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Places to stop off for a break - Heading to Scotland

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We are travelling up to Scotland (Stranraer) from Coventry in September for our holidays, with our new and our very first caravan. We will be travelling later in the afternoon. So we would like your advice on where the recommended place would be to stop, just for a couple of hours or so. Just  to have a nap on the way.  As we are not sure on the Caravan can do's and cannot do's.

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Prepare to find the 'Caravan Parking' areas to be full of other vehicles. So much so that you may not be able to park and may have to drive on to the next services. 

Of course, you have to be lucky to even FIND the caravan areas first! 

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Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Posted (edited)

Google maps in satellite view help when planning motorway service area stops so you can see what the caravan area looks like. Signs to them are often rubbish making them hard to locate. When planning a route I note down the distance to each service area so I can stop at the most convenient when needed or know how far to the next. You will not want to arrive too late at the camp site since you will need to set up plus the site managers will not want to work late at night. At a rough guess you might take 6 hours to get there considering a car might average up to 70 mph but towing you might be 50 mph. Our stops on the way are usually limited to as little time as possible for sandwiches and the toilet. I am not sure of the free parking time allowed but a couple of hours could be the limit.

Edited by Paul1957

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That's a shame that Tebay is closing. :unsure:

 

We always stopped on the way up to Scotty land and enjoyed the stop. Marvelous views from there too. 

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Moffat CCC site is a popular stop for people heading north. 5 mins off the motorway. 

 

You couldn’t pay me to stop in a motorway service area. Noisy, expensive, and far too many truckers are dirty obnoxious gits . 

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Whenever I’m travelling I never stop at motorway services preferring to find a route just off the motorway and pull into a lay-by.

To the OP if you make it as far as Scotland there’s plenty of lay-by rest stops on the A75 after Dumfries.

Enjoy your stay, hopefully the spike in Covid cases in the Gretna area will be resolved by then but take care anyway.


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Stranraer is a very long way from the motorway, much longer than it looks and not helped by the lack of dual carriageways and the number of heavy goods vehicles using the roads, and often there's a speed trap on the first section just after the motorway to catch the unwary it's a 50 mph zone when towing so be careful!  Tebay isn't a bad services with good food available with a 3 hour free parking  or longer with a parking voucher from the shop, Penrith has a couple of good sites  as does Moffat if you want to overnight

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There are a lot of caravaners who prefer not to use motorway services, and at times the caravan parking areas are deplorable, but if you need a quick break or a toilet visit then they serve the purpose.  Some are good, others are amongst the lorries (and parking will test your reversing skills).

 

That said, if you are on the motorway and hoping to make progress to your destination, turning off to find a suitable parking areas can be a significant delay so I'd suggest swallowing any prejudices and visit the MSA.  

 

Finding somewhere to sleep for a couple of hours?  Is that really necessary on a journey from Coventry to Scotland?  Why not rest up before you go, complete the journey to your first nights stopping place and then rest with a glass of wine?

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If you are wanting a short break every couple of hours, then on the M1 there are new services at Leeds (Junction 39 M1) which have literally just opened and have easy access caravan bays and the next services are at Wetherby  (Junction 46 A1M) which again has easy access caravan bays, but being older is better known and they can be occupied by vans/lorries (to be fair, when it is busy, they do usually have someone patrolling to try to prevent this)


Trevor.

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But they are travelling from Coventry to Stranraer!  That's the M6 not the M1. 

Look at the first post. 


Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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If you leave in the afternoon, and stop off for a couple of hours, you're going to arrive in Stranraer very late on.  You would be far better to pull into a site for a decent sleep, and head on to Stranraer in the morning.

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If you're leaving late in the afternoon, remember that its dark by 8:30/9:00pm.  Service stations are every 30 miles +/- on motorways.  There's a caravan site at Gretna Green, just a short drive from the motorway.  If you've done your journey on Google Earth, remember to double the time it takes you to get to places when towing

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8 hours ago, WispMan said:

But they are travelling from Coventry to Stranraer!  That's the M6 not the M1. 

Look at the first post. 

The M1 /A66 route is almost the same distance, and it depends upon which side of Coventry you are starting from. Only about 10 mins timewise between the two so  my response is not quite as daft as you make out!


