On a long journey accompanied by constant cries of ‘are we there yet?’, ‘I’m bored’ and ‘I need the loo’, service stations are often a necessary evil. Most of us wouldn’t class them amongst our must-see travel destinations but are they all as bad as one another? We don’t think so. In fact, we think some are actually quite nice. Here, we’ve listed our top five so that if you happen to be on the road and pass one, you can rest safe in the knowledge they aren’t all a torture to be endured.

1. Stafford Northbound (M6)

Not all service stations are big grey boxes with no personality or warmth about them. The Stafford services on the M6 are built around a huge lake and offer a peaceful spot to enjoy a bite to eat on your travels. Great too if you are travelling with a dog to allow him or her to stretch their legs! Which? Magazine also rated the toilets as ‘spotless’ so you can powder your nose in pristine conditions too!

2. Cobham (M25)

Costing a whopping £75 million to build, you’d rightly expect good things from this service station. Featuring a large food court area with two television screens, you and the family are bound to find something to do while you take a break from your journey. The service station also boasts an attractive water feature outside, which could help to calm you if the tension around travelling becomes a bit too much.

3. The OK Diner (A1 near Newark)

For something a little different to your average service stop, why not pop in to the OK Diner. The 50s/60s inspired eatery offers tasty food (in American-sized portions), great service and fantastically kitsch surroundings. Make sure you order a milkshake with cherries on top. Devine.

4. Tebay (M6) 

Tebay services has been voted as the UK’s top service station by a number of aficionados including Which? and TripAdvisor. The services were marked highly on cleanliness and food quality, with all the tasty treats on offer being cooked on site from ingredients sourced within a 30 mile radius. Add to that Tebay’s picturesque location in the Lake District and it ticks all the necessary boxes for somewhere you’d like to visit on a long trip. If only all service stations were as pleasant.

5. Gloucester Northbound (M5) 

Owned by the same family that runs the aforementioned Tebay services, the Gloucester equivalent offers much of the same just on a bigger scale! Shortlisted for the Best Food Retailer award as part of the BBC Food and Farming Awards, you can rest assured you’ll be able to find something delicious and healthy to quash your appetite for the journey ahead. No more greasy pies or sausage rolls. The Gloucester services have also been decked out to look more like a Scandinavian retreat than a typical British motorway station so you’re bound to feel refreshed by the time you leave. We’d highly recommend taking a look at the fresh meat on offer from the butchers too. Perfect for that dinner treat you will need once you get to your destination.

Image source: motorwayservices.info