Gloucester Services rated as the best on the M5 (2023)

It's set to be a busy weekend on the M5, with plenty of people heading out and about over the West Country to enjoy the bank holiday. For those motorists on a long journey, knowing the best place to stop for a bite to eat or a coffee is very useful.

The M5 begins at junction 8 off the M6 at West Bromwich and runs for 160 miles down to Exeter. There are officially 11 motorway services along the busy stretch of motorway.

Devon Live has compiled a list of the motorway services based on their TripAdvisor ratings. They have assessed the facilities offered at each one, so that if you are driving along the M5 this May bank holiday, or beyond, you can plan where you are going to stop for a break.

READ MORE: Met Office bank holiday weather: 'Most boring forecast ever' predicts three straight days of dull and near identical weather

1. Gloucester Services

Gloucester Services rated as the best on the M5 (1)

Operator: Westmorland

Petrol station: Esso

Location: Between J11A and J12

Overall rating: 4

Reviews: 3,233 including 1,646 excellent reviews and 246 terrible reviews

Food: 4

Service: 4

Value: 3.5

Atmosphere: 4.5

It won't come as a surprise to local people that Gloucester Services comes out on top of the battle of the M5 services. It's not your typical service station, featuring careful landscaping, dog walking area, a farm shop, deli and butcher’s counter.

One TripAdvisor reviewer wrote: “Certainly better than the normal motorway stops.” Another wrote: “Beautiful place… We were all shocked by how amazing the services were. The farm shop and food were outstanding, can hardly fault the staff… The atmosphere is just breathtaking.”

Unfortunately, its reputation creates high expectations. One reviewer wrote: “Was expecting great food but the breakfast was pretty poor. Tasteless and over priced.”

Another also said they had expected the food to be better than the usual food from services and said: “Well it wasn’t! Food was warm at best, small portions and very poor value.”

2. Exeter Services

Operator: Moto

Petrol station: BP

Location: J30

Overall rating: 3

Reviews: 264 including 31 excellent reviews and 71 terrible reviews

Food: 3

Service: 3

Value: 2.5

Atmosphere: 2

This is the last service station on the M5. The site has Burger King, Chow, Costa Coffee, Greggs, KFC, Pret a Manger, Krispy Kreme, M&S Simply Food and WHSmith. There’s also a Travelodge, Costa drive-thru and self-service laundrette.

(Video) Gloucester Farm services M5 are they the best motorway services in England?

One reviewer said: “I am a frequent traveller and have stopped at many service stations around the country. Compared to others, Exeter is one of the cleanest and nicest around.”

Another said: “After reading some reviews I was expecting the assault course from the Krypton Factor to get to the toilets, but in reality it was a 50 second walk.”

But one complained: “From approach to getting back onto the M5 this was a nightmare!”

3. Strensham Services

Gloucester Services rated as the best on the M5 (2)

Operator: Roadchef

Petrol station: BP

Location: Between J7 and J8

Overall rating: 3

Reviews: 154 including 18 excellent reviews and 39 terrible reviews

Food: 3

Service: 3

Value: 2.5

Atmosphere: 2.5

As opposed to other M5 services, Strensham sees less of a seasonal spike. Catering-wise, there’s Chozen Noodle, Costa Coffee, Dolcetti Ice Cream, Fresh Food Cafe, McDonald’s, The Cornish Bakery, Krispy Kreme and Skwishee Iced Drinks. Shops include Cotton Traders, GSM Mobile Accessories, Spar and WHSmith. There’s also a Days Inn.

It hasn’t had any five-star reviews since September 2020 when someone wrote: “The staff were friendly, they produced a good quality drink.”

One review said: “It’s horrific here and the toilets are like a scene from a dystopian zombie novel. I half expected a urine soaked biter to break out a cubicle and attack me!”

Another said it was “overrun with squealing children whose parents clearly don't give a damn about the comfort of other customers......akin to the 7th layer of hell in Dante's inferno.”

4. Sedgemoor Services - Southbound

Operator: Roadchef

Petrol station: Shell

Location: Southbound between J21 and J22

Overall rating: 3

Reviews: 147 including 27 excellent reviews and 51 terrible reviews

Food: 3

Service: 3

Value: 2.5

Atmosphere: not given

his service area is a bit more modern than its northbound counterpart. It is also bigger, offering Costa Coffee, Fresh Food Cafe, McDonald’s, Dolcetti Ice Cream, Krispy Kreme and Skwishee Iced Drinks. With only seasonal opening, there’s Chozen Noodle, The Garden Square Deli and The Cornish Bakery. There’s also a Costa drive-thru, Phone Tech, Spar, WHSmith and children’s play area.

One Costa customer wrote: “The staff were extremely friendly and went above and beyond to serve me. They were really engaging and I felt like my custom was really valued.”

(Video) Gloucester Services - UK's BEST Motorway Service Station 🍴☕ M5

But another complained the Costa drive-thru was “a rip-off… The most expensive Costa I’ve ever had.” Another review said: “Prices ridiculous. Families need a second mortgage to eat at these places.”

5. Sedgemoor Services - Northbound

Gloucester Services rated as the best on the M5 (3)

Operator: Welcome Break

Petrol station: Welcome Break Fuel

Location: Northbound between J21 and J22

The northbound services haven’t been rated on Tripadvisor, though many reviews and comments under Sedgemoor Southbound clearly relate to Sedgemoor Northbound, so we have listed them together. Sedgemoor Northbound has Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, WHSmith, The Good Bakery, Chicago Town Pizza and a Days Inn. In May 2018, planning permission was granted for a KFC drive-thru but it was put on hold due to the pandemic.

