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Where are the best motorway services in the UK?

If you're planning a long journey for a trip away and travelling by car, it's crucial to know which motorway service stations you can rely on. Even though no one visits motorway service stations for fun, it is well worth planning your next pit stop, even if you are only there to use the toilets before grabbing a snack on the way out.

uk motorway at dusk

In this guide, car leasing specialists, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts list 10 of the best motorway service stations in the UK. 

Each service station is given a customer score based on data provided by Which? which considers a range of categories, including:

  • Range and quality of shops and food outlets
  • EV charging
  • Prices
  • Convenience
  • Cleanliness 
  • Overall satisfaction

“Service stations are important for providing drivers with the opportunity to take a break. The best facilities offer food, drink, and places to use the bathroom, as well as fuel stations and EV charging.”

Mark Smith - Director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts

Whether you're a trucker, a family holidaying to the coast or a business driver commuting for work around the country, here are ten reliable service stations worthy of a stop-off or maybe even a potential detour:

    1. Gloucester Services

    Gloucester Services in Gloucester. Photo Credit: Gloucester Services / Westmorland

    Location: M5, between junctions 11A-12 

    Brand: Westmorland 

    Customer score: 86%

    Located on the outskirts of Gloucester between junctions 11a and 12 of the M5, Gloucester Services is one of the newest additions to the Westmorland family services.

    Gloucester Services looks beautiful and blends in perfectly with the rolling hills of its Gloucestershire habitat, thanks to its award-winning architectural design. The service station has a grass carpeted roof and a pond out the front with floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the view.

    Along with the outstanding views, you will undoubtedly be impressed by the food. The Kitchen offers homecooked meals such as soups, hot meals, a healthy deli counter and salad bar, freshly-baked cakes, fair trade tea and coffee. You can also buy local produce from the fabulous farm shop, which includes regional products like Hereford Hop cheese and bread that would rival any baker's bread.

    Gloucester Services is the perfect pit stop for families on the go, providing dedicated family facilities with an indoor play area. Plus, while the family enjoy the facilities, there is also great electric vehicle charging stations with two devices and five connectors available at this charging location, according to Zap-Map.

    2. Tebay Services

    Tebay Services in Cumbria. Photo Credit: Tebay Services / Westmorland

    Location: M6, between junctions 38-39 

    Brand: Westmorland 

    Customer score: 83%

    Tebay Services is also part of the Westmorland family services and is located on the M6 in the Eden district of Cumbria.

    If you're heading to the Lake District, this stunning service station is worth your time for a break. Tebay Services has established a strong reputation for excellent homemade food, friendly staff, and award-winning farm shops. Its nestled on a working farm in the Cumbrian hills and is the only service station in England to be built and operated by local people.

    Parking's easy at Tebay Services with plenty of room to manoeuvre, and inside, it's impeccably clean and spacious to explore.

    According to Zap-Map, eight devices and 16 connectors are available for electric car drivers, which are operated under the Tesla-only Supercharger network.

    3. Cairn Lodge Services

    Cairn Lodge Services in Lanarkshire. Photo Credit: Cairn Lodge Services / Westmorland

    Location: B7078, between J11-J12

    Brand: Westmorland 

    Customer score: 69%

    Cairn Lodge Services is positioned on the B7078, parallel to the M74 and is also part of the Westmorland Family, the family-owned group of motorway services businesses and is responsible for the three best service stations in the UK.

    Cairn Lodge Services is surrounded by beautiful landscape and the eighteenth-century gatehouse of the now-derelict Douglas Castle. These services celebrate exceptional produce and champion Scottish craftsmanship. They work with more than 90 producers from our local area and across Scotland.

    The facilities are excellent at Cairn Lodge, with accessibility for everyone. There's even an indoor play and activity area for children and a family station for handwashing, bottle warming and microwaving.

    Unfortunately, you can't charge your electric vehicle at Cairn Lodge Services as they don't currently have any electric charging facilities on site.

    4. Norton Canes Services

    Norton Canes Services in Staffordshire. Photo Credit: Roadchef

    Location: M6 Toll, between junctions T6-T7

    Brand: Roadchef

    Customer score: 65%

    Norton Canes Services is located on the M6 Toll, England's only tolled motorway, in the village of Norton Canes, in Staffordshire. It is positioned so the services can be accessed before reaching the main toll plaza in either direction.

    Norton Canes Services has a great picnic area and a range of brands to enjoy, such as McDonald's, Fresh Food Cafe, Costa, SPAR and BP for refuelling. Plus plenty of facilities such as open 24 hours, hotel, cash machines, showers, baby changing and meeting rooms. There's even a large outdoor recreation space perfect for stretching your legs (or the dog's) during a long journey.

    As for electric car charging, according to Zap-Map, four devices and six connectors are available at Norton Canes Services M6 Toll operated under the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway network.

    5. Wetherby Services

    Wetherby Services in North Yorkshire. Photo Credit: Richard Poynder

    Location: A1, junction 46

    Brand: Moto

    Customer score: 61%

    Wetherby Services is located on the A1 motorway in northern England, at junction 46. Wetherby Services is owned by Moto Hospitality and is the UK's first carbon-neutral service station as they use the latest green technologies in its construction and running.

