Ranked: The best and worst motorway service stations

With the UK holiday season in full swing and more people than ever opting for staycations to avoid pandemic-related travel restrictions, motorway service stations could be busier than ever.

With millions of people traveling across the country on motorways, the service station is an essential stop off for a toilet break, refreshments, or simply the chance to stretch your legs.

However, anyone who has spent any time on the road knows that not all of these locations are created equal.

Best service stations by motorway
(Brindley)

Car dealership group Brindley has analysed reviews and rating on TripAdvisor, Google Reviews and the Motorway Services Online site to find out which service stations you should aim for – and which should be avoided.

More than 100 locations were included, spanning 29 motorways, with each given a rating out of five.

Unsurprisingly, Tebay, located between junctions 38 and 39 on the M6, took top spot with a score of 4.24. This is not a traditional services, with a farm shop and kitchen using local produce, a large lake, and beautiful scenery, as it’s nestled between the Yorkshire Dales on one side and the Lake District on the other.

The top three was also made up of Beaconsfield on junction 12 of the M40, scoring 4.18, and Gretna on the A74M between junctions 21 and 22, scoring 4.15.

At the other end of the scale, Telford got the lowest score of 2. Located on the M54 at junction four, one reviewer said: “Whatever you do, don’t stop here.” Following closely behind was Heart of Scotland (2.22) on the M8 between junctions four and five, and Birchanger Green (2.42) on the M11 at junction eight.

Based on the average score of its service stations, the M40 was the best served motorway, followed by the M1 and M62.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland and the North East of England had the best average scores of 3.78 each.