Travelling back from Manchester I stopped off at the services for a break, stretch my legs and grab a coffee. Of all the services on the M6 and the M5 between Manchester and Weston-super-Mare, the services at Gloucester are my favourite.
These services are so different to virtually all the others on the motorway network. Unlike the mix of high street chains you seem to find at Welcome Break, Moto and Roadchef, the services at Gloucester are more like a farm shop.
There is a cafe area, with a range of food options, you can have proper meals, snacks, or coffee and cake. They also have a food to go area as well, for those in a rush with pies, sausages, sausage rolls and homemade burgers.
As well as the catering places, the services also have a big farm shop which is full of lots of stuff, including fresh meat and fish, bakery goods, deli stuff and cakes.
It is so different to the other services on the motorway network, you probably wouldn’t even realise that it was a motorway services area. The fact that they are also built into a hill also helps distinguish them totally from the others.
So needing that break, I stopped for a coffee, and ordered a flat white. It was very quiet, but I suspect that was down to the closure of the M5 a few junctions further down.
Another aspect of the services I like is that they have a lovely outdoor area. So I grabbed my coffee and went and sat outside in the sun. It was a little windy, but I found a sheltered table and enjoyed the view as I drank my coffee.
I would say that this is not the best flat white I have had, but it was good flavoured coffee and I enjoyed it.
It was then back into the car. It had taken me two and half hours from Manchester to Gloucester, even with some snow around Keele area. However due to closure of M5 between J13 and J14, it took me another two and half hours to get from Gloucester to Weston-super-Mare, going via Stroud and the M4.