In 1969 the M6 was built through the Lune Gorge and over Shap summit, cutting across Orton Low Moor on John and Barbara Dunning’s farm
When they learnt that the Department of Transport wished to build a motorway service area on the moor, these young farmers, recently married, boldly put in a bid for the lease to build and run it.
Tebay Services opened in 1972 on the northbound carriageway. We were the UK’s first family-run motorway service area, a friendly refuge sheltered behind a plantation of Scots Pines from the sound and fury of the motorway. We cooked simple good food in a 40-seat restaurant and kept a small shop selling locally sourced crafts alongside drivers’ essentials.
Tebay Southbound opened in 1992.
Having extended Northbound three times and built our Hotel and Caravan Park beside it, we seized the opportunity to create a new building that reflected our values in its architecture. Built using limestone and reclaimed timber in a hollow that we carved out of the ground beside the motorway, Tebay Southbound immerses visitors in our upland landscape while making a minimal impact on the views from surrounding hills.
In 2003, we opened our Farmshop.
It was a time of burgeoning farm diversification and kitchen-table enterprise in the wake of the 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis. First at Northbound, then at Southbound, our Farmshop was a showcase for local makers of handmade authentic foods. Today we work with more than 70 producers within a 30-mile radius.
After building a cutting room at Tebay Southbound in 2004, we began to butcher and sell lamb and beef from our farm direct to customers.
The close relationship between our farm and our butchers ensures a year-round supply of 100 per cent traceable home-produced lamb, beef and Herdwick mutton to our Farmshop, Kitchen and Hotel.
Through our exceptional colleagues and network of food producers we are deeply rooted in our place. We are proud to celebrate and support local people through our supply chain and community activities. Since 2015 we have been recreating this unique model on other motorways in the UK.
In 2014 we opened Gloucester Services, an award-winning sustainable development on the M5
A partnership with the community development charity Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT), it invests in local and people and projects supports more than 130 producers from within a 30-mile radius in its Farmshop & Kitchen.
In 2019, we remodelled and relaunched the Cairn Lodge motorway service area on the A74(M) in South Lanarkshire.
A much-loved family business that had been put up for sale by the McInnes family due to retirement. Cairn Lodge Services, with its Farmshop & Kitchen full of local and Scottish produce, is now run by John’s daughter, Donna Hood. It has been an honour to welcome Donna, her colleagues, her suppliers and her customers into our dynamic and ever-growing business.
In 2021 we starred in A Lake District Farmshop, a four-part documentary series on Channel 4.
Filmed by Purple Productions and enjoyed by millions of primetime viewers, the series celebrates our colleagues, our Farmshop producers and our unique relationships with the people and places around us.
Breakfast is served from 7am until 11:30am