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The UK’s Best Family Service Stations

Here at ALA, we’re committed to providing peace of mind, whether that’s by protecting your assets with GAP insurance, warranty and cycle insurance, or by giving you the no-nonsense insights you need to understand vehicle cover. 

This time, with many families gearing up for school holiday road trips, we’ve decided to help make journey planning even easier. We’ve analysed the UK’s service stations to reveal which are the most family friendly. Because we know trips can feel a lot smoother with a stop off point where the whole family can recharge. 

With the help of our data experts, we analysed the UK’s 40 major service stations and scored each on the following criteria:

  • Google service rating
  • Number of food/cafe options
  • Number of children’s play areas
  • Number of shops
  • Number of outdoor amenities such as walks or picnic areas
  • Hours of free parking
  • Hotel price per night
  • Hotel star rating
  • Hotel Google rating

Now, we can reveal the UK’s top family service stations. 

Top 10 Family Service Stations in the UK

  1. Beaconsfield
  2. Leigh Delamere
  3. Tebay North
  4. Cobham
  5. Peterborough
  6. Cherwell Valley
  7. Donington
  8. Stafford North
  9. Baldock
  10. Lancaster

Beaconsfield is the UK’s Best Family Service Station 

Taking the top spot as the UK’s best family service station is Beaconsfield, located on the M40 between Milton Keynes and Reading. Not only does Beaconsfield Services have a brilliant Google rating of 4.2, it was also found to have the most food spots, outdoor amenities and hours of free parking. There’s even a play area that little ones will adore, as well as a lakeside walk that’s perfect for leg-stretching. 

Closely followed by Beaconsfield is Leigh Delamere and Tebay North services. Tebay North, on the M6 by the Lake District, has the highest Google rating of all the service stations at 4.4. It also has lots of shops, a play area and outdoor amenities, however it missed the top spot due to its costly hotel and limited food options. 

Leigh Delamere, on the M4 between Swindon and Bristol, on the other hand, has a slightly lower Google rating of 3.9, however it has plenty of cafes, shops and even has two play areas, making it a great pit stop if you’re passing by with a restless family in tow. 

Only a third of UK service stations have children’s play areas 

Surprisingly, out of the 40 major service stations analysed, only 33% had play areas. If you’d like to please the kids even more on your trip, try to stop at one of these stations for a place to play.

Service stations with play areas include:

  • Baldock
  • Beaconsfield
  • Cherwell Valley
  • Chieveley
  • Cobham
  • Donington
  • Lancaster
  • Leigh Delamere
  • Peterborough
  • Reading West
  • Rivington
  • Stafford North
  • Tamworth
  • Tebay North
  • Winchester South

Woodall offers the most affordable stay, while Telbay North has the highest rated hotel

If you’re venturing on a long trip and are in need of hotel stop-off, it’s likely you’ll take affordability and ratings into consideration. We found that the service station that offers the cheapest hotel stays is Woodhall, on the M1, closely followed by Birch and Charnock RIchard. 

Service stationHotel price per night
Charnock Richard£38.99
Sarn Park£45.99
Leigh Delamere£49.99
Winchester South£49.99
Cherwell Valley£55.99

Similarly, we looked at which service stations had high customer reviews by analysing their Google ratings. Here’s what we found:

Service stationGoogle rating (hotel)
Tebay North4.6
Charnock Richard4.2
Norton Canes4.2
Blackburn with Darwen4.1
Annandale Water4.1
Stafford North4.0

Will you be planning your route with these service stations in mind?

Now that the best service stations for families have been revealed, where will you be stopping off on your next trip? Get even more peace of mind on your next trip by making sure every inch of your vehicle is covered. Find out more about our additional cover, including Tyre and Alloy wheel insurance and Scratch and Dent insurance