Our operations manager Donna Hood is the middle daughter of John and Aileen MacInnes, the founders of Cairn Lodge Services.

They sold everything they owned to build Scotland’s first independent motorway service area in the 1990s – including the family home.

Donna was living in a static caravan on the site with three generations of her family when the first foundations of Cairn Lodge Services were laid. As soon as she left school she started working in the new business.

When the MacInnes family decided that they wanted to sell the business, Donna was its managing director, having taken over from her father upon his retirement.

We are delighted that Donna continues to manage Cairn Lodge Services.

It is now part of The Westmorland Family, the family-owned group of motorway services businesses that also owns and operates Tebay Services in Cumbria and Gloucester Services on the M5.

Here she reflects on her family’s experience of passing Cairn Lodge Services onto a new family business.

“My father has always been very entrepreneurial. He started his first business at 16 years old, diversifying from a salvage yard to fuel-bunkering businesses over the years.

When the land next to Cairn Lodge became available, my parents saw the opportunity to fill a gap in the motorway services network. They started on a three-year journey of development, design and planning. It was quite a battle.

They had no experience of running a motorway service station but they had passion and a lot of hard-won knowledge.

Dad sat on the Independent Motorway Operators Committee with John Dunning [the founder of Tebay Services and the Westmorland Family]. Tebay Services was at that time the only independent motorway service area in the UK and it was the exemplar of what my parents were trying to achieve. My dad sought a lot of advice from John. It was lovely when things came full circle and Cairn Lodge Services went back to the family that had offered so many words of wisdom at the beginning.

When we sold the business, we all felt really lucky that the Westmorland Family took it over. We knew that not only would they respect the business, but they would be able to develop it and give it the investment that we hadn’t been able to give it for so many years.

The Westmorland Family brought Cairn Lodge Services back to life.  They made it beautiful. I feel as proud of Cairn Lodge Services now as I did when I was 18 and my parents opened its doors for the first time.”

EXPLORE CAIRN LODGE

EXPLORE CAIRN LODGE

Opening Hours
Main Building
Farmshop
Kitchen
Filling Station
Christmas Opening Times