Tebay Services Northbound M6
Operated by Westmorland, on the M6 between junctions J38-39 in
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My girlfriend and I visited Tebay services north bound on the 1st August 2014. I have previously visited these services on many occasions and on most occasions I have found the facilities satisfactory. However upon are arrival at around 5 pm we were bombarded at every door way with people collecting for charity. We are charitable people but do not believe it should be forced on you in such an intimidating manner that you could not move freely around the services without bumping into one of them and their stern stares. We both visited the toilet facilities and had to pass over six charity workers, they were standing in pairs either side of the door ways.
When we actually got to the restaurant it was not that busy but there was a large queue at the counter due to the fact that they only had one person serving, making drinks and working the till. We waited ages in the queue to order two basic meals some people even walked away having got fed up with the wait. Once we had been served our food we had to wait in the queue again to pay for it and get drinks. This queue was not moving and in the meantime our food was getting cold. I turned around and noticed that there was another till adjacent to ours with no queue that seemed to be for the patisserie. The young lady on the till was just standing there gazing down the counter at an elderly couple who where occupied choosing cakes. I asked her if we could pay her for our food as it was going cold and she replied that she was serving a customer, I said they haven't even chosen what they want yet and we have hot food going cold. She looked back at the couple who still hadn't decided what they were having and then reluctantly served us. I did not even purchase a drink as I felt I had wasted enough time getting the food and paying for it, I didn't want it to be freezing cold.
When we finally arrived at the table despite the dining area itself not being particularly busy, we were met with empty dirty tables and we had to clear one ourselves. At no time during our stay did anyone come and clear the tables.
Its was obvious to me that the facilities where badly managed and staffed by young people who had not received any training or direction. Surely it would be impracticable to have one member of staff on the till in such a 'busy' service station at what would normally be peak time for business. There were far more charity workers than service station staff!
After this experience I would try and avoid these services in the future unless there was major changes and it resorted back to five years ago when the service was excellent.
Mick Jackson, 7 August 2014
Stopped with a caravan and stayed in car park area as we were too late for caravan park, it closes at 9pm! We were charged £18 for the 6 hours that we stayed what a rip off. This is supposed to be an alternative to the large operators as it says it's private. The car parking areas are not level the whole site is on a slope. We were only charged £12 in stafford services which has a level car park. Tebay used to be good I will avoid at all costs now! Did phone before hand and was told that they would probably not charge! Good ploy to get your money!
Salsa dundee, 14 June 2014
Nothing bad to say at all. Even the litter man was friendly, he was soooooo funny, had me howling with laughter and that was just when he opened his sucked in mouth ;-) "yes dear wot can i help you with " lmfaoooooo.
lisa, 21 April 2014
Food used to be good but not any more. Bacon sandwich: Stale bread hard bacon left standing. Cappuccino full of water/milk. And food produce in the shop is expensive and generally poor condition.
anonymous, 2 February 2014
Very nice services - we had heard lots about Tebay and were delighted to finally have the chance to visit for lunch on a 300 mile trip from Shropshire to Northumberland. Seriously - all other services we've ever been to on the motorway network are quite unpleasant to visit and we'd normally rather have a sandwich in the car, but we enjoyed our visit to Tebay and spent over 1h 40 there while relaxing and having lunch. Kids loved the soft play which made for a sleepy onward journey for them and a relaxing and quick onward journey for Dad despite gales and horizontal rain. The £1 offer of kids meals with every adult meal was a nice surprise and meant that our toddler could have a portion to himself without busting dad's wallet.
If any service station operator doubts the business sense of having decent customer facilities, how about this: 2 adults and two children under 3 spent over £60 on food and purchases in the marvellous and genuinely different gift shop and a further £50 on fuel.
CJ, 6 January 2014
Have been a little surprised by the negative comments, but called in here anyway yesterday.
