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Updated: 20 May 2022

Road trip? Here are the best service stations for each major motorway – and those to avoid

Plan your pit-stop at one of these top-rated service stations

If you’re driving somewhere this bank holiday, make your journey more enjoyable with our guide to the best service stations along some of the UK’s busiest motorways

It's a highly divisive topic with the possibility to make or break a road trip, so choosing a motorway service station for a longer drive can be a tricky task. Pick wisely and you’ll feel refreshed, satisfied and ready for the next leg of your trip. But if you don’t plan ahead, you’re at risk of rolling up somewhere with less-than-desirable facilities. 

To help you pick your pit-stop with peace of mind, we asked, 2,719 Which? Connect members about their experiences at more than 70 of the UK’s service stations. We heard about each station’s range and quality of food and shops, its cleanliness, plus its convenience and accessibility, among other factors.

Below we’ve outlined the highest-scoring service station for each major motorway and outlined what each one has to offer. All of the service stations were picked from the top half of our table, scoring at least 52%, to ensure your stop-off is a comfortable one.

And, if you’re keen to make sure you steer clear of disappointing service stations, make sure you check our round-up of the three worst service stations. Don’t worry – for each one we’ve suggested better nearby alternatives.


Looking for things to do this bank holiday? Use our guide to the UK’s best 50 attractions, as voted by Which? readers


Best motorway service station on the M6

Tebay Services 

Junction: 38-39

Brand: Westmorland

Overall score: 83%

Free parking? Yes, for three hours

Electric vehicle charging available? Yes

Tebay services on the M6 came in second place in our survey, scoring the full five stars for range and quality of food and shops, prices, and cleanliness. With a farm shop and butchers on site, Tebay Westmorland certainly raises the bar. In fact, one Which? reader told us it’s the best service station they have ever visited, and that they make a point of stopping there whenever they're passing on the M6. Another praised the fair pricing, its car park layout and helpful signage on food counters - and one person went so far as to call it a ‘quaint haven’.

Weary drivers can recharge in a peaceful spot overlooking the farm while tucking into a fresh pasty. Inside, there’s a canteen with homemade hot and cold meals, and children’s meals are £1 when ordered with an adult’s. There’s also picnic areas in case you packed your own lunch.

Other amenities include free wi-fi, free and accessible shower facilities and a kids’ soft-play area. Pets can enjoy some respite too, with secure walking routes around the station, and water bowls and poo bins provided.

Best motorway service station on the M5 

Gloucester Services

Junction: 11A-12

Brand: Westmorland

Customer score: 86%

Free parking? Yes, for three hours

Electric vehicle charging available? Yes

Westmorland’s attention to detail means its Gloucester services is also highly regarded by Which? readers. In fact, it was voted the best service station in the UK, gaining five stars for range and quality of food and shops, prices, cleanliness, and convenience and accessibility.

Similarly to Tebay Westmorland, the Gloucester outpost has its own farm shop and canteen serving homemade food on site, with plenty of green spaces, picnic benches, and even a pond with a water feature at the back where drivers can really switch off for a bit. Kids eat for £1 from the canteen when ordering with an adult meal. One Which? reader said, ‘Everything was calm with a beautiful landscaped environment, real food and local suppliers’, and another told us ‘Gloucester Services are just how motorway services should be.’

Again, there’s free wi-fi, free and accessible showers, indoor and outdoor play areas, and for dog owners, water bowls and poo bins are provided and there are walking trails around the service station. There’s also accommodation on site if you decide to stay overnight.

Best motorway service station on the M1

Donington Services

Junction: 23A-24

Brand: Moto

Customer score: 60%

Free parking? Yes, for two hours

Electric vehicle charging available? Yes

While Which? readers gave Moto Donington Services an average three stars for its prices, the service station scored four stars for its range and quality of shops and food, cleanliness and accessibility. 

‘It's one of the better services in that neck of the woods, generally clean and airy,’ said one Which? member. Respondents seemed to like its outdoor offerings best, praising its dog exercising facilities, plentiful outside seating and ‘lovely views and walks at the back’.

Donington services offers shower facilities, free wi-fi, changing facilities, accomodation and meeting rooms, and even washing machines. Choose from a range of well-known food brands including Burger King, M&S Food, Pret, Greggs, and a Costa Express inside W H Smith. 

