It’s something every driver has an opinion on: which motorway services are the best? On a long drive from A to B, stopping off for a coffee and a bite to eat (or some petrol and a pee!) is one of the joys of driving.
Motorway services are also a great place to swap drivers if you’re sharing a road trip (perhaps with handy hourly temporary insurance policies? 👀). But you can’t stop just anywhere! Every driver has their own favourite - but which is the best?
To find out, Cuvva surveyed more than 2,000 drivers to find out their favourite motorway services - and we have a clear winner! Let’s get to it 👇
(PS - we also found Britain’s least favourite services - more on that at the end of this article!)
Drivers were asked the following question: “Which, if any, of the following are your favourite motorway services?”
Respondents could choose up to 5 options from our list of almost 100, to ensure a nice selection of the worthiest services across the land. The drivers ranged in age from 18 to 65+, and came from all over Britain - truly a census of the people.
The competition was tough, with 96 different motorway services receiving votes, stretching from Kinross near Edinburgh to Exeter in Devon. We’re going to focus on the top 10, revealed in reverse order to build up the tension.
10th - Bridgwater Moto (M5, Somerset) and Oxford Welcome Break (M40, Oxfordshire). A dead heat to kick off our illustrious leaderboard. Bridgwater had a recent refurb of its toilets, which as any desperate driver will know is a real plus, while Oxford boasts outdoor seating for when the weather is nice. Take a break from the road and get your tan on. 36 votes each.
8th - Cobham Extra (M25, Surrey) and Scotch Corner Moto (A1, North Yorkshire). Another tie for a position, with 37 votes apiece here. Cobham is one of the busiest services in Britain, with a massive selection of food and shopping options to match. Scotch Corner is a bit smaller but, according to a recent Google review, is a “commendable establishment that I'd recommend to fellow road warriors”. Can’t say fairer than that.
6th - Abington Welcome Break (M74, South Lanarkshire). With 43 votes, Abington Welcome Break is the first Scottish inclusion in our top 10. The good, according to one reviewer: lots of green space to walk your dog. The bad, according to the same reviewer: not everyone cleans up after their dog…. so “be careful where you tread!”
5th - Annandale Water RoadChef (A74(M), Dumfriesshire) and Birch Moto (M62, Lancashire). You guessed it, another dead heat between these two with 44 votes each. Sadly both miss out on a medal position, but both boast plenty of options for a tasty treat if you need a break on the road.
3rd - Beaconsfield Extra (M40, Buckinghamshire). Now it’s getting serious. Beaonsfield Extra grabbed the bronze medal but, in truth, didn’t come close to troubling the top two. With 56 votes it was some way off claiming the top prize, but is well deserving of a stop. Top tip: check out the lake and outdoor seating area.
2nd - Gloucester Westmorland (M5, Gloucestershire). With 138 votes, Gloucester is almost in a league of its own way ahead of the chasing pack - but sadly just missed out on top spot. Gloucester services is housed in a genuinely beautiful setting, with a green eco-friendly turf roof, a pond, and interior wood beams. It’s a peaceful and scenic spot.
Drumroll please… it’s time for Britain’s favourite motorway service station 🥁
1st - Tebay Westmorland (M6, Cumbria). Anything Gloucester can do, Tebay can do better. Run by the same operating company as Gloucester, Tebay is less motorway services and more farm shop and kitchen. They sell authentic local produce, working with dozens of local suppliers, and make all food on site from scratch. With 179 votes, it wasn’t even a close thing in the end, so it’s a deserved gold medal for Tebay.
Need any more convincing? This is from a recent visitor: “Plenty of reviews stating it's one of the best service stations in the UK and I couldn't agree more! All the staff are so friendly, love their job and are happy to have a conversation about the history.
“There are plenty of food options, all freshly made, no fast food but there is a full breakfast bar with baked goods, toasties, a butchers right inside the service station, and a shop where you can find expensive and cheap alcohol, as well as hot and cold snacks for on the go!
“Highly recommend if you're looking for a place to unwind after a long drive, or even if you just need to nip in for a quick toilet break.”
Who can argue with that? It makes a change from a lukewarm burger and dingy bathroom, anyway.
The title no motorway services wants - but unfortunately our survey also found a clear winner here, too.
We asked our 2000+ drivers for their least favourite motorway services and, with 47 votes, Baldock Extra (A1(M), Hertfordshire) was the pick of the bunch - although they can take some solace that 31 drivers voted them their favourite, too - truly the Marmite of the motorway services world.
(Now here’s the boring technical stuff: OnePoll, on behalf of Cuvva, surveyed 2,062 full-licence car-owners. The drivers, aged 18+ and based in Britain, were surveyed between 22 August and 1 September 2023.)