All I can say that everything was up to its usual high standards, polite & helpful staff, food fresh and well prepared, restaurant clean as were the toilets. There isn't an MSA on the network that is perfect but Tebay isn't far off being perfect
Gary Farrimond, 5 October 2013
We have stopped off at Tebay a few times for food as we always buy the chefs homemade curry and the butterfly cakes that y children enjoy , and we find the food is very good, this time I stopped as I neeeded petrol as the guage was nearly empty when I looked in my purse I had lost a £20.00 note along the way home ,I had my bank card but couldnt remember the pin number the male attendant behind the counter said he would ask a senoir member of staff could I get 10.00 worth of petrol and I could leave my details an car reg number and return the next day with payment,(as I was still 40 miles from home and had to go on the a66 over the hills and dales towards the teesdale area ) as he was is informing me of this he tried my debit card and the payent was taken manually The member of staff couldnt of been more helpfull to a damson in distress he is a asset to your company thanks S Williams
Sally williams, 25 August 2013
I live in northern Ireland and regularly travel to England five to six times per year to visit family and friends, we normally stop at tebay north and south bound, however over the last few years we have noticed a deterioration in the standards especially at tebay northbound. Our most recent visit on 12th of August was appalling to say the least, I would have left , but my husband had purchased the food while I tried to find somewhere to sit. it was a busy time of day during school holidays we arrived at 1.30pm approximately two thirds of the tables had not been cleared from previous customers, the only way to find a seat was to clear away trays myself, when my husband arrived at the table I had cleared he saw the expression on my face and his comments were I know why you are looking like that, this is disgraceful. We sat there for twenty minutes and ate our lunch during which time one young man cleared one table and a couple of older women cleared a few others, they then left and the place was still dirty and in disarray, the floors were dirty with dropped food and a large stained black area on one part of the carpets it looked as if it may have been from a roof leak. at a table adjacent to us a lady cleared a space for herself and her friend, he asked if the table could be wiped as it was dirty and was given a cloth by a member of staff to wipe the table with, at this stage I had seen enough and asked to speak to the manager, she apologised and said she would get someone to clear the tables and said it was because they were busy and the new extension meant they did not have time to do both areas, I looked into the (not so new) extension and it was relatively clean and tidy and not very busy, allowing for the fact that it was a busy time of day and year, extra staff should have been deployed to maintain the standards associated with tebay.
the food is quite expensive so therefore I feel that extra staff at busy times is not unreasonable, given that outside they advertise that they have five stars awarded by the English tourist board, I would be most surprised if they would receive one if reassessed, personally I feel that it should be closed and staff training implemented to make it fit for the consumption of food by the public, I will be contacting the English tourist board to inform them of my discontent at the appalling standards. on a positive note the toilets were clean and tidy. Will probably look in again in November to see if there has been any improvement, however will now probably stop at Houghton Hall where the standards are much better, or and I never thought I would say this Mcdonalds.
Over ten years ago we were very impressed with Tebay the facilities and ambience made it superior to other service stations, however since a write up in the Sunday times, the standards have dropped dramatically and I now feel that the team are resting on their laurels and not making any effort to maintain standards, this may be a managerial problem however I feel it does require urgent attention. Linda Burton
linda burton, 19 August 2013
Husband and I stopped for a meal at Tebay on our way north. Very disappointed by quality of both meals, which kept speaking back to us for the rest of the day. We would hesitate to stop here for a meal again. This stodge lets Tebay down and threatens its 5 star status.
Mary, 6 April 2013
This, and its southbound partner are my favourite service stations in the country. The surroundings are very peaceful, with the motorway hidden from sight behind the trees, and open rolling hills in full view. There are nice grounds, and a tastefully designed building made with many reclaimed materials which make it both relatively eco friendly and interesting.
The food in the cafe is nice, with a good selection of hot food and cakes (even had simnel cake on my last visit - most impressed), and the accompanying shop has an awful lot more on offer than standard fare - cheeses, meats as well as the usual milk and confectionary.
Simon Willatts, 3 April 2013
My wife and I stopped off for lunch on the way back from the NE on 14th September 2012. We stayed an hour and had an excellent meal and a browse around the shops. The staff were very helpfull and attentive. The whole experience was exceptional. Must be the best Service area in the country.
The only problem at this time was that the soap dispensers in the male toilets were empty.
David Stubbs, 17 September 2012
We stopped at Tebay on our way to scotland. we only meant to stop for coffee but when we saw the vast array of food available we couldn't resist the baguettes and the wonderful chips. The facilities were excellent, toilets were clean and the views were stunning. Plenty for the children to do. We even stopped off on our home journey. Well done.
