It’s easy to feel for those ‘forced’ to use motorway services when there are far superior facilities just a stone’s throw away from some junctions, and that is the case with the Junction 38 truckstop just off, not surprisingly, junction 38 of the M6 near Tebay in Cumbria.
J38 Services was created specifically for truckers and coach drivers travelling either on the M6 or to and from the North East on the A685. It has been built with long-distance professional drivers in mind but is equally welcoming of car drivers.
J38 was the first family-run motorway services on the UK roads and has no franchises or fast food on its forecourts. Instead, there is a farm shop selling locally-produced food, a butcher selling meat reared from its own farms and a kitchen serving homemade dishes produced daily using local ingredients.
The site promotes itself as selling “proper food with locality and a sense of belonging at the very heart of everything that we do and we believe proper food matters.”
The original Tebay Services opened in 1972 and four years later the Tebay Services Hotel opened. Over the next 10 years, a Caravan Park and Truckstop joined the fold, just down the road from Tebay Services. Today it’s a popular truckstop, and a visit show exactly why!
Breakfast and main meals
The kitchen is openMonday to Fridays from 0630-2230, Saturdays from 0630-1500 and on Sundays on 0630-1930 serving a wide range of good quality food.
Breakfasts are served from 0630 to 1500. They start with the light breakfast of six items for £5.70, the traditional breakfast with eight items for £6.70 and the Full English of ten items for £7.70. any additional item on top of this is £1.20.
Two slices of cheese on toast is £3.35 and two eggs on toast – scrambled, poached or fried – is priced at £3.30. Beans on toast is £3.15 while a breakfast roll – with any two items – costs £3.30.
There is a good range of main meals available to suit all appetites. For example, a rump steak will cost £8.55, a gammon is £7.20 and fish and chips is £6.70. The popular macaroni cheese is priced at £6.20, liver and onions is £6.25 while chili con carne will set you back £6.30.
Other main meals include pork chop in cider for £7.35, beef stew at £6.40, sausage casserole at £6.15 and lamb chops at £7.40. Savoury mince is £6.50, Cumberland sausage is £6.40, chicken curry is £6.85, pie of the day is £6.40 and a homemade beef burger is £6.20. All these come with a choice of veg and chips or potatoes, while the curry comes with rice.
There are a number of lighter meals also available such as a two-item omelette meal is £6.25 – which chips while it can be ordered as an omelette on its own for £4.40.
Chips with cheese and gravy is £3.10 and chips just with gravy is £2.30 and a chip butty will cost £2.90. If you want just a bowl of chips on their own, then be prepared to hand over £2.10.
A beef burger in a bun is £3.60 and a cheese burger is £3.80. Soup of the day, with a roll and butter, is £2.90 or for just a bowl of soup on its own, then it’s £2.35. Toasties are £3.95 and can be ordered as either cheese and ham, cheese and tomato or cheese and onion.
Deserts and drinks
Hot puddings are all priced at £2.15 and include sticky toffee and sticky ginger pudding and apple, summer fruits and rhubarb crumble. All are offered with a choice of custard or ice cream.
Take away hot drinks are available in medium or large and include tea at £2/£2.20, filter coffee £2.05/£2.25, latte £2.55/£2.90, cappuccino £2.55/£2.90 and hot chocolate at £2.55/£3.05.
For those wanting to drink on the premises, then there is tea at £2, filter coffee at £2.05, latte at £2.45 and cappuccino for £2.20 while an expresso is £1.90 for a single shot and £2.20 for a double shot.
There is a bar at the Junction 38 that serves Draught Stella, Kronenburg, Cumberland ale, Strongbow cider and Guinness as well as bottled beer/ciders – including Budweiser, Magners cider, Stella Artois, Stella Cidre, Newcastle Brown Ale and Guinness. There is also red and white wine by the glass and a range of spirits available.
The bar is open Monday to Friday 1000-2230, Saturdays: April 1-October 31 from 1000-1430 and from November 1 March 31 from 1000-1230 and on Sundays from 1200-1930
Facilities and parking
Junction 38 has a shop which is open fromMonday to Friday 0700-2230, on Saturdays from 0700-1700 and on Sundays from 0700-1930. There is also free wi-fi available at the site, a cashpoint and contactless payments,
The site includes fuel – which is open 24 hours. It accepts the following major fuel cards – Key Fuels, UK Fuels and Morgan’s Fuels cards. You can also buy LPG in the forecourt. The diesel bunkering is operated by M6 Diesel Group.
There is parking for up to 90 trucks and the parking area has security barriers, additional lighting and CCTV cameras. There is a dedicated refrigerated parking area and a dedicated changeover area, outside the main truck park.
There is an outside area of picnic tables for use in good weather or if you want to have a smoke.
Truck Drivers’ Club
Junction 38 has a free-to-join Truck Drivers’ Club which gives benefits such as a free hot drink with any breakfast order plus monthly special offers and regular text alerts to keep you up to date with special offers at J38 Services.
It also offers a free shower (normally £2.50) when you buy either 200 litres of fuel or an overnight parking ticket.
There is free parking for up to two hours, while overnight parking costs either £13 and includes a £2 food voucher and a free shower or £17 with a £6 food voucher and also a free shower.
You get a £1.50 food voucher or a free coffee or a free shower with 400 litres of fuel and a £1 food voucher or a free coffee or a free shower with 200 litres of fuel.
Overall this is a decent place to stop at if you are on the M6. It was clean and the food was good, with the staff helpful.
J38 services, Old Tebay, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 3SS
Tel: 01539 624505
Fax: 01539 624712