Tebay Services, J38 M6, Cumbria

Tebay Services is something of a cult service station and once again it’s topped a league of pit stops (the pic with this story seems quite unworthy of Don McPhee).

I made a point of stopping off there in October 2003 on the way back from Glasgow. Having heard much about the country’s only independent services, I’d been meaning to go for several years. And it’s a weird place. The décor is very 1970s, not the rich browns that are back in fashion, but the panelled walls. Much is made of the use of local produce, so there are photos on the walls from harvest time (sepia or black & white, I’m not sure) that look exactly like those on the walls on the local pub in the Wicker Man. Adjacent to all this is a farmers’ market. This is where the localism falls down as the produce comes from farms all over the UK, obviously by road. But I nitpick. It’s a little north of Cumbria and the Lake District’s most popular tourist destinations, but pay it a visit. It certainly makes a change from the usual.

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