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Southwaite services

Facilities | Rating | ReviewsSouthwaite services
Road:M6 between J41 and J42

Address:Moto Hospitality Ltd
Southwaite Motorway Services Area
Telephone number:016974 73476
Signposted from the road?Yes
Opened:1972 (northbound)
1977 (southbound)
Previous operators:Taverna, Granada
Grid reference:NY441451
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, connected by a pedestrian footbridge.
Visit Southwaite Northbound/Moto's official website
Visit Southwaite Southbound/Moto's official website

Lying close to the Scottish border, the southbound side is slightly larger and it has a motel.

Once dropped its fuel prices so that it was one of very few services which was competing with local garages.


Catering: Burger King, Costa, West Cornwall Pasty Co., Costa Express, Krispy Kreme
northbound only: Greggs
southbound only: Eat & Drink Co. (mornings only)
Shops: M&S Simply Food, WHSmith
southbound only: Top Gift
Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Lucky Coin, Picnic Tables, Showers Motel:
southbound only: Travelodgebook
Forecourt: BP, Shop, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue
northbound only: Greggs

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £20.50, or £22 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2461 (northbound) and 2462 (southbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

Trivia and History

The old tourist information centre.

Initially, no bids were received for Southwaite. When the services first opened the building was only on the northbound side, but southbound traffic could access it using the footbridge. The second building was added when Granada took it on. Granada also refurbished the northbound restaurant, so that both offered self-service catering only, which turned out to be a popular setup.

It has always been the most northern motorway service area on the M6 (but not in England, Washington takes that title). In 2008 the motorway was extended northwards and gained a new service area, Todhills, but that is only a rest area, meaning that technically Southwaite can still claim its title.

During early 2017, the northbound EDC restaurant was removed to make way for a M&S Simply Food store which opened on 23 March 2017 to join its southbound counterpart.

A West Cornwall Pasty Co take away opened on 17 March 2017 on the northbound side.

Former Plans

Granada wanted to build a caravan park here, with laundry facilities.

In 2008 there were plans to build a second motel here, on the northbound side, but it's not clear what brand it would have been as Moto had been looking at brands other than Travelodge.

Since 1976, the site was home to an English Tourist Board information centre, which held an large range of information for Scotland and England. This closed to make way for the Greggs outlet, directing visitors to M6 J45 instead.

Survey Results

Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.

In 2015, Visit England gave the northbound services 4 stars, and southbound 3.

In May 2012 and August 2011, Visit England rated the services as 3 stars.

In 2006, the services were rated at 4/5 by Holiday Which?

Also in 2006 the services won a four star loo award. In 2005 it was five stars.

In 1991, a Which? survey rated the services as "average".

In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "poor" Despite it being "well organised, clean and tidy", it was let down by a number of catering issues, such as selling doughnuts which are "like a cannon ball".


Tebay (37 miles)
Scotch Corner (A66, 61 miles)
Services on the M6 Todhills (13 miles)
Gretna Green (A74(M), 19 miles)
Burton-in-Kendal (M6 northbound, 48 miles)
Lancaster (64 miles)
Scotch Corner (A66, 61 miles)
Moto services Todhills (13 miles)

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