Jo, 8 August 2012
anonymous, 30 July 2012
We visited here in February and found it cold and badly organised. On our visit today all I can say is WOW what a transformation. We just called for coffee, but the food being served looked great and organisation had improved. These people ("Westmorland" - the same people have the Rheged site near M6 junc 40) are into high quality, so what you get is just that, and for similar prices to ordinary motorway services. I am pleased to say that it has regained the excellent quality we have been used to in the past. Our next stop was Rheged which was an equally excellent experience.
Peter Jackson, 10 July 2012
In our journeys north to Scotland, if we need to stop at a service station we try to make it the Tebay services. We did so again on our last trip and enjoyed it. The new extension had made a difference. The food was good, the surroundings pleasant, the loos clean and well maintained and the whole ambience made it a pleasurable experience. Despite being busy there were no queues because the service was well organised fast and efficient. The farm shop is excellent.
Gordon Stirrat, 25 June 2012
We are sorry that you did not have your usual good experience the last time you visited our services at Tebay. We have just recently opened our newly refurbished cafe at northbound and have received many satisfied customers. We listen to all comments, good or bad, as these help us to maintain our high standards and plan future developments. It is great to hear your comments.
Tebay Services, 18 April 2012
We have travelled up the M6 regularly over the last 14 years. We watched with interest, taking them in our stride, as the refurbishments took place, however it must be asked what has happened to Tebay northbound services? Where is the quick, easy, friendly service? Where is the choice of menu? Who has done this to you? I can only assume the catering management has had a complete meltdown. Change should only be undertaken if it improves and enhances an experience. When we called on Saturday, 14th April 2012 at approx 2pm it was chaotic. There was no 'flow' through the food area at all. There were 4 sandwiches available (boxed ones could be got and paid for seperately) hardly any hot food - which would have been cold by the time we had queued and paid for hot drinks - I've always raved over your latte; have you changed coffee supplier? Saturday's offering was bitter, looked awful and, by the way, cold. We will be passing again in 3 weeks, I hope I have sufficiently forgotten this experience to call at your services.
Ruth Ollett, 16 April 2012
Place was good and decent choice of food with reasonable prices. For the families with the kids, there is a special offer with the Kids meal at £1 (for every adult meal). Nice outside area
DC, 9 April 2012
Called in Friday morning, first visit for some time. New refurb in restaurant cafe areas is certainly very smart, and Tebay is still a pleasant and premium experience.
However, not sure the new 'to go' servery is an improvement as it has such a small range of snacks it sends much of the sit-down coffee and cake people into the main food servery - further prolonging the service there for hot drinks. The seating area behind the food servery was not all that warm either.
But the food shop is still worth the stop alone.
david m, 2 April 2012
In the past 2 weeks I have been covering a colleague on Annual Leave so was on the Glasgow run.
Having made a number of stops in the period 12/3/12 to 19/3/12 all I can say that each time the food was superb, staff friendly and efficent and the site very clean
Gary Farrimond, 25 March 2012
Thought we would try it out for lunch on our way to Keswick from the east(quite a detour from our usual route). We had one meal from the "Deli" and another hot meal. We queued a long time in the badly organised serving area where queues were not properly organised, nor signed. There was only one person serving hot food and when the hot food dishes were emptied no-one replenished them, leaving the one server to go in the back. My preferred choice was lasagne that had run out in the dish so the one serving person went for some more but came back to say there wasn't any - ie he had not been informed that there wasn't any more, so had wasted his time and that of all the people queueing. There were alterations going on near the seating area, but that could not excuse the area being COLD - we sat with our outdoor clothing on. The quality of the food was mediocre. The panino from the deli was one of only two choices, but expensive - nearly £10 with plain coffee. The steak pie contained very little steak and the vegetables were overcooked/ stewed. Absolutely no wonder that Tebay's rating has gone down so much since 2009 - what crazy management has let it down so much?
Peter Jackson, 11 February 2012
Thank you for your recent January comments.
Here at Tebay Services we take customer comments very seriously and are enormously disappointed to hear of two dissatisfied customers in the space of a week. This is of course unacceptable and something we will be looking into as a matter of urgency. Meeting our customers expectations has always been what we strive to achieve at all our restaurants and cafes and it seems here that we have failed to deliver on our promise.
