Towards the end of last year, I was talking to people in Loughborough about the journey I was planning to make down to Devon and Gloucester Services were recommended as a stopping point. In the end, we passed them by in both directions at Christmas and sped by them again on the way down last week but we did decide to make it one of our pitstops on the way back today.
People in the service station industry would probably claim that I am doing them a disservice but, in my experience, one service station tends to be much like another. Some are a bit more down at heel or don’t make you park quite so far away from the entrance but, for my purposes, I pass by food courts and other franchises, pop to the loos and then make my exit. Gloucester Services really is something quite different.
The landscaping was one feature – the main building sits under a low, artificial hill covered with long grasses and other plants. I also noted that the facilities were advertising free – normally you have a tacky advert stuck in front of your eyes while attending to the necessary. It was busy (as had been the pleasant but unremarkable Taunton Deane earlier in the journey) so we didn’t linger too long inside but I do think we’ll plan to stop there again in future and hopefully hit it at a quieter time.
For now though, if you find yourself travelling along the M5, I’ll add my voice to those who sing the praises of the Gloucester Services stop off.