The Top Motorway Services in the UK

Research from Transport Focus suggests that just under 1 in 2 of us will plan our service station stops before a journey, and that factors like the choice of places to eat, parking spaces and quality of amenities are all key to our decision. To put an end to service station despair, we’ve analysed the facilities of 112 locations across the UK, taking the above factors into account for a definitive ranking.

The Safe Havens

Extra’s Cobham services on the M25 are the clear winner on our list, and if you’re travelling in this part of the country, you might well need the rest. According to a survey, the M25 is considered to be the UK's least favourite motorway, largely because of excessive congestion. Additionally, other research suggests that drivers in London are spending 73 hours a year in traffic – so they’d be forgiven for needing a quick break!

Cobham, at junction 9/10, tops our list by a solid 3 points. It boasts the most food outlets of any service station, with 13 unique offerings including; KFC, McDonalds and even Nando’s. The station also includes a whopping 4620 parking spaces available to its customers – meaning you’ll never be short of a space or an opportunity to stretch your legs.

Controversially, the UK’s most dangerous motorway – the M6 – also had a number of excellent service stations, suggesting a lack of places to take a break isn’t the main reason for the road’s 7,000 reported accidents over the last ten years. Junction 3’s Corley services is right in the middle of the country and hit 5th place in our list with a rating of 88.53. Meanwhile Norton Canes (on the toll road) also scored highly, with an overall rating of 87.30.

Heading further north, your best place to rest if you’re heading towards Tyneside or the Scottish border is Moto’s Weatherby services. This stop of includes 8 food outlets and has the best hotel rating on our entire list, claiming a score of 87.38 - the highest anywhere on the M1 or A1(M).

Which Motorways have it Best?

If you’re travelling on the M11 today then you’re in luck – with an average score of 85 points, this motorway ranked the best for available service stations. This was thanks to a solid score from Birchanger Green services, which boasts 8 different food outlets. London’s M25 placed eleventh on the list, and the M1 came in ninth. Motorists hitting the M23 in Surrey, however, aren’t in for a good stop, with an average score of 63.

Battle of the Brands

The average rank of all service stations was a steady 78.10, yet Welcome Break comes out on top as the most consistently high service station provider with an average rank of 82.35 across all of its sites.

