Unofficial motorway services

Drsatan

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I am interested if anyone could suggest what could be termed 'unofficial motorway services'. These are petrol stations and places where one can purchase refreshments, from drinks and snacks to eating in a cafe-style environment, adjacent, or no more than a five minute drive from, motorways. The main advantage in stopping at these places is that they're cheaper than motorway services.

In the past few months, I've used Hedge End Sainsburys (M27 J7, adjacent to the motorway) and the Tesco Metro in Solihull (M42 J4) as unofficial motorway services.
 
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Cowley

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Good idea for a thread.
Just off Junction 30 of the M5 at Exeter is Exeter Vale - a big Tesco’s with a petrol station.
It’s way cheaper than Exeter services and less than a mile from the junction.
Also at Cullumpton on the M5 (junc 28), if you avoid the services and head towards the town centre for about 200 yards there’s another large Tesco’s with a fuel station.
 

daveo

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Amazon has a number of books that provide the information you are looking for. Two are -
"The extra mile" and
"Just off the motorway"
 

JamesT

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There is a large Tesco with filling station just on the Carlisle side of the M6 at junction 43 (A69)
I normally head for the next junction (44) and go to the Asda that’s just off the junction. Asda are usually the cheapest petrol around, though the cafe in the supermarket could have a bit more of a selection.
 

dgl

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Also a very large ASDA with petrol station not far off J13 of the M3 at Eastleigh/Chandlers Ford and a large Tesco at Sunbury-on-Thames where the M3 turns into the A308.
Another one is at Beaconsfield, where there are shops within 2 miles from the actual services, and close by is Slough, off the M4 J6 where there is one of the largest Tesco's in the country.
 

Glenmutchkin

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I normally head for the next junction (44) and go to the Asda that’s just off the junction. Asda are usually the cheapest petrol around, though the cafe in the supermarket could have a bit more of a selection.
There is also a Morrison's with fuel not too far from J44. The thing to know is that for the next 80 miles or so north there are no large towns and no handy supermarkets by the side of the M74.
 

richw

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There's a Sainsburys with petrol on the retail park near the Taunton exit of the M5.
This is always my choice. Diesel typically 20p or more cheaper than Taunton Deane services.

Asda at Cribbs causeway, and there’s a garden centre just off at Cullompton that does amazing food. These are the 3 places I use to avoid proper services.
 

433N

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Two suggestions ...

Not technically motorway but I always use the Tesco Extra at Kingston Park (also Macdonalds and various others) just off the A1 to the north of Newcastle.

When in the area (i.e. going for Eurotunnel) I always use Tesco Extra Crooksfoot just outside Ashford in Kent (M20 Jn10) - very convenient.

(I also go for the Asda at J44 near Carlisle)

10 (or more likely 15) years ago, I picked up a paper copy of a Tesco Store Directory which I always carry with me when travelling - one of the best, moneysaving freebies ever ... Don't think they still do them mores the pity.

ADDED BONUS GEN : At Kingston Park Tesco you can also sit in your car with your munchies and do some Metro spotting.
 
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MarlowDonkey

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Another one is at Beaconsfield, where there are shops within 2 miles from the actual services, and close by is Slough, off the M4 J6 where there is one of the largest Tesco's in the country.
There's a number around that area. On the M40, the junction after Beaconsfield gives access to a Tesco, but you cannot get back onto the motorway if heading west. The next junction at Handy Cross has both Asda and Waitrose just off the roundabout. Asda has a MacDonalds and Waitrose a cafe. Only the Asda sells fuel though.
 

Comstock

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The Windmill pub near junction 19 of the M6 is a very nice alternative to motorway services and is literally just off the motorway. Tea, coffee cakes etc on offer as well as a full food menu.

Also a petrol station nearby. I've got no idea how fuel prices compare though I can't believe they aren't at least a bit cheaper than the motorway.
 

Gathursty

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M6 Wigan J25 has a Siansburys and a McDonalds close by but the junction is restricted meaning you have to approach/leave from the South.
 

Qwerty133

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M1 21 has an Asda and a Sainsburys about 2 minutes away with both have petrol stations and Cafes. There are also 2 branches of Mcdonalds within a 5 minute drive including one that is quite possibly nearer to the Asda petrol station that the main Asda.
 

Howardh

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M61; at the junction where the football ground is within 1/4m there's a large Tesco with petrol/cafe/free parking. It's on the edge of Middlebrook retail park.
 

Lucan

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Not necessarily because off the motorway is cheaper, but maybe you want something different from the bustling McDonalds/Costa ambience of M-way services.

I sometimes use The Plough, half-a-mile south of J15 M4 (Swindon) and a usually cheap petrol station further up the hill.
The Swan, half a mile north of J16 M5 (Almondsbury) and close to the M4 too.

As others have said, there are a few books published on this theme, but they get out of date.
 

Busaholic

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Which of these suggestions offers a 24 hour service? That's the only real alternative to motorway services imo: oh, and how many have lavatories and, more importantly, grant you access in the case of petrol stations?
 

Tom B

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The M4 at Chippenham has a truck stop just off the motorway, whilst not "unofficial" per se its not a big chain, and caters for all vehicles. Excellent food in the cafe.

The A1M at Peterborough, if you turn off at Yaxley theres a 24h Tesco, petrol station, and large selection of food places at a well placed out of town retail park.

A1M at Stirling Corner has a Morrison's with fuel and cafe and loos.
 

TheEdge

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Which of these suggestions offers a 24 hour service? That's the only real alternative to motorway services imo: oh, and how many have lavatories and, more importantly, grant you access in the case of petrol stations?
That's going to really only going to ever be McDonalds or 24hr superstores.
 

175mph

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Off the M180, follow the M181 and at the end, there is a 24 hour Tesco, a 24 hour McDonald's, a large pub and a Travellodge.
 

underbank

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I've used the Morrisons at Walsall a few times which is just a few minutes from the M6. It's actually getting more common to find retail parks and supermarkets quite close to motorway junctions. Far better and massively cheaper than motorway service stations. I far prefer Morrisons cafes as opposed to Tesco and Asda. I tend to google for Morrisons along my route when planning longer drives.
 

HaggisBotherer

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That's going to really only going to ever be McDonalds or 24hr superstores.
Bear in mind that, even if the shop isn't open 24 hours, many superstore garages offer 24 hour pay-at-pump petrol, if you only need a fill up.

My suggestion is for the A1(M) and the big Tesco at Yaxley. It's 10 minutes or so off the main route, but I always prefer it to Peterborough Services.
 

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