Best motorway service station on the M4 

Leigh Delamere Services

Junction: 17-18

Brand: Moto

Customer score: 57%

Free parking? Yes, for two hours

Electric vehicle charging available? Yes

Moto Leigh Delamere Services was voted the best service station on the M4 by Which? readers, who commended it for its spacious car park, cleanliness and caravan access. And that’s reflected in its score of four stars for convenience and accessibility. However, if you want a wider choice of places to eat and shop, Leigh Delamere was only awarded two stars in this category. Moto’s Reading Service station at junction 11-12 performed slightly better when it comes to choice and range of shops and eateries, earning three stars for its food and drink selection.

Leigh Delamere’s choices include Burger King, M&S Food, Pret, Greggs, Costa Coffee and WH Smith. Other amenities include an indoor play area, free wi-fi, meeting pods, showers and accommodation if you decide to stop for the night. ‘We stop off here regularly and it's always a pleasant experience on all fronts,’ said one visitor. 


Find the UK’s best walks near you


Best motorway service station on the M40

Beaconsfield Services

Junction: 2

Brand: Extra

Customer score: 57%

Free parking? Yes, for three hours

Electric vehicle charging available? Yes

Beaconsfield Services takes the title of best motorway on the M40, according to Which? readers. Its range and quality of shops and food scored it four stars. It was also rated four stars for accessibility, and three stars for prices.

As well as the usual dining options including McDonald’s, KFC and Greggs, there’s also a JD Wetherspoon, Nando’s and a couple of 'street-food' franchises to choose from. And if it’s a quick stop, there’s also a drive-through Starbucks. 

Compliments for Beaconsfield Services included ‘convenient with a good range of food options,’ ‘plenty of space,’ and overall 'very clean’. One Which? reader even said it’s their favourite motorway service station.

Other amenities include meeting rooms, free wi-fi, a play area, secure walking trails, outdoor seating overlooking a lake, and a large TV showing sports inside. There’s also showers and an Ibis hotel attached to the service station if you decide to stay overnight. 

Best motorway service station on the M25 

Cobham Services

Junction: 9-10

Brand: Extra

Customer score: 52%

Free parking? Yes, for three hours

Electric vehicle charging available? Yes

Cobham Services has plenty to offer drivers seeking respite from the motorway, with its lakeside terrace and wide choice of places to refuel. It scored four stars from Which? readers for its range and quality of food and shops, and three stars for cleanliness, prices and accessibility. 

'You can keep just about everyone happy with the choice of food outlets’ said one Which? member, adding that it has a ‘better selection of public facilities than many’. Options for food and drink include McDonald’s, KFC, Greggs and Starbucks, as well as a Pizza Express, Nando’s and various 'street food' brands. There’s also wi-fi, shower facilities, washing machines and meeting rooms available. If you decide to stay overnight, the service station is attached to a Ramada hotel. 

The UK’s worst service stations

Bridgwater Services, M5

Junction: 24

Brand: Moto

Customer score: 32%

Scoring just one star across all categories, Moto Bridgwater Services is officially the UK’s worst service station, according to Which? readers. There's a limited choice of food outlets and, according to customer scores, poorly maintained toilet facilities.  ‘It is just not a place that I would choose to stop unless absolutely necessary,’ remarked one visitor. 

Instead go to…

The UK’s best service station is just over an hour’s drive north of Bridgwater, or if you’re not travelling that far, opt for Taunton Deane Services which is 20 minutes north of Bridgwater and offers ‘a range of outlets and easy parking’ according to one Which? reader. Taunton Deane scored 57% overall, with four stars for accessibility and three stars for food and shops, prices and cleanliness.

Gordano Services, M5

Junction: 19

Brand: Welcome Break

Customer score: 40%

With just two stars for food and drink, prices and cleanliness, Gordano Services will offer you an average pit-stop at best. Rated the second-worst service station in our survey, visitors said the toilets could have been cleaner and there wasn’t much choice for food and drink.

Instead go to…

Opt for Sedgemoor Services instead, which is 30 minutes south of Gordano and scored 52% overall, with three stars for food and shops, prices and cleanliness. Which? readers commended it for its spacious car park, clean toilets and good range of food 

Newport Pagnell Services, M1

Junction: 14-15

Brand: Welcome Break

Customer score: 41%

Scoring two stars for food and shops and cleanliness, one star for prices, and three stars for accessibility, Newport Pagnell was deemed a ‘typical soulless motorway service station’ by one Which? reader.

Instead go to…

If you can wait another 20 minutes, Northampton Services is 12 miles north and offers a more pleasant experience, according to Which? readers. Scoring 53% overall, with four stars for cleanliness and accessibility, and three stars for food and shops, visitors praised it for the wide range of shops and food outlets and clean toilet facilities. Another visitor was impressed by the easy caravan access and options for walking dogs on the site.