Trevor.

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I have towed over the A66 between the A1 and M6 and it has a lot of hills, can be slow and uses a lot more fuel compared to the M6. If it was my trip I would be using the M6.

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I would suggest that you climb less on the A66 stretch between the A1 and M6 (Scotch Corner to Penrith) than you would do on the climb on the M6 from Carnforth up into the Howgills and shortly after descending from that on the climb up from Tebay to the top of the Shap summit.  

The A1 - A66 route also does not appear to suffer the traffic queues that exist on some parts of the M6 but that is all a matter of time of the day of your travel and luck with accidents blocking lanes or road works.

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On 04/07/2020 at 06:09, mw3230 said:

There are a lot of caravaners who prefer not to use motorway services, and at times the caravan parking areas are deplorable, but if you need a quick break or a toilet visit then they serve the purpose.  Some are good, others are amongst the lorries (and parking will test your reversing skills).

 

That said, if you are on the motorway and hoping to make progress to your destination, turning off to find a suitable parking areas can be a significant delay so I'd suggest swallowing any prejudices and visit the MSA.  

 

Finding somewhere to sleep for a couple of hours?  Is that really necessary on a journey from Coventry to Scotland?  Why not rest up before you go, complete the journey to your first nights stopping place and then rest with a glass of wine?

We are travelling straight from work. So we need some sleep on the way.

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I would suggest finding a campsite between Lancaster and Carlisle not far off the M6 then stay the night and finish your journey the following morning. Woodland Farm CL is just off junction 41 M6 just north of Penrith which has good reviews on UK Campsite.


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Tebay northbound is still available for caravans in the main parking area.

There is no waste disposal or electrics but you can stay for up to 24 hours.

https://www.tebayservices.com/need-to-know/caravans

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Posted (edited)
On 05/07/2020 at 09:42, burstneraddict said:

I would suggest that you climb less on the A66 stretch between the A1 and M6 (Scotch Corner to Penrith) than you would do on the climb on the M6 from Carnforth up into the Howgills and shortly after descending from that on the climb up from Tebay to the top of the Shap summit.  

The A1 - A66 route also does not appear to suffer the traffic queues that exist on some parts of the M6 but that is all a matter of time of the day of your travel and luck with accidents blocking lanes or road works.

I have done both routes many times. We used to live in Warrington, now Lincoln and approx once a month for the last 9 years have been going to Keswick, mostly without towing. The A1 north up to the M62 has a lot of 2 lane sections so the wagons occupy both, then as far as the A66 it is a good run but can be queues where it joins the M1 and A64, The A66 still has a lot of single carriageways so stuck behind wagons and at the Penrith end the queues for the roundabouts can be a few miles long. The M6 from junction 21 north can be a bit slow in parts such as where the M61 joins but once passed the M55 (Blackpool turn off) is usually ok. When towing there is a lot more gear changing on the A66 than the M6 and being single lanes you are limited to 50 mph, if you are able to go that fast. The A66 often has speed camera vans and the high point is 400 feet higher than Shap.

Edited by Paul1957

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M6 J44 take the last exit from the roundabout toward Carlisle Airport and there is a nice big layby on the left about half a mile down the road with a half decent snack van. 

 

It's just about big enough to swing a van around on the exit and head back to the motorway but if you don't fancy it, or as the last time I was in there was a lorry parked right on the exit another half a mile down the road is the garden centre, or a mile further a roundabout if you don't fancy a tour of the car park to turn around. 

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Tebay northbound update.

Relative overnighted there on sunday 5th july.

Hot food till 8 pm but limited choice at 7.30 pm.

You can use the showers in the gents and ladies loos-you must leave your vehicle keys etc as a deposit for the shower cubicle key.

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Tebay South is a better bet for overnight as it has caravan stop over spots. You can drive on a back road from one to the other, it used to be signposted, but not sure if they are still there. use Google Earth though and you should be able to see it and get the directions. Not cheap for a bit of tarmac though and it is first come first served if you are going to be late. For a couple of hours though I would just use any services with the room, but assuming by the time you get set up and get ready to move you will be over the three hours free parking and none are cheap.

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