalek's planet Skaro in one of the Dr Who's?

26th May 2012, 22:12
I've 'dined' in the high-level restaurant at Forton (way back in the 1970s).

The boss was paying . . .

History:- Home - Forton Services (http://fortonservices.webs.com/)

26th May 2012, 22:27
Thanks for the information and links. :ok:

Milo Minderbinder
26th May 2012, 22:37
Interesting how different people view that tower from different perspectives.
Back in my chemical industry days I had a visit from some chaps from East Germany and they were convinced it was our equivalent of the Stazi's border watch towers.

G&T ice n slice
27th May 2012, 07:57
Westlakes mentioned the Rheged centre.

Isn't that the one that had a banner saying "Daily live sheep show"

It was ages before someone picked up enough courage to tell them....

Or am I thinking of the Wooll Centre at Cockermouth?

west lakes
27th May 2012, 10:42
Or am I thinking of the Wooll Centre at Cockermouth?

I think you are

DX Wombat
28th May 2012, 11:19
Milo, I'm not sure where you got the idea that Tebay southbound is some distance North of Tebay northbound as they are diagonally opposite each other with an access road to and from the hotel and caravan site to the opposite side of the motorway. Stopped there last night on my way home from darkest Scotland - it's my usual stop and it even has a special dog walking area (both sides). It is becoming a bit pricey these days but as I don't venture up that way every day I don't mind too much - yet. There is a very efficient, large, feathered mugging party which lurks around the entrance on the northbound side - especially in winter but for anyone with small children they provide a source of amusement and if you ask a member of staff they will provide you with bread for them. Be warned - this can result in a somewhat unseemly duck equivalent of a rugby scrum complete with dubious language and pecking of less favoured bretheren.
Tebay (http://www.westmorland.com/cumbria-lake-district-caravan-park)
For those of you who may wish to use pubs for your breaks when travelling and who also have dogs, Doggie Pubs (http://www.doggiepubs.org.uk/index.php?6=on#listing) is an invaluable site. The dogs and I tried both the mainland ones in Ayrshire and were delighted with them. :ok:
Edited to add that Tebay services are good for seeing RAF aircraft hurtling around at low level (200' on the QFE for the bottom of the Dead Sea :E - or so it seems at times. :ok:) Warning for those of a nervous disposition - they have a habit of sneaking up on you and can be very noisy.

Alloa Akbar
28th May 2012, 11:26
fuel was considerably more expensive than normal.

This from a Prius driver?? :p

Slight aviation link.. once met Andy Green of Thrust SSC fame at Tebay services.. he seemed flattered that someone actually recognised him as I recall :ok: