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Killington Lake services

Killington Lake
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsKillington Lake services
Road:M6 southbound between J36 and J37

Address:Road Chef Motorways Ltd
Telephone number:015396 20739
Signposted from the road?Yes
Grid reference:SD587911 (SABRE Maps)
Services type:Single site located between junctions on one side of the motorway.
Visit Killington Lake/Roadchef's official website
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Killington Lake takes its name from Killington Reservoir, and on the right day this offers a view which forgives any misgivings inside the services. Northbound traffic should use Moto's Burton-in-Kendal.


Catering: Costa, McDonald's, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Typhoo Shops: WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Jackpot £500, Meeting Room, Showers Motel: Days Innbook Forecourt: BP, BP Connect, Wild Bean Café, AdBlue Containers

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £22, or £24 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details or in the shop or restaurant. The location code is 5276.

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

Trivia and History

A McDonalds outlet opened here in March 2014 replacing the former The Burger Company and Restbite outlets, and seeing a reorganisation of the dining area.

The filling station is operated by BP Express.

Building and Site Design

Killington Lake view.
The view from the back of the services.

When the M6 was built through Cumbria, the Department for Transport were working on the principle that placing service stations in places with good views would get more people to stop. For this reason, services were proposed at Tebay northbound and Killington Lake southbound: two smaller services would have been more popular with the struggling operators than one large one.

Despite this, the initial tender process received no bids at all. As a trial the new tender only required one brand of fuel to be sold, and allowed the services to be developed in two stages. BP were the only firm to reply, and they won the contract. At the time BP had a joint marketing venture with Shell-Mex, who were sometimes credited as the operator. The two partnered with the brand-new Roadchef to provide the catering.

During planning, the services were only called 'Killington'. A separate plan to build a reservoir here looked set to block the services proposal, but eventually the two went alongside and Killington Lake gained its distinctive facility. The service area is separated from the motorway by a man-made cutting, the land for which presumably came from the reservoir.

To take advantage of the views the services offer, this became one of the first sites where the amenity building was built as far away from the motorway as possible - something that was later adopted as standard practice. The amenity building itself was originally built out of local stone, but it was far too small. It had large windows and had Alpine décor, with a café themed around a mountain hut. An open section of the restaurant was reserved for a future picnic area, which "took full advantage of the site".

The opening documents were signed on 30 March 1972. The plan was that a second phase would open in 1978. It was decided this would be built under a renegotiated tender, but plans for another southbound service area at Tebay caused the Killington expansion to be postponed. Eventually a new building opened in 1985, creating a design more in standard with Roadchef's design, but adapted to take account of the steep hill and the view to the back.

The tourist information centre was converted from a workshop in 1997.

Survey Results

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

In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 90% satisfaction score for the services.

In 2015, the services were rated 3 stars by VisitEngland. In May 2012, it had slipped down to 2 stars, but in August 2011 it again received 3 stars. VisitEngland were impressed by the landscaping.

In 2006, Holiday Which? gave the services a rating of 3/5.

In 1991, Which? included the services on their list of recommended sites.

In 1986, Which? magazine describe it as "the most attractive" service area, calling it "spotless" and "relaxing". The food was still criticised.

A 1978 government review described the services as "cheap, small and scruffy".

In 1977 Egon Ronay rated the services as "poor". He said it was pleasant to sit in, but "really very small", "painfully inadequate", "cramped", and its menu suffered from "such a lack of imagination".


Burton-in-Kendal (M6 northbound, 13 miles)
Carnforth truckstop (15 miles)
Lancaster (26 miles)
Services on the M6 Tebay (11 miles)
none nearby Roadchef services none nearby

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