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Blue Bell Hill services


A229 Blue Bell Hill northbound

Signposted from the road.


ME20 7EZ

map and directions


Single site located between junctions on one side of the road.

The short link between the M20 and the M2 has its own service area, positioned on the climb out of Maidstone.


Catering: Mickey's Diner Outdoor Space: Small grass verge next to site entrance (extreme caution needed) Charging Points: Shell Recharge 150kW CCS & 50kW CHAdeMO Forecourt: Shell, Select, Deli by Shell, Costa Express, Free Cash Machine

Parking Prices

Short stay customer parking is available for cars. No HGV parking is available.

This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Shell Garage
Old Chatham Road
Blue Bell Hill
ME20 7EZ

Trivia and History

Bluebell Hill Little Chef.jpg
The Little Chef restaurant, pictured in 1998.

Camera icon

Forecourt opened 1993
Little Chef opened 1998
Little Chef closed 2005
Mickey's Diner opened 2006

There is also a filling station on the southbound side a little further south, named Cossington, but this isn't signed as an official service area. This is a much older garage that was built on the original Roman Road many decades ago, which explains the very difficult entry into the forecourt.

Planning and Opening

The site here is built on the site of a former engineering works, which was accessed from Old Chatham Road. This worked with Blue Bell Hill quarries, and was built after the new A229 was built across the chalk pits.

After the Blue Bell Hill Bypass opened in the 1985, the A229 was now a fast road which was likely to be used by strategic traffic. Motorcrown Petroleum proposed that the engineering works became a filling station in 1991, and it opened as a Shell in 1993. The filling station became directly owned and operated by Shell shortly after opening and continues to be to this day.

Restaurant History

Meanwhile, in 1995, Forte were granted planning permission to build a Little Chef restaurant to the south of the filling station here. Forte never managed to build the restaurant but new owners Granada opened it on 19 June 1998History, using a new style of prefabricated building. The site was officially opened by Coronation Street actress Helen Worth, with the site becoming Granada's premier site.

Despite being used in a number of promotions, the restaurant only lasted seven years and closed in 2005. The building was then purchased by local restaurateur Michael 'Mickey' Schembri in 2006 who opened Mickey's Diner.

Recent Developments

The forecourt was thoroughly redeveloped in summer 2016 which saw a new sales building and a new HGV lane added to the site. The new sales building is now positioned to the north of the site rather than in the centre. The site also gained two Shell Recharge electric vehicle charging points in late 2020.

Following the passing of Michael Schembri in December 2020, ownership of the diner passed to other family members. The restaurant continues to offer food and drink from 6:30am to 9pm, 7 days a week, becoming one of a few independent roadside cafes to maintain this level of service.

The Shell filling station received a refurbishment in late 2023 and now offers the 'Proud to Stock Co-op' range as well as Shell's MVI branding, including a floating pecten on the canopy.


Maidstone (M20 east, 7 miles)Services on the A229Cobham (A2 westbound, 9 miles)
Tollgate (11 miles)
Medway (M2 east, 6 miles)