We would firstly like to apologise for the refurbishment work that is currently taking place at our Northbound services as we realise it will be causing some inconvenience for our customers. We are of course trying to keep disruption to a minimum to provide improved facilities by March this year. This issues highlighted here of staff efficiency, motivation and also menu options available during our refurb will be raised at out next catering meeting and addressed as soon as possible.
Tebay Services has not changed hands and we continue striving to provide a high quality service station for customers to call at and break their journey. Thank you for your feedback and please rest assured that these issues will not be brushed under the carpet, quite the opposite - they will be highlighted and investigated at our first opportunity.
General Manager, Tebay Services.
General Manager, 16 January 2012
Westmorland Services Northbound used to be a good place to stop for a late meal, NOT ANYMORE
I arrived at 7pm (11/01/12)looking for a meal on the way home. They are rebuilding, but the sign said full menu still availableso I ventured in.
The food was dried up under the light and not much selection, I asked for 3 things to be told they had sold out!
I settled for Macaroni cheese, as it was the only thing not dries up, and veg (Salad was off!) Two forkfulls later I left it. It was overcooked soggy pasta in a tasteless cheese sauce with grease starting to come to the top, the longer it was left the more fat appeared. I took it back and told them it was the worst meal ever served to me there, the staff were not interested and no refund, or even alterative was offered.
Has this place changed hands? as standards have slipped very dramatically since last year.
My advice: shop, buy fuel if you are desperate, but don't use the restaurant
Richard Nicol, 11 January 2012
Tebay looks good but totally fails to deliver on service. There always seems to be a large slow moving queue at the coffee counter where you get served by disinterested staff. I know this is the norm at most service stations but the way Tebay is talked about you would assume they could do better. I feel like people are just impressed by the fancy merchandise and forget what the key requirements for a service station are ie to serve me quickly without stress so I can get back on the road revitalised.
Richard Wilson, 8 January 2012
Called in on an overnight run to Glasgow.
Don't often do this run so don't call here often but always impressed and this visit was no exception.
Clean, well laid out and as always a good selection of food and the staff friendly and helpful
Gary Farrimond, 15 September 2011
Tebay is the place friends enthuse about when they come to visit, but is normally too close to our Lake District home for us to want to stop (especially as petrol is cheaper at Rheged, so we fill upthere). However, we were making good time, and decided to stop for a late lunch, so as not to cook in the evening. Bad move! First the ladies loos were afloat with water, cold and miserable. I appreciate they are portaloos at the moment, but resist them if at all possible. Secondly - the food and service were worse than average. Overcooked, slow service, so almost cold by the time we got to our table - and £25 for two mains and bottled water! Didn't bother with the shop.
Sarah, 14 February 2011
Absolutely superb, a fab situation and wonderful, wonderful food. The soup was delicious, I would have been please to say I made it at home.
The farm shop is good too. Amazing meat counter. Visited both sides of the motorway, on the up and down journey, both equally good.
What a refreshing change to find somewhere like this where you WANT to stop. Keep on doing what you're doing, it's such bliss.
Jane Russ, 23 November 2010
This is the best services on the M6 but it's a long way from London, normally I have to stop just after Birmingham and all the services until Tebay are dire. Atleast it speeds up the journey as I don't want to stop or buy any food until I get north of Lancaster, it doesn't matter how tired I am I'll only stop in those shitholes if I need the loo or a coffee.
Andrew, 23 September 2010
I used to love Tebay (I used it frequently in the mid-late 1990s), but now it seems to have lost its appeal somewhat. It's become very commercialised and over-crowded.
I'll still stop at Tebay because it's independently run, and a welcome break (pardon the pun) from the chain service providers.
But I wouldn't recommend stopping here for a meal (especially if you're a family) - it can be very costly.
Jen, 19 September 2010
Now this is different, a service area with a farm shop on site. Very clean. Easy to park. Quieter than many services probably due to the fact that there are truck stops on the M6 before this one.
