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Bothwell services


M74 southbound between J4 and J5

Signposted from the road.

Post Code:

G71 8BG

map and directions


Single site located between junctions on one side of the motorway.

Rating: See the reviews

A small service area with no hotel on the southbound M74 out of Glasgow. Roadchef have an alternative for northbound traffic, Hamilton.


Catering: Costa, Restbite, Costa Express Shops: WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Free Cash Machine, Jackpot £500, Showers Motel: none Forecourt: Shell, Spar, Starbucks on the Go, AdBlue4You

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £25, or £27 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details, in the shop or restaurant. The location code is 5273.

The fees are strictly enforced by GroupNexus.

Contact Details

Galley Road Chef
South Bound Motorway Fallside Road
G71 8BG

Operators (Official Websites):

Trivia and History

Bothwell totem pole.jpg
The sign in a state of poor repair.

Camera icon

Services opened 1975
Building re-built 1986?

When they opened, Bothwell and Hamilton were treated administratively as if they were one service area. On this site their two names mean they are each counted individually.

When the M74 was widened in 2017, to save space Bothwell became the site of the UK's only lane drop leading into a service station - despite its low use.

The filling station here was sold to EG Group by Roadchef in early 2017 as part of Roadchef's growing focus on retail. Given that Roadchef's facilities close overnight, this makes it one of few services where the main operator is only involved on a part-time basis.


In 1967 Highway Restaurants Ltd (consisting of Blue Star and Trust Houses) bid to run the pair of services together. The Department for Transport laid the roads out, but Trust Houses pulled out their support leaving Blue Star to run it on their own. In 1969, following changes to their own financial position, Blue Star pulled out as well.

After no operator could be found to take on the services, Roadchef were invited to design their own service station here, which they made as cheap and easy to build as possible. It had a largely glass self-service restaurant, and opened on 27 June 1975 with an orange and cream colour scheme.

When opened fuel was provided by Texaco, later BP and then Shell.

In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "appalling", calling its operation "very casual". It had "a dirty stained carpet and smoke-stained ceiling", "rude staff" and poor food. By 1978, Bothwell had been described as "the worst in Britain" for its poor design and heavy vandalism, and was soon replaced by a less flimsy-looking structure in a new position.

Around this time, Roadchef built a number of services which later closed. Bothwell gives us an insight in to how those would have looked.


The combination of it being not far from Glasgow and on a road used mainly by commuters has caused Bothwell to miss out on a lot of investment that other services have received. It is possibly the UK's most forgotten service area.

Inside it is very quiet. In 2006, Holiday Which? gave the services a 1/5. They described it as "dreary and cluttered", and its toilets received no marks at all. Roadchef responded to the review by saying that "it isn't the most damning of criticisms".

Besides the troubled history set out above, in 2009 Roadchef considered selling the services to address their financial concerns.

Bothwell was supposed to undergo a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2014, however, as of 2017 it hadn't happened yet. As a result Bothwell is still the only Roadchef service station without a McDonald's.

Planning permission for a Costa Drive Thru here was granted in 2017 however as of September 2019 it has not yet been built.


none on M74
Old Inns (M80, 14 miles)
Heart of Scotland (M8 east, 17 miles)
Services on the M74 Hamilton (M74 northbound, 5 miles)
Cairn Lodge (17 miles)
none Roadchef services Annandale Water (50 miles)

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