6. Cullompton Services

Operator: Extra

Petrol station: Shell

Location: J28

Overall rating: 3

Reviews: 88 including 19 excellent reviews and 22 terrible reviews

Food: 3

Service: 3

Value: 3.5

Atmosphere: 2.5

This is one of the smaller M5 service stations. Southbound traffic can access it from J28 just like northbound, but it is only signposted from the northbound side.

The ratings above refer specifically to McDonald’s as there were no reviews for the services as a whole. Even McDonald’s has only been reviewed seven times since the beginning of 2021.

There’s also Costa Coffee, Warren’s Bakery and WHSmith. One positive review said: “Quick service and hot food, very helpful staff.” But one reviewer said: “Last two times I’ve been here the order has been wrong. Worked there myself years ago so know it isn’t hard.”

7. Gordano Services

Gloucester Services rated as the best on the M5 (4)

Operator: Welcome Break

Petrol station: Welcome Break Fuel

Location: J19

Overall rating: 2.5

Reviews: 341 including 47 excellent reviews and 156 terrible reviews

Food: 2.5

Service: 2.5

Value: 2.5

(Video) gloucester services m5 n/s

Atmosphere: 2.5

Gordano boasts newly refurbished WHSmith and KFC. There is also a Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, Krispy Kreme, Waitrose and Partners, and a Ramada hotel.

One reviewer said: “One of the worst services out there. The places that are open are either extortionate, have massive queues or broken machines. Toilets dirty.”

One review left this week said: “At 6.45pm KFC was closed and only Burger King was open for hot food. The line was 20 deep not helped by only one ordering point. Come on Welcome Break, this is Easter!”

One Burger King customer said: “Burger bun was so crumbly and dried out I could of lit a fire with it.”

8. Taunton Deane Services

Operator: Roadchef

Petrol station: Shell

Location: Between J25 and J26

Overall rating: 2.5

Reviews: 235 including 26 excellent reviews and 72 terrible reviews

Food: 3

Service: 3

Value: 2.5

Atmosphere: 2

The larger southbound side has more facilities and longer opening hours. On both sides, there’s Costa Coffee, McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and WHSmith, plus in the high season Chozen Noodle, The Garden Square Deli and The Cornish Bakery. There’s also a Costa drive-thru. Southbound only, there’s a Days Inn.

Reviewers complained both Costa and McDonald’s were “dirty”. Reviews were very mixed with one saying “this is the nicest service station we’ve ever visited” and another saying “quite the worst I’ve visited in 60 years”.

One reviewer wrote: “Absolutely ridiculous time spent waiting for McDonald's order this eve, and services not even very busy! Set us back on our journey nearly an hour.”

Another didn’t like the layout: “Grotesque relocation of car parks. Extremely weird and very very inconvenient for car drivers!"

9. Frankley Services

Operator: Moto

Petrol station: BP

Location: Between J3 and J4

Overall rating: 2.5

Reviews: 25 including one excellent review and 11 terrible reviews

Food: 3.5

Service: 3.5

Value: 4

Atmosphere: not given

The reviews and ratings relate to Greggs, not the services as a whole. In addition, the service station has Burger King, Costa Coffee, M&S Simply Food and WHSmith. Southbound only, there’s a Travelodge. “I actually don’t think I’ve ever been to a dirtier, more miserable service station,” said one reviewer.

(Video) Gloucester Services is a unique motorway service station located on the M5 motorway in England.

One positive review said: “The Greggs is easily reached, and there are some seats to the side, where you can view the countryside while munching on a sausage roll.”

But one negative review said: “Awful customer service, asked for hot sausage and he gave me cold sausage. Just very upsetting after a long hard day of work. Not even a steak bake in sight.”

10. Michaelwood Services

Gloucester Services rated as the best on the M5 (5)

Operator: Welcome Break

Petrol station: BP

Location: Between J13 and J14

Overall rating: 2

Reviews: 109 including nine excellent reviews and 42 terrible reviews

Food: 2

Service: 2.5

Value: 2

Atmosphere: not given

There’s Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, The Good Breakfast, Krispy Kreme, Waitrose and Partners, and WHSmith here, and northbound only, there’s Subway and Days Inn. One review said: “As a regular visitor, I frequent Michaelwood because it's easy to park, clean interior, good choice of food and drink, staff always friendly, only irritating thing is the exit of the car park to the motorway.”

But another said: “Am absolutely disgusted with these services. The toilets were filthy, handbasins and floors too. Always buy a drink and a sandwich, whoa not this time, sandwiches absolutely ludicrous prices for a minging sandwich.”

Another said looking for parking was “a nightmare.” It said: “Turns out there is further parking behind the building as if you were driving out, but this is not signposted at all, and you only see this extra parking area when you leave.”

11. Tiverton Services

Operator: Moto

Petrol station: BP

Location: J27

Overall rating: 2

Reviews: Eight including no excellent reviews and five terrible reviews

Food: not given

Service: not given

Value: not given

Atmosphere: not given

Tiverton Services is very small and has no facilities available for HGVs, caravans, coaches or motorhomes. It is not signed from the M5 but is directly accessible from J27.

There’s Burger King, Costa Coffee and Travelodge. The service station as a whole hasn’t been reviewed on Tripadvisor, so the rating relates to Burger King.

One reviewer said they had “the worst takeaway of my life” as the food was “inedible” and “lukewarm.” Another “felt totally ripped off” after paying nearly £15 for two double bacon cheese burgers with chips, one tea and one Coke. They said: “Worst burgers ever. Dry, so salad or sauce. Only 12 to 15 fries each. UHT milk with tea.”

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