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Ranked: The Best & Worst Service Stations in the UK

Top 3 and worst service stations plotted on UK map

On the face of it, stopping at a service station is never the highlight of a road trip. But when you’re tired, hungry and in need of refreshment, you expect to be able do so in comfort and cleanliness. However, some service stations go above and beyond.

Using Google Maps review data (there are over 350,000 reviews submitted for service stations), we’ve gathered together the top three service stations in the UK, so highly rated that they might actually be worth stopping for. And as a bonus nugget of information, we’ve also hunted down the very worst-rated service station in the UK so you can choose to steer well clear. 

The Top 3 Service Stations in the UK

1. Gloucester Services North & Gloucester Services South

Score: 4.5 / 5.0 stars (combined)

‘I never thought in a million years I’d have a “favourite” service station but here we are’ – was the sentiment of just one happy customer of Gloucester Services. 

In fact, the number one service station in the UK is a joint effort: Gloucester Services North and Gloucester Services South, located just across the M5 from each other. 

This station really takes things to the next level, boasting an on-site fishmongers, farm shop and butchers. Other perks include free air for tyre inflation, electric car charging, three hours free parking and even dog water bowls. This luxurious yet wholesome service station has received glowing praise from reviewers, summed up neatly by one customer as the ‘best services in the UK by far! It’s essentially a big beautiful farm shop’. 

2. Beaconsfield Extra

Score: 4.1 / 5.0 stars 

For the sheer variety of eateries and shops, reviewers are singing the praises of Beaconsfield Extra. Its dizzying array of food options include Wetherspoons, Nandos, Greggs, M&S, McDonalds, Starbucks, Chozen Sushi and much more – meaning you can enjoy anything from a quick pasty to go, all the way to a sit-down roast dinner. And with three hours free parking, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your meal. 

A star feature of Beaconsfield Extra is its large lakeside seating zone and children’s play area, making it very easy to relax and take a break from the road. One review called it ‘one of the better service stations out there,’ while another said that they ‘can’t fault it at all.’ 

3. Oxford Welcome Break

Score: 4.1 / 5.0 stars

In third place is Oxford Welcome Break on the M40, described as a ‘gem of a service stop’ by one reviewer. Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to refreshments, with a wide range of options including Subway, Starbucks, Waitrose, Pizza Express, Burger King and many more. 

Traveller needs are met at this Welcome Break, thanks to two hours of free parking, on-site hotel, shower facilities, electric charging stations and even a 24/7 gaming arcade. The station enjoys inside and outside seating, with one customer being particularly pleased by the ‘impressive water fountains’. Another reviewer praised its ‘great selection of places to eat’ and its ‘modern and clean decor.’ All in all, the reviews suggest it’s a little slice of heaven from the busyness of the M40. 

Martyn Brett-Lee, Commercial Director at Welcome Break had this to say on being in the top 3 – “this reflects our drive and focus on delivering excellent customer service and we look forward to continuing to improve our customers’ journeys.”

The Worst-Rated Service Station in the UK

As of right now, the lowest rated service station in the UK is… 

Moto Bridgwater

Score: (3.0/5 stars on Google Reviews) 

If you’re in the Somerset area and are in need of some roadside respite, you might want to keep on driving rather than stop at Moto Bridgwater. Chances are, you may not have a choice in the matter, with one reviewer complaining there were ‘no spaces and people queuing out the door’. 

If you do make it inside, a promising range of amenities await you, including electric car charging, cash machines, Costa, WH Smith and even an M&S Food. Unfortunately, Bridgwater’s major downfall appears to be its layout and size, being described as ‘pokey’ and having ‘horrendously poor laid out services’. One reviewer perhaps put it best: ‘it’s fine for a quick toilet break but it’s the kind of place you can’t wait to leave’. 


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