    Wetherby Services has a range of brands to enjoy, such as Burger King, M&S, KFC, Greggs and WH Smiths. Plenty of facilities are open 24 hours, including a hotel, washing machines, showers, baby changing and meeting rooms. Outside, there's also a designated dog walking area to let your dog release some energy before returning to the road. 

    As for electric car charging, according to Zap-Map, 17 devices and 26 connectors are available at Wetherby Services and operated under the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway network.

    6. Annandale Water Services

    Annandale Water Services in Dumfriesshire. Photo Credit: Roadchef

    Location: A74, junction 16

    Brand: Roadchef

    Customer score: 60%

    Annandale Water service station is located in the village of Johnstonebridge, Scotland, situated off junction 16 in both the northbound and southbound directions on the A74.

    Annandale Water Services is also a great stop-off if you want to go for a walk with your dog or to stretch your legs, as there is a beautiful lake with loads of ducks and wildlife to observe.

    Owned by Roadchef, Annandale Water Services, despite its rustic appearance, offers the usual franchises such as McDonald's, WHSmith, Krispy Kreme and The Cornish Bakery. There are plenty of 24-hour facilities for everyone, including baby changing rooms, cash machines, showers and a hotel.

    According to Zap-Map, one device and three connectors are available at Roadchef Annandale Water for electric vehicles operated under the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway network.

    7. Donington Park Services

    Donington Park Services in East Midlands. Photo Credit: Jonathan Malory

    Location: M1 Junction 23A

    Brand: Moto

    Customer score: 60%

    Donington Park Services is located in Kegworth village in the English East Midlands on the M1 motorway between junctions 23a-24 and is owned by Moto Hospitality.

    It's one of the only service stations where a hotel is built-in into the main building rather than having a hotel built off the main building. As a result, a hotel is one of the many facilities at Donington Park services, including its large dog walking area and internal kids play area, which is ideal for the kids to let off some energy.

    You can also pick up snacks from brands like Burger King, Costa, M&S, KFC, Greggs and WH Smiths, which you can enjoy on one of the many picnic benches or take away with you on the rest of your journey.

    According to Zap-Map, four devices and six connectors are available at Donington Park Services for electric vehicle charging, all operated under the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway network.

    8. Stafford North Services

    Stafford North Services in Staffordshire. Photo Credit: Mike 45B

    Location: M6 between Junction 14-15

    Brand: Moto

    Customer score: 60%

    Stafford North Services is owned by Moto Hospitality, located on the M6 northbound between Junction 14-15 and is accessed directly from the motorway.

    In the food court area, you'll find premium brands such as Burger King, Costa, M&S, Pret, Greggs and WHSmiths. There's a wide range of quality facilities and carefully landscaped grounds such as baby changing rooms, showers, internal kids play area, and external kids play area ideal for the family journeys. Plus should you need to stay overnight, there is also accommodation available.

    Zap-Map always shows Stafford North Services have four devices and six connectors available to charge your electric vehicle. These charge points are operated under the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway network.

    9. Beaconsfield Services

    Beaconsfield Services in Buckinghamshire. Photo Credit: Extra MSA Group

    Location: M40, Junction 2

    Brand: Extra

    Customer score: 57%

    Beaconsfield Services station is located on the M40 motorway Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, England, off junction two and is operated by Extra.

    It's beautifully located with a lakeside terrace, and you can take a stroll through its landscaped grounds, preserved woodlands and excellent play area for children. There are meeting rooms, workstations and a comfortable Business Lounge to get your work done on the go.

    There's a comfortable Food Court with giant screen TVs to help you relax. You can choose from a wide range of brands as well, including McDonald's, Starbucks, JD Wetherspoon, KFC, Greggs and Nando's.

    There's also plenty of parking for cars, trucks, caravans and coaches, as well as Superfast Ionity network Electric Vehicle Charging Points and Gridserve Electric Highway. According to Zap-Map, four devices and four connectors are available at Beaconsfield Services for electric vehicles to charge.

    10. Leigh Delamere Services

    Leigh Delamere Services in Wiltshire. Photo Credit: Ian Aberdeen

    Location: M4, Junction 17

    Brand: Moto

    Customer score: 57%

    Located between Bristol and Swindon on the M4, Junction 17 Leigh Delamere Services is another great service station to take a pitstop.

    It offers an excellent range of facilities for you to recharge, such as accommodation, changing rooms, internal kids play area and a dog walking area to let your four-legged friends stretch their legs.

    Plus, it boasts a range of food facilities, including Burger King, Costa, M&S, KFC, Greggs and WH Smiths. You can enjoy everything on a picnic bench and enjoy the views before returning to the road.

    For electric vehicle drivers, you can recharge from one of three devices and four connectors available at Leigh Delamere Services, according to Zap-Map. These stations are operated under the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway network.

    To find out more, check out our guide to Driving on the Motorway and Smart Motorways, or read our the UK's best and worst drive-thrus guide.

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