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Happendon services

Cairn Lodge
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsHappendon services
Road:M74 at J11 and J12
(also accessible to traffic on the A70 and the B7078)

Address:Cairn Lodge
ML11 0RJ
Telephone number:01555 851880
Signposted from the road?Yes
Grid reference:NS852336
Services type:Single site located at a junction.
Visit Cairn Lodge/Westmorland's official website
Twitter: @cairn_lodge

Cairn Lodge is a small and very quiet service area in the middle of nowhere on the B7078, parallel to the M74 between J11 and J12. Its facilities are meant to reflect Scotland and the local area and Westmorland, who have recently acquired the service area, hope to keep these standards high.


Catering: Burger Van, Cafe, Restaurant Shops: Shop Main Amenities: Picnic Tables Motel: none Forecourt: Shell, Select, Deli2go, Costa Express

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles. Further information is not available, please update this if you know.

Trivia and History

Douglas Castle Happendon.
Douglas Castle within the services.

There is a small castle to the back of the services.

The services were one of only two in Scotland which were not marked as a recommended truckstop. However, there is an additional lorry park next to the main services.

The filling station is operated by Shell.

Building Design

Being independently owned, the services at Happendon stick out remarkably compared with the other facilities on the road. The main amenity building uses a series of buildings branching off a central area, much like other services being built at the time, but is clearly designed to handle large crowds. There are separate entries and exits for most units (toilets included) and a large restaurant.

At the centre of the restaurant, where the furnishing are loyal to its original design, is a large water feature. It also has a board telling the history of the site.

The quaint nature of the services perhaps makes it suited to the former A74, which is the road the services are actually built next to, although this doesn't carry a lot of traffic.


Happendon was the first service area on this section of the M74 when it opened in the early '90s. It was built by a couple who invested £500,000 into the site by selling their businesses and home and moving into a caravan on the site, even though they had to fight for another two years before they could get confirmation that the services would be signed.

It took another £5m to get the services up and running, under the brand name Cairn Lodge. They had looked at building other services in England, and said they ran Cairn Lodge more like a luxury hotel.

An official opening ceremony was held on 16 August 1994, opened by Ian Livingstone of the Lanarkshire Development Agency and Motherwell College.


In late November 2014, Westmorland acquired Cairn Lodge for an undisclosed sum, and plan to only make minor changes to the menu in the cafe and product range in the shop for the time being.

Happendon is now Westmorland's only service area in Scotland. They intend to push on the services's appeal using the Cairn Lodge name. Up until late 2017, the majority of the signage and branding hadn't been changed, with Westmorland continuing to use the independent branding. However, during early 2018, Westmorland stripped the amenity building and plan to open a farm shop and cafe/restaurant later in the year.

Survey Results

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

In 2009 Which? Motoring praised the services for being the cheapest, with five 'popular' snacks costing £7. Not quite a bargain, but not bad all the same.


Hamilton (M74 northbound, 13 miles)
Bothwell (M74 southbound, 14 miles)
Services on the M74 Abington (7 miles)

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