UK Service Stations Index

#Station NameOverall
Score
MSO RatingMotorwayFood
Outlets
Available FacilitiesHotel
Rating
Parking
Spaces
Parking charge
(after 2 hours)
1Cobham97.28
3.69
M2513
44620£30
2Cherwell Valley94.80
4.02
M4010
3.82050£15
3South Mimms90.11
3.55
M259
3.51490£15
4Chester88.71
3.61
M566
3.5900£12
5Corley88.53
4.08
M68
4960£15
6Fleet88.38
3.73
M39
3.5840£15
7Exeter88.27
3.54
M59
3.7860£15
8Wetherby87.38
4.18
A1 (M)8
4.5370£15
9Norton Canes87.30
3.67
M6 TOLL5
4730£12
10Leigh Delamere86.96
3.11
M48
3.51280£15
11Tamworth86.78
3.41
M428
4860£15
12Lymm86.74
3.71
M65
3.92490£16
13Oxford86.40
3.86
M408
3.5620£15
14Woodall85.88
4
M17
3.5840£15
15Reading  (east)85.84
3.07
M48
4790£15
16Beaconsfield85.50
3.4
M4012
3.51210£25
17Newport Pagnell85.46
3.45
M17
3.51070£15
18Birchanger Green85.13
3.52
M118
3620£15
19Membury85.10
3.48
M47
3.5940£15
20Thurrock84.87
3.13
M256
41400£15
21Southwaite  (south)84.62
3.22
M67
4790£15
22Warwick  (south)84.35
3.51
M407
3.5690£15
23Gordano84.12
3.02
M57
3.5940£15
24Chieveley84.04
3.15
M47
3.61180£16
25Michaelwood83.83
3.59
M56
4780£15
26Southwaite  (north)83.79
3.22
M66
41010£15
27Folkestone83.60
3.5
M208
 1190£6
28Hartshead Moor83.42
3.58
M626
3.5830£15
29Stafford (South)83.35
3.4
M63
3.5810£12
30Hilton Park  (north)83.23
3.67
M66
3.8610£15
31Warwick  (north)82.94
3.51
M406
3.5730£15
32Trowell  (south)82.73
3.72
M15
4830£15
33Medway  (east)82.67
3.81
M25
3.8820£15
34Magor82.63
2.72
M44
3730£12
35Hilton Park  (south)82.53
3.67
M65
3.8870£15
36Stirling82.48
4.42
M95
4.5125£15
37Lancaster  (north)82.47
3.43
M66
3.7570£15
38Sedgemoor (North)82.47
3.07
M56
4700£15
39Toddington  (south)82.43
2.64
M16
3.51140£15
40Trowell  (north)82.08
3.72
M15
4630£15
41Gretna81.99
4.71
M744
3.5600£15
42Broxden MFG81.73
4
M902
 50£5
43Appleby Magna81.62
2.5
M424
 50£5
44Kinross81.57
3.75
M905
4.1420£15
45Leicester Forest East81.55
3.17
M17
3.550£15
46Doncaster (North)81.55
4.11
M184
4.1650£15
47Killington Lake81.38
3.79
M62
3.5420£12
48Frankley  (south)81.36
3.54
M55
3.7630£15
49Toddington  (north)81.32
2.64
M16
3.5800£15
50Annandale Water81.28
3.8
M745
4330£12
51Hamilton81.10
3.69
M742
3.5400£12
52Durham80.98
3.91
A1 (M)2
3.5220£12
53London Gateway80.38
3.44
M15
4290£15
54Bridgwater80.32
3.21
M56
3.750£15
55Abington80.22
3.15
M745
3.5600£15
56Cardiff West80.06
3.82
M44
3.4620£15
57Swansea79.81
4.1
M43
4630£15
58Cardiff Gate79.24
3.07
M45
4180£15
59Lancaster  (south)79.17
3.43
M64
3.7500£15
60Rivington78.70
3
M46
2.5870£8
61Heston  (west)78.70
3.07
M45
3.6150£15
62Baldock78.15
4.04
A1 (M)8
4650£28
63Keele78.11
4.48
M67
 870£15
64Telford78.03
3.06
M544
3.5460£15
65Hopwood Park77.86
3.98
M427
 1120£15
66Donington Park77.84
4.09
M17
3.91250£15
67Peterborough77.67
3.73
A1 (M)9
3.5400£28
68Heston  (east)77.60
3.07
M43
3.6760£15
69Reading  (west)77.37
3.07
M49
4790£15
70Winchester  (south)77.07
3.22
M36
3.5650£15
71Charnock Richard77.06
3.88
M67
 940£15
72Sarn Park76.86
3.43
M43
3.5330£15
73Taunton Deane76.81
3.26
M55
3.51020£12
74Stafford (North)76.80
3.4
M68
4870£15
75Washington  (north)76.21
3.19
A1 (M)2
4590£15
76Watford Gap75.97
3.43
M15
3820£20
77Washington  (south)75.79
3.19
A1 (M)2
4460£15
78Clacket Lane75.77
3.46
M254
 700£12
79Severn View75.05
2.03
M42
4.5820£15
80Ferrybridge74.94
3.71
M626
4.3940£15
81Maidstone74.64
3.48
M204
4510£20
82Tibshelf74.36
3.23
M13
 890£12
83Pont Abraham73.68
4.09
M42
 590£12
84Sedgemoor (South)73.34
3.9
M55
 730£12
85Bothwell73.29
4
M742
 530£12
86Winchester  (north)72.59
3.22
M36
 470£15
87Woolley Edge  (north)72.45
3.5
M14
4.51190£15
88Scotch Corner72.31
3.5
A1 (M)6
4370£15
89Heart of Scotland72.26
3.5
M82
 540£5
90Birch (west)72.22
3.8
M625
4620£15
91Burton-in-Kendal72.19
4
M65
4480£15
92Medway  (west)72.14
3.81
M25
3.5760£15
93Rownhams72.10
3.09
M252
 760£12
94Old Inns72.10
2
M805
 50£5
95Burtonwood71.42
4
M623
 1020£15
96Woolley Edge  (south)71.12
3.5
M14
4.5780£15
97Knutsford  (north)71.10
3.5
M66
3.8450£16
98Knutsford  (south)70.97
3.5
M66
3.8410£16
99Frankley  (north)70.23
3.54
M54
 480£15
100Blackburn with Darwen70.11
4.25
M654
4150£30
101Blyth70.07
3.13
A1 (M)5
3.9430£15
102Strensham68.29
3.3
M54
 1580£12
103Tebay67.97
4
M65
 550£12
104Birch (east)63.71
3.8
M625
 910£15
105Pease Pottage63.30
3.75
M236
 340£15
106Sandbach63.24
3.33
M63
 480£12
107Northampton63.23
3.4
M13
 430£20
108Cullompton59.96
3.24
M53
 450£25
109Gloucester55.87
4
M56
 970£12
110Happendon50.76
4
M742
 520£8
111Todhills  (north)43.87
3.5
M61
4140£15
112Todhills  (south)43.67
3.5
M61
480£15