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Gretna services


A74(M) between J21 and J22

Signposted from the road.

Post Code:

DG16 5HQ

map and directions


Single site located between junctions with access to both sides.

Rating: See the reviews

Formerly and romantically known as Gretna Green, this is the first services you'll pass as you head in to Scotland on the A74(M).


Catering: Burger King, Harry Ramsden's, KFC, Starbucks, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea Shops: Canny Scot Shop, Waitrose, WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Showers, Tesla Supercharger, Welcome Break Gaming Motel: Days Innbook Forecourt: BP, Shop, Costa Express, Rollover, AdBlue Containers

Parking Prices[edit]

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 for a further 24 hours and HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £26 (or £28 to include a £10 meal voucher).

Prices can be paid in the shop, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.

Contact Details[edit]

Welcome Break
Gretna Service Area
Dumfries & Galloway
DG16 5HQ

  • Telephone number: 01461 337567
  • Grid reference: NY308686

Trivia and History[edit]

GretnaGreen Front.jpg
One of the two entrances, with blue doors, Starbucks on the left, and Burger King on the right.

Camera icon

Opened by Forte's Little Chef 1972
Re-built and re-branded as Welcome Break 1992
Renamed from Gretna Green 2010

The services have un-gated access to the B7076. This and the road layout in the area means that the services are often treated as an unofficial junction.

During April 2017, the filling station was sold by BP Express to MRH. It is now operated by MFG.

Pre-Motorway History[edit]

Originally Gretna was a pair of petrol stations staggered on the A74. There was a flyover between them, which provided access to each side of the road and the road to Springfield.

Forte built a large amenity building here on the northbound side, with a Little ChefHistory, The Granary restaurant, and the country's first Little Chef Lodge.

The hotel was rebuilt in 1985, and then became a Travelodge in 1989.

In 1992 this section of the A74 was replaced by a motorway. Strictly speaking only the southbound filling station was affected by this, and a new junction provided access to the old facilities. However, the old facilities were outdated, too small, and not in an ideal position.

As a result, Forte knocked down the old facilities and built a new forecourt, motel and amenity building on a larger section of land, roughly occupying the same area. New signs were erected pointing to the "Accom. and services", and others called it 'Gretna', even though publicity continued to call it by its full name for some time.


The main amenity building has units built in a courtyard around a Burger King (previously Julie's Pantry) in the centre, with two glass roofs following the main walking paths around the building. This creates a site much larger and more airy than nearby Abington.

At the time, Welcome Break wanted their services to each have a unique shop. At Gretna, this was the Canny Scot Shop, and it is the only one still to be open.

Some of the space now used by the Harry Ramsden's outlet had previously been used by an extended WHSmith store.

Although the front of the services has been refurbished many times, the interior doors are still in their original blue-and-yellow colour scheme.

The services have lengthy access roads, designed to provide relaxation by looking like an upper market property. The car park was equipped with mock-historic lamp posts, with a round bowl at the top of a short post, like you might find in a hotel or restaurant of the same era. Unusually, these extend all the way along the sliproad to the motorway. Posts like these normally light up a car park or pedestrian walkway, but at Gretna they're used to light a road with a 70mph speed limit.

The original facilities are roughly in the position of the car park at today's services.


Annandale Water (23 miles) Services on the A74(M) Todhills (M6, 6 miles)
Southwaite (M6, 21 miles)
Abington (49 miles) Welcome Break services none nearby

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