The UK’s Best Motorway Service Stations

Written by on 21st March 2017
Category: Travel

Car journeys can be taxing and it’s good practice to pull over somewhere to stretch your legs and get a bite to eat every couple of hours. However, we all have different needs when it comes to where we stop off, so here’s our guide to the UK’s best motorway service stations.

For Motorists

When you’re on a long journey, it’s so important that you take care of yourself. This means taking regular and substantial breaks and making sure that you’re fed, hydrated, and rested; the AA has written a great post on why this is so important.

If you stop at any of these service stations, you’ll be sure to find everything you need.

1. Beaconsfield Services (M40)

Whatever you fancy having to eat, Beaconsfield will keep you satisfied as it has dining options ranging from Carvery Express to Domino’s Pizza.

At this service station, you’ll find a children’s play area, a picnic area, and a gaming centre, along with Marks & Spencer and W.H. Smith, so you won’t be short of choices for dining and entertainment.

Beaconsfield also provides a large television that shows sports and news, award winning toilet facilities and an on-site lake.

Where: HP9 2SE
Operator: Extra MSA

2. Stafford Services (M6)

Stafford Services gives you all the facilities you need to have a real break from the roads, with food options from W.H. Smith, Burger King, E.D.C., Costa, and Eat In, as well as an on-site lake makes the perfect setting for a picnic when the weather’s nice.

This service station also has both an indoor and outdoor children’s play area and an adult’s gambling area, so you and your passengers will have adequate entertainment during your break.

Where: ST15 0EU
Operator: Moto

3. Cobham Services (M25)

This relatively new service station is estimated to have cost £75m to build, so it comes as no surprise that it’s packed full of excellent amenities that will fit any motorist’s needs, including a stunning aesthetic that will be a welcome rest from staring at the motorway.

Cobham Services deviates away from the mundane, providing you with food from Papa John’s Pizza, Moodog, El Mexicana, and Dessert Station, amongst other big names. There are also two large screen televisions in the food court and a large children’s play area.

Where: KT11 3DB
Operator: Extra MSA

For Families

Travelling with a family can be difficult at best, but these service stations will provide you with all you’ll need to take the pressure off.

1. Tebay Services (M6)

With a microwave and kitchen area for baby food, children’s portions and lunchboxes, as well as child sized basins and toilet facilities, you’ll have everything you need to keep the whole family satiated at Tebay Services.

If your little ones need to blow off some steam, you can take a stroll down to the pond to see the ducks or have a picnic. Tebay Services prides itself on giving you access to locally sourced and organic food when you’re on the road, so you don’t have to worry about having to opt for unhealthy dining choices.

Where: CA10 3SB
Operator: Westmorland

2. Oxford Services (M40)

Oxford Services has an excellent children’s play area, so your kids won’t have any trouble with stretching their legs. Its selection of quick food options such as Starbucks, Harry Ramsden, Subway, Burger King, and KFC, make it the perfect station for a brief stop.

Oxford Services also has great family toilet facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a licensed bar, so there will be something for every member of the family to enjoy if you stop here.

Where: OX33 1JN
Operator: Welcome Break

3. Gloucester (M5)

Furry friends need breaks just as much as drivers do, as being in a moving vehicle for extended periods can be stressful for them.

Dogs are not allowed inside Gloucester Services itself (apart from assistance dogs, of course), but there are fantastic dog walking routes signposted around the site and free water is available for your pooch.

Where: GL4 0DN
Operator: Westmorland

For Caravans

Finding the right service station to match the needs of both you and your caravan or motorhome can be a struggle, especially when it comes to space, but these service stations are perfect for making a stop with your caravan in tow.

1. Taunton Deane (M5)

The spacious Taunton Deane service station allows you to park your caravan with ease for two hours without charge. After the two hours are up, you’ll have to pay the small fee of £22 for a stay of up to 24 hours.

There’s also on-site tourist guidance, so if you’re going on a caravan holiday you’ll find all the information you need.

Where: TA3 7PF
Operator: RoadChef

2. Sedgemoor Services (M5)

Fully equipped with Starbucks, Eat In, and Burger King, Sedgemoor service station is great for caravanners.

There’s a separate drive-on drive-off gravel area for caravans where it’s free to park up for two hours. When your two hours are up, you’ll have to pay £17.50 for up to 24 hours of parking, which includes a £7.00 meal voucher.

With an on-site gaming area, a picnic area, and free Wi-Fi, Sedgemoor is the perfect pit stop if you want to take a break from driving.

Where: BS24 0JL
Operator: Welcome Break

3. Michaelwood Services (M5)

Michaelwood services is ideal for drivers with large caravans. With a turfed caravan parking area with lots of space between the rows, you won’t have to worry about having to squeeze in between other vehicles.

You can park there without charge for two hours, but a longer stay will warrant a £18.50 charge, which includes a meal voucher.

Along with great parking facilities for caravans, Michaelwood also has a quaint picnic area, free Wi-Fi, and tourist information and highways traffic information services.

Where: GL11 6DD
Operator: Welcome Break