D Banks, 23 August 2010
Very Clean and tidy, Tho the staff dont have a sense of Humor, and the Carpark attendant Dont like Abnormal loads, Buses get priority Breakfasts Is cheaper in truckstop at Jct 38 by up £4 and buses get treated the same , we use tebay north because its easy to get long loads in and out , butcarpark attendant get a little overboard at times when theres more than one load
Ray, 22 August 2010
The BEST motorway services (north and south bound) in Britain
anonymous, 19 August 2010
Tebay Services are the best services in the world.
anonymous, 3 August 2010
Much better parking behind the services building.
Michael , 23 July 2010
As others have said this is a great place but the parking is awful. We arrived with our caravan to find all the lorry and caravan parking full with cars, usually one to a space. Eventually parked in a coach space, for which I was duly told off. I understand that the services themselves are being extended taking part of the car park; this will undoubtedly make things worse! These services desperately needs more car parking .
Jeff Tarling, 22 July 2010
I cant believe how over priced they are.
Simple example - Wispa Duo tesco 71p
Tebay N Services £1.00 40% extra margin on a product that you can be sure tesco are making a margin on.
Paul Beswetherick, 13 July 2010
Have regularly stopped here over the years when travelling north, for all the reasons that other reviewers have listed. BUT...owners Westmorland have simply got greedy. Costs have steadily increased to the point where they're on par with a good quality restaurant, but not on par with the quality you might find elsewhere. Westmoreland seem to be taking the concept of holding motorists to ransom a little too literally. So either pay £30 for two for lunch, or save considerably and by M&S from the next services south.
Martin Brown, 4 July 2010
A warm friendly welcome, even in peak times. Cracking landscape which they've captured in their layout. Stunning food choice, particularly good curries and (of course)sausages!
Martin Plenderleith, 13 June 2010
We use this every time we travel up to Scotland as our breakfast stop and whilst it is the best service station in the country, the standard of the breakfast over the years has fallen whilst the cost has risen. That aside, a great place to stop and rest, with a good dog walk and farm shop
Derek, 5 October 2009
On a trip back from Cumbria, my better half actually scheduled a stop at this service station as a highlight of the trip - and when we got there I could see why! The place is gorgeous - incredibly picturesque, beautiful views of the lake from the café, with a huge array of local produce to choose from and some lovely shiny toilets. I'm not embarrassed to say we bought our family souvenirs from here!!
Mel, 25 August 2009
This is a bench mark that all motorway services should aim for. I am actually looking forward to going back. Stunning location, fabulous facilities, clean toilets, can't praise this place enough.
Dawn Martin, 8 June 2009
Excellent services .. food choice was brilliant .. farm shop superb ...wish all services was as good as this :-)
Sue Thornes, 19 November 2008
Overall a good service area. However, having used this one for some years now, this year it was definitely showing its age and had an unkept feel about it. Its a shame, as it is one of the best on the motorway network.
More attention to detail required.
John, 28 October 2008
This Service station is fantastic, i have been several times and make it part of my trip from manchester to the north.
The farm shop is excellent selling good quality local produce at reasonable prices
The toilets are clean and well stocked and the food is fantastic, (in summer they have the out door BBQ's selling burgers,,,, fantastic)
So pleased that this station has been awarded the best award
Mitch, 16 October 2008
If only more motorway service areas were like Tebay. Nicely designed. Good food and ambience. Cheerful & friendly staff.
Managers from other service areas should be made to go to Tebay to see how it can and should be done.
Patrick Lyford, 15 October 2008
When you press the photos link, no photos come up. I would have liked to have seen a photo of the farm shops as mentioned on today's Farming Today on BBC R4. Also, I would be interested to know some history of the area which, according to the programme, was built by some farmers getting together (as far as I recall). At least, I would like to know how it became to be independent and who owns it.
Chris Brown , 10 October 2008
wish they were all like this on the motorways- shows what is possible. Southbound even better
Jo McGowran, 30 September 2008
This is my favourite services. Lovely peaceul location. Fiendly helpful staff. Farm shop. an Excellent services
Mrs Walker, 27 September 2008
Nice areas for dog walking, good food & friendly staff. I would definitely stop here again
Samantha Fivash, 20 September 2008
Now this is what M'way services should all be like, clean, modern, efficient.
The prices are high but not stupidly so.
The main gripe I keep hearing about is services staff in general and on the whole I agree. Ignorant, useless, and downright rude most of them. Maybe if the owners payed for better staff things should improve in this area. As the saying goes, "you pay peanuts you get monkeys!!"
