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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
(rebuilt 1985)
Previous operators:BP
Grid reference:SD587911
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, Picnic Area, 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 £19, or £21 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices can be paid using the pay and display machines in each parking area 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.

Killington is Roadchef's oldest site, having opened in 1972, not long after this bit of the M6 itself opened. The initial tender process received no bids at all, making it one of the first signs of weakening interest in the motorway industry.

As a trial the new tender only required one brand of fuel to be sold, and received one reply from BP, who leased it out to the new Roadchef. The services were designed to open in two phases, the second scheduled for 1978, under a renegotiated tender which was not open to new bids. An open section of the restaurant was reserved for a future picnic area, which "took full advantage of the site".

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 services are 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 theory behind its location is that by placing it somewhere with a good view, more people would be persuaded to take a break. For this reason its northbound sister site was originally not Burton-in-Kendal, but Tebay.

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.

In 1985 the building was rebuilt, 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. There was a considerable delay before building it as Roadchef wanted to know whether Tebay southbound was going to be built any time soon, as if it was they wouldn't have invested in Killington. The car park appears to have been extended too.

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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