At some point in time, we will all need to head out on the UK’s motorways. Whether for business, pleasure, or wanting to test our your recently picked up used Ford car, road trips near and far will become a necessity. There are many things one can do to make such excursions more enjoyable but a factor that is a little out of your control are the country’s many roadside service stations. Some are indeed better than others so we wanted to highlight the very best, celebrating those that do it right, and letting you know which stops will provide top-notch service and amenities during your next motorway adventure. So, without further ado, here are the five best UK service stations.
Cornwall Services – A30
If you’re planning a family trip to Cornwall in the near future, Cornwall Services on the A30 is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs. This isn’t just a place to refill the tank and grab a sandwich, Cornwall Services has a true plethora of facilities and indoor activities to explore. Kids will be able to enjoy an indoor soft play area, and even a climbing wall – perfect for blowing off that pent up energy accrued throughout the journey. Cornwall Services is also home to great spots to grab a nice meal or delicious snack, including all the usual suspects such as Subway, McDonald’s, and Costa. And for those that fancy a little shopping, there is even a Saltrock outlet on the scene – perfect for picking up some last minute surfing accessories.
Cornwall Services is open seven days a week between 6am and 11pm.
Corley Services – M6
Corley Services on the M6 (from Welcome Break) will prove to be an ideal resting spot during your journey through Warwickshire. Those wanting to break up their journey a little will be able to enjoy free parking for up to two hours, free shower facilities, cash machines, a forecourt, and a host of other services that will come in handy during your road trip. 11 miles from Birmingham International Airport, Corley Services is able to offer travellers top brands such as Burger King, KFC, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks (always a help during those long drives), and even a Waitrose if you need to pick up a little shopping before arriving at your destination. And for adults that have a little time to kill, Corley Services is also home to Welcome Break Gaming – the best adult gaming machines anywhere on UK motorways.
Corley Services is open 24hrs a day.
Gloucester Services – M5
Hailed constantly across the land as a true pinnacle of the service station scene, Gloucester Services on the M5 is known for being a truly pleasurable stop to find yourself at during your travels. Boasting food of such quality that you wouldn’t expect to find anywhere near a motorway, Gloucester Services welcomes drivers to spacious restaurants where you can relax in comfort, as well as offering top-notch on-the-go options. There are also their farm shops, where visitors can pick up an attractive selection of meats, fruit juice, ciders, and artisan bread. There are no franchises to be found here, the food on hand comes purely from their own cafes and farm shops, showcasing producers from across the county. Families will also be happy to know that the services offer organic baby food, children’s portions, as well as dedicated changing areas, and even a duck pond!
Gloucester Services is open from 6am – 10pm, with the filling station and deli open 24hrs a day.
Rivington Services - M61
Rivington Services on the M61 is operated by Euro Garages between junctions 6-7 in Lancashire. Following a multi-million pound investment programme, Rivington Services has been re-launched and is now known as one of the motorways’ finest pit stops. With wonderful forecourts and great amenities/facilities such as Starbucks, Subway, and Burger King, Rivington Services has all one could need during a motorway break. When the weather is nice, the landscaped grounds provide a relaxing setting to enjoy top food and fresh air before heading back on the road – an absolute must during those long journeys – and the on-site Spar shop is ideal for picking up convenient general items and tasty takeaway food. There are also separate facilities for each carriageway, with the two linked by a pedestrian footbridge.
More information can be found at Motorway Services, who review all UK service areas.
Reading Services – M4
The last entry on our list, but by no means least, is the Reading Services on the M4. A service station by Moto, both eastbound and westbound between junctions 11 and 12, this fantastic roadside stop has all the facilities one would desire. With Wi-Fi, showers, accommodation at Travelodge, and even an outdoor play area for kids – perfect for parents who would like a little downtime after hours on the road – Reading Services is one of the country’s very best. Parking is free for up to two hours, and the station also boasts top brands in their forecourt such as M&S, Arlo’s pantry & kitchen (serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner), Burger King, Greggs, El Mexicana, and more. And for those that simply want to grab a coffee and a newspaper before getting back on the road, the handily located WHSmith and Costa Express will be much appreciated.
Reading Services is open from 6am – 10pm.