Families living in the Midlands are eschewing beaches in favour of a new regional holiday hotspot. The new destination is the Gloucester service centre beside the M5 motorway on the edge of the Cotswolds.
The service centre is adjacent to the motorway’s northbound carriageway and opened for business last August. It has since proved a hit with travellers and many say they only travel here from their homes in locations such as Birmingham and then go home again.
Frequent visitors say it is peaceful and offers premium quality food and products. Bucking the trend of most modern motorway service hubs, Gloucester Services has no McDonald’s or other fast food chain outlet, but offers visitors the chance of dining on the likes of freshly made gourmet sandwiches and pastries as well as sushi and delicious desserts.
Almost all of the ingredients used to make the food comes from local farms and suppliers. Other bonuses of Gloucester Services are that it has a waterfall, a beautifully laid out pond and trees to block out the constant drone of traffic on the M5.
Some local residents say they visit to walk their dogs as paths are framed by the bucolic sight of the green hills of the Cotswolds. One frequent visitor is lorry-driver James Swinton and he says he enjoys bringing his family here on days off as it reminds him of the Lake District but is a lot nearer to home.
Gloucester Services is located between the 11A and the 12 junctions of the M5. Other travellers cite the convenience of the centre as a stopover for a break before travelling onwards to Gloucester, Bristol, Bath or Weston-Super-Mare and note that there is ample parking too.