A far cry from the standard UK motorway service station, a much more relaxed atmosphere and genuine locally produced food. The beer selection is excellent, with Cumbrian breweries featured almost exclusively and at keen prices too. If you’re heading through Cumbria on the M6, it’s well worth calling in.
Without a doubt the best motorway services I've ever been to (not least because it's actually clean). The restaurant prices are comparable to other services (ie not cheap) but the food is well-cooked, high quality local produce, so you're actually getting decent value for money. My fry-up was delicious, especially when coupled with a view across an attractive duckpond with the fells in the background! The shop is worlds apart from other services, offering lots of local products, especially local beers (of which there was a pretty large selection, including many I'd not seen before). Service in the restaurant was friendly, but the lady in the shop was a bit brusque. I hope this sets a new standard for service stations - I for one will always try to use it for my M6 bog breaks in future! The only real downside is that being atop Shap Summit, it seems to be permanently cold and blowy outside, so you may need winter gear with you just to cross the car park (it's lovely and cosy inside though)..
My word this has changed a bit since my last visit. Completely revamped and looks a lot more like its ’sister’ service station Gloucester. The bit with the booze in is on the left (I think it’s roughly the same layout North & Southbound). Both have pretty much the same selection with an emphasis on Cumbrian breweries, as well as a good range of Samuel Smith, Hardknott and Thornbridge. Beavertown, Fourpure and Camden Town also muscle their way in with a few cans. Cider comes in the form of maybe 6 Olivers and some 1.5l bottles of Pilton’s excellent keeved cider. Also some of their own-brand beers available. Aside from the beer, there is a mesmerising selection of cheese, pastries, jams and other farm shop items. I perused some scotch eggs next to the Hairy Biker’s Si King, who was perusing cheese. A greatly improved Tebay, definitely better than any of the other services on the road to Scotland. Unless you want fast food. Oh yeah, a nice dog walk here too.
The farmers market section, which is part of the same main building as the regular services area offers something better than the usual inane and synthetic looking (and unjustly inflated prices) rest stops. It’s already a notch above most with its duck pond outside the restaurant window, views of The Lakes foothills and even a campsite just off the slip road into the services area. The ales available in the market area are all local and very extensive, and importantly not overpriced as you might expect from motorway facilities where you have no options but to either buy it or leave it. If you’re only going to make one rest stop on the M6, this is the place to make it.
As Service Stations go this is top notch, good food and a very good range of beers available. They concentrate on just selling local Breweries beers, but the range is extensive. We would certainly stop off at here again, and yes, they serve petrol too.
If you a rushing through Cumbria and need a place to stop this is certainly the best choice. In addition to the excellent service area featuring local produce (the ice cream is particularly recommended), there is also a "farm shop" with lots of local produce including a range of local beers - and some from further afield.