The best and worst motorway service stations in the UK have been revealed

The latest survey by consumer group Which? found "a gulf in quality" between the best and worst motorway services in the UK.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 6th April 2021

For many Brits, a crucial part of any long-distance car journey is planning out the motorway services stations to stop off at along the way.

While most of us will probably admit that we don’t usually visit service stations for fun, they often provide us with a necessary pit stop as somewhere to stretch our legs, use the loo, refill the car and grab a bite to eat before we head back on the road again.

What would we do without them?

Out of all the service stations that are dotted across the country though, which one is rated as the best? And which is the worst?

In preparation for the further easing of national lockdown restrictions over the coming months, leading consumer choice company, Which?, recruited 5,600 people to rate a total of 68 UK service stations in a number of categories, including the range and quality of shops and food outlets, prices, convenience, parking, accessibility, cleanliness and ease of maintaining social distancing, and more.


The customer score for each service station combines the overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending.

Topping the list as the best motorway service station in the UK is Gloucester Services – between junctions 11A and 12 on the M5 – which received a whopping four out of five stars for all categories, with a customer score of 86%.


One visitor said it was “as far from a typical motorway stop as you can imagine”, with other customers praising its “fabulous” farm shop selling home-cooked meals and local produce.

At the other end of the scale though is the Moto-owned Bridgwater Services in Somerset, which ranked the worst in Britain by Which? after it was awarded just one star out of five for all categories analysed and received an overall customer score of just 32%.

Recent visitors described the venue as “dirty” and “depressing”, and others complained of a urine smell and toilet paper strewn on the floor.


Another claimed it “should be demolished”.

Gloucester Services / FWP Group
Gloucester Services

Speaking on the unveiling of best and worst UK service stations, Rory Boland – Editor of Magazine Which? Travel – said: “The results of our survey show that it pays to plan ahead to avoid some of the UK’s worst motorway services.

“It could be the difference between a home-cooked meal in peaceful surroundings or crowded queues in downright dirty facilities.

“Whether you’re zipping down the M5 towards the beaches on the south-west coast, or up the M6 towards the Scottish border, make sure your journey isn’t spoiled by a stop at a shoddy service station.”

Top 5 Best Motorway Service Stations in the UK

  1. Gloucester Services (86%)
  2. Tebay Services (83%)
  3. Cairn Lodge Services (69%)
  4. Norton Canes Services (65%)
  5. Wetherby Services (61%)

Top 5 Worst Motorway Service Stations in the UK

  1. Bridgwater Services (32%)
  2. Gordano Services (40%)
  3. Newport Pagnell Services (41%)
  4. Sandbach Services (42%)
  5. Keele Services (42%)

In response to placing last in the rankings, Ken McMeikan – CEO of Moto – said: “I am appalled by the score at our Bridgwater site.


“This does not reflect the standards we aspire to across all of our sites and I can absolutely guarantee that all of the issues raised will be dealt with immediately to ensure we get Bridgwater back to the standard we know our customers expect and deserve.”

What do you think to this list then? Do you agree?

You can find the full rankings of the best and worst motorway service stations in the UK via the Which? website here.

Featured Image – Gloucester Services | Bridgewater Services