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Alternative Motorway Stops

The first motorways were built in Mussolini's Italy in the 1920s, and by Hitler in Germany in the 1930s. Britain had to wait until 1959, when its first section of motorway opened between Watford and Rugby. Motorways helped people get about with unprecedented speed, but ironically they were also something of a closed environment, cutting travellers off from the country they moved through. Special places for food, rest and fuel - service stations - increased this sense of isolation. Of course if your aim is to get to a destination as quickly as possible, service stations are the best choice. They are just off the motorway, and give all essentials in one place. However, there is a case for coming out of the motorway cocoon on your journey, and seeing the country that they were meant to give access to. The following is a list of "alternative motorway stops". They have been selected for their proximity to a motorway and their provision of at least some services that a traveller might need. Naturally they will not have the provision of a service station - lack of possibilities to refuel is the main drawback. Also bear in mind that while service stations are often open 24 hours, alternatives will have limited opening hours, which should be checked before you set off. But that said, the places listed below do offer benefits that services lack - beautiful, interesting and relaxing surroundings which are much more likely to reinvigorate a traveller than a normal service station stop. Perhaps because they are so much part of the motorway environment, service stations do not really feel like a break from it.

An average guide to journey time from motorway to stop is given in brackets after each entry. Descriptions of catering facilities - cafe, tearoom, restaurant - simply follow each location's own description.

 

 

M1

David Coulthard's Camper

The Grand Prix Collection at Donnington, 9 minutes from junction 32A of the M1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A1M

 

Hatfield House

Hatfield House, 5 minutes from junction 4 of the A1M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M2

Chatham Dockyard

Commissioners House at Chatham Historic Dockyard, 15 minutes from junctions I or 4 of the M2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M3

Hampton Court Gardens

Gardens at Hampton Court Palace, 11 minutes from junction 1 of the M3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M4

Castle Coch

Castle Coch, 5 minutes from junction 34 of the M4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M5

Killerton

Killerton, 17 minutes from junction 28/30 of the M5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M6

Jodrell Nank

Jodrell Bank, 13 minutes from junction 18 of the M6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M9

Wallace Monument

Wallace Monument, 10 minutes from junction 10/11 of the M9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M11

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M20

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle, 15 minutes from junction 8 of the M20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M23

Nymans

Nymans Garden, 8 minutes from junction 11 of the M23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M25

Runnymede

Runnymede, 5 minutes from junction 13 of the M25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M27

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M40

Cliveden

Cliveden, 10 minutes from junction 4 of the M40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M54

ironbridge

Ironbridge, 15 minutes from junction 6 of the M54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M56

Tatton Park

Tatton Park, 10 minutes from junction 7 of the M56

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M65

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A74(M)

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M77

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M90:

Scone Palace

Scone Palace, 10 minutes from junction 11 of the M90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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