Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Woolley Edge’s Top of the Stops

Woolley Edge South might seem an unlikely destination for next year’s summer holiday but it might be worth a visit following the news that it has just been awarded the top-rated service station in England for its coffee shop.

The national recognition for the last motorway services on the M1, just outside Wakefield, comes from a new star rating scheme launched by Visit England in conjunction with the Highways Agency and the five main operators of motorway services – Moto, Welcome Break, Roadchef, Extra and Westmorland.

Loved and loathed in equal measure the new scheme could mean British service stations are on the cusp of a revolution as, for the first first time, the public are able to see which of England’s network of 71 stations are worth a visit - according to Visit England’s assessors - and which are better to drive past.

Warwick, for example, is named as the best place to stop in England for toilets (3 stars), Tebay South is the best for family outside play area (4 stars) and Beaconsfield for internal comfort (4 stars). Meanwhile, businesspeople it seems are spoilt for choice as Strensham North and Donington Park share the accolade for business use (3 stars each).

Equally, it is hoped that the outing of those with just two stars will help improve quality and experience, improving the service in service stations nationally.

James Berresford, Visit England’s chief executive said: “It is important that the welcome visitors receive, and the quality of services on offer at motorway service areas adds to the visitor’s overall holiday experience.”

For stressed out mums and dads still recovering from this year’s summer holiday road trip the new star rating scheme could provide essential reading before every future family excursion.

A full list of star ratings is available at

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