Driving can be an immensely enjoyable activity and it can be even better when you have an exciting destination in mind. Unfortunately, there are parts of the process, like pulling over for a break at a service station, which can sometimes be rather dull. Sadly, not all services are as appealing as others but some in fact are actually rather tantalising and have really set themselves apart from the rest. With this in mind, we wanted to highlight these stars of the industry, letting you know which stops provide the very best services and amenities, and which are actually enjoyable to visit. So, without any further delay, here’s our guide to the UK’s best service stations for an enjoyable pit stop.
Cornwall Services – A30
Image credit: Cornwall Services
If you’re going to be driving through the beautiful South West county of Cornwall, you’ll likely be hoping there’s a decent service station to stop at along the way. Well, you’re in luck! Cornwall Services is one of the very best in the country. Located on the A30 near Bodmin, Cornwall Services is able to offer far more than a full tank of fuel and a forgettable sandwich. Families will certainly be pleased to hear about the indoor soft play area and climbing wall – perfect for allowing the kids to blow off some steam before resuming your journey. Cornwall Services can also offer some fantastic spots to grab a delicious bite to eat such as Cornish Kitchen, Subway, McDonalds, Costa, and more. You can even engage in a little shopping if you’re so inclined, with a Saltrock outlet store on hand for the very best surfing apparel. And for those that require them, there’s an electric car charging point on site for your convenience.
Gloucester Services – M5
Gloucester Services isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill service station. Situated on the M5, Gloucester Services is praised far and wide as one of the country’s best, often applauded for bringing a different vibe to the world of motorway pit stops. With its spacious restaurants where you can relax in comfort and fantastic on-the-go options, you’ll be blown away by the quality of food available. Gloucester Services doesn’t deal in franchises, instead deciding to present local producers, with the food available coming from the service’s own cafes and farm shops that sell an appetising selection of meats, ciders, fruit juice, and artisan bread. Boasting a butchers, deli, patisserie, and fishmonger, it’s also the perfect place to grab some dinner ingredients on the way home. With children’s portions, organic baby food, and even a duck pond to enjoy, this family-run services well and truly sets itself apart.
Tebay Services – M6
Image credit: Tebay Services
Tebay Services on the M6 was opened by the very same family behind the aforementioned Gloucester Services and luckily, they’ve struck gold yet again and created a truly inviting service station that is a delight to visit. Often scoring at the top of customer satisfaction surveys, this picturesque services in the heart of the Lake District might have the best views of any such location in the country. Boasting open log fires, real ale, and sublime home-cooked food, stopping off at Tebay Services is actually something to look forward to rather than a chore. Visitors can also look forward to a farmers’ shop and kitchen selling pies, stews, soup, salads, and home-baked cakes, all of which are available to take away. There are full and light breakfast options, a deli, and even an outside kitchen operating when the weather is good, serving up BBQ goodness to go along with the views.
Extra’s Cullompton Service Area – M5
Located adjacent to the M5’s northbound carriageway, and also easily accessible to southbound traffic, Devon’s Cullompton Service Area, 13 miles north-east of Exeter, is a bountiful pit stop destination for drivers, able to offer everything a traveller needs. Their extensive Amenity Building is replete with popular brands, with first-rate dining options like Warrens Bakery, Costa, and McDonald’s, as well as excellent retail outlets like Top Gift, Quicksilver, and WHSmith, allowing you to grab those essential items, gifts, or further refreshments for the journey ahead. An increasingly important feature for drivers up and down the country is the ability to charge up their electric vehicle. Luckily, Cullompton Service Area also excels in this regard, able to offer multiple charging points from Ecotricity. Extra-run service stations are always renowned for their quality and their Cullompton location is certainly no different.
Reading Services – M4
Image credit: Moto
Reading Services on the M4 is widely considered to be one of the best service stations in the country, and if you’ve done your fair share of motorway driving, you’ll likely have noticed its excellence yourself. This service station by Moto contains all the facilities one could desire, offering drivers and their passengers free Wi-Fi, showers and Travelodge accommodation, as well as an outdoor play area for kids (an addition that will be a delight to parents looking for a little respite after hours on the road). Reading Services is also replete with top brands in their excellent forecourt such as Arlo’s Pantry & Kitchen, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and El Mexicana, to name just a few. It doesn’t stop there, however, as for those who are just looking to grab a quick something before jumping back on the road, the conveniently located WHSmith, M&S Food, and Costa Drive-Thru will go down a treat.
Roadchef Taunton Deane Services – M5
Our last selection is another fantastic offering from the South West of England. Roadchef’s Taunton Deane Services on the M5, between Junctions 25 and 26, is a superbly laid out services, designed with precision to accommodate its often heavy footfall. With friendly staff on hand to complement the excellent brands and amenities available to drivers, stopping off here during your next South West road trip is sure to be a pleasant experience. Often remarked on as being a pleasant location for a rest and refill before continuing a long journey, Taunton Deane Services is able to present outlets and food options such as Chozen Noodle, Fresh Food Café, The Cornish Bakery, McDonalds, and Ecotricity. With staff working overtime to make sure their service station looks its best, you can relax in the knowledge that an enjoyable and calming stop is waiting for you in the Taunton area.
The UK’s best service stations
There you have it, this was our round-up of the UK’s best service stations for an enjoyable rest, hopefully giving you a little insight into the pit stops you can look forward to visiting during your upcoming journey. Long road trips are always an adventure but no matter if you are driving to our dealerships in Exeter, Plymouth, Taunton, or our Mercedes Benz showroom in Truro, you’ll find fantastic services available not just in the South West region but indeed across the entire country.