This services should get an award for excellence!
R Taylor, 19 June 2008
Have been stopping here every year for the last 8-10 years en route to Perthshire. I always recommend this Services to everyone. Great Food, Reasonable Prices, Friendly Staff and Fantastic Views!
Justan Roberts, 2 June 2008
very disspaointed thsi place was a favourite its now gone all commercial and prices are sky high
bob star, 3 May 2008
i am a lorrydriver i allways stop on this service twice a week and spent £70 to £80 everytimes this is a nice and clean site good foods but the thing iwant to explain that is your staff lady whos is doing nightshift in the fuelarea she is middleage fat and wearigs glassis she is ruds badbehaviers and racis
mr.m.hussain, 20 March 2008
easily the best food, service and environment of any of these service areas--a rare gem!
Dr P. Lavigueur, 30 November 2007
I was very impressed at the high quality of service. Very clean. Easy access. Top shelf reading of a very high standard
Stuart Hart, 18 October 2007
Called around 9pm on Friday night, and quickly served a meal, but then had to queue to pay as only one person serving teas etc and doing the till. Result was a meal getting cold. What made it worse was a Supervisor more interested in chatting to work colleagues rather than stepping in to get rid of the queue.
David Stoakes, 7 October 2007
the only motorwayservices that i would make a point of going to; good food, nice shop and pleasant staff all make it feel more than just a functional stop
sarah , 14 September 2007
Stopped here a week ago for a break whilst driving overnight to Glasgow
I am more than happy to endorse this site, the gents loos were clean & smelt fresh
In the restaurant the food was super, freshly cooked and well presented
However, whilst I was impressed by the facilities and refreshment, the staff attitude impressed me most friendly and chatty and in particular informative.
The lady whom prepared my breakfast, after enquiring where I was heading advised me of 2 potential trouble spots where there were roadwoaks this information as it happens enable me to avoid a delay
Well done to all at Westmorland and the member of staff in question, I for one will recommend this site to anyone travelling north
Gary Farrimond, 9 September 2007
Regularly use these when travelling up north, totally agree with other comments about them probably being the best in the UK.
Food is typical services fare, but preparation is better, often freshly cooked in front of you and the staff seem to care.
Nice to also see community connections with foyer displays from various local organisations.
Jim Andrews, 3 August 2007
Absolutely excellent - it just shows what can be done when the multinationals are kept out and local people run the services.
Ian Soady, 30 July 2007
One of the best motorway services on the M6. Convinient for when I am traveling up to Edinburgh
anonymous, 16 April 2007
Best motorway services by far.. .food always good and reasonable, nice atmosphere and good staff.
Iain Lister, 9 March 2007
This is the best MSA in the UK and I say that as an employee of Roadchef. It has an individual style which is the key to its style, it has local produce in the shop and lacking the corporate uniformity of a nationwide brand is free to focus on a local taste. Plus the natural benefits of gorgeous views. Of course the legal obligations that afflict our whole industry drive up the prices to the usual extent (think of that next time you stop only to pee, everyone else is subsidisng your comfort break).
G E Cartwright, 17 January 2007
absolutley the best motorway services anywhere, stop here every year great food well priced and a great little dog walk to stretch their legs.
ian monteverde, 20 December 2006
Our first stop here going north, it certainly lived up to its reputation. The food and service was first class and the facilities were very clean. Definitely worth stopping at.
Angela and John, 18 September 2006
I always stop here on the way up to Scotland. Tasty food, great farm shop, nice decor, pond with ducks outside so there's something to interest kids.
Katie, 14 September 2006
Undoubtedly the best services in the UK.
Clean,tidy,excellent food, good service.
A little on the small side so often quite crowded
Ken Stothard, 14 August 2006
A very well run, friendly and clean MSA. My wife won't let me drive up the M6 without stopping there!
N J Lawley, 26 July 2006
Tebay is definitely the pick of the bunch as services go, the farm shop is very high in quality - their takeaway pies are excellent (try the Beef Growler or the duck). Restaurant is good, but can get very busy.
Euan Bayliss, 30 May 2006
By far the nicest MSA on the M6. Can get crowded at times, but the food is worth it.
Edward Walkington, 17 February 2006