Cornwall, The Lake District, and The Cotswolds are just a handful of the amazing close-to-home vacation hotspots that the UK has to offer. Whether you’re looking for an overseas placeholder or simply can’t bear the idea of a flight with young children, each location is packed to the brim with natural beauty and a whole load of fun activities.
Even better, getting to any UK destination is as simple as hopping in the car and going at your own pace. Obviously, you might want to book your vehicle in at the garage for a pre-trip checkup, and you’ll need to make sure you’ve got comprehensive insurance before you head off with the help of companies like One Sure Insurance, but you won’t once have to stress about timings, luggage security, or the risk of missing passports. Instead, you’ll be able to take your time, and can even stop when and where you wish.
The only trouble is that, as anyone who’s driven long distances will tell you, many UK motorway stops are as uninspiring as motorway driving itself, and don’t exactly encourage you to stick around. But, there is a better way, and it comes in the form of fantastic motorway alternatives, many of which are mere miles from major UK roads. Options like the Next Junction App highlight precisely where these alternatives are located, but to give you a taste of the options, we’re going to consider a few of the best here.
While it might have services in its name, Tebay Services is nothing like the service stops you’re probably already so familiar with. Originally opened almost 50 years ago in light of plans for the M6 to run through the Pennines, this Lake District farm shop is now one the UK’s best-loved alternative motorway stops thanks to homegrown meat, on-site butchers, and an impressive menu including pies, meats, and pizzas. The addition of a farm shop also ensures that this stop provides everything you could need, all set within the midst of the Lake District countryside.
Located just 2 miles from junction 18 on the M4, Dyrham Park offers a fantastic setting from which to start a stress-free family holiday, especially for National Trust members. Set within ancient parkland, this 17th-century house and garden offer house tours, wonderful garden walks, and even tea rooms and an on-site shop. Opening hours are admittedly limited, but for day-time road tripping, it’s difficult to imagine a more striking pit stop.
— Helen Daniels (@HRD_Bath) July 18, 2020
Wright’s Food Emporium
Seven minutes off the Porthyrhyd junction of the A40, Wright’s Food Emporium is a stunning motorway alternative in West Wales, housed in a former village pub, and offering a fantastic on-site shop, deli, and cafe that stocks homemade sandwiches, pies, lasagnas, and cakes. Admittedly, this hotspot is only open Thursdays-Saturdays, but if you’re travelling at the right time, it’s most definitely worth exploring.
From vibrant farm shops to hidden beauties, the UK is littered with alternative motorway stops just like these. Simply take your time, and make sure to plan your trip around these worthy diversions.