Motorway Services Online

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Gristhwaite (Thirsk) services

Location:

A168 between Thirsk and Dishforth

Signposted from the road.

Postcode:

YO7 3HN (northbound), YO7 3HW (southbound)

map and directions

Access/Layout:

Two sites staggered between junctions, with no public connection between them.


Two petrol stations on the link from the A1 to the A19 with a small identity crisis.

Facilities

Catering: Starbucks Drive Thru Outdoor Space: Grass verges only (caution needed) Charging Points: northbound only: Shell Recharge 50kW CCS, 50kW CHAdeMO & 43kW Type 2
and southbound only: InstaVolt 50kW CCS & 50kW CHAdeMO
Forecourt: northbound only: Shell, Select, Deli by Shell, Costa Express

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:
Gristhwaite
Topcliffe Road
Topcliffe
Thirsk
North Yorkshire
YO7 3HN / YO7 3HW


Trivia and History

The service area consists of two distinct halves, with northbound being the older of the two.

Northbound History

A petrol station with a red canopy.
The forecourt with Total branding, pictured in 2007.

The northbound service area is built on a former brick and tile works. A garage was built here operated by Thirsk Motorway Services Ltd, named Midway services. There was a plan to add a motel here in 1974.

BP significantly expanded the site in 1976 under the name Halfway Garage, named after the Halfway House which is positioned behind it. The forecourt later became Total, and in 2011 it changed to Shell, who now refer to the site as Gristhwaite.

There was a small café here, which in 1981 Little Chef wanted to replace with one of their restaurants, but the new diner actually opened as their sister brand, Happy Eater, who called it their Thirsk branch. This became a Little Chef in 1993 anyway, which closed in February 2012. It became Mama B's restaurant in late 2012, which closed in September 2013 due to low usage.

Euro Garages demolished the former restaurant building in April 2019 and built a Starbucks Drive Thru on the site, which opened on 12 December 2019. The original plans also included plans for two 'pod' units described as a 'food to-go' pod and a 'bakery' pod (possibly Greggs), but this idea was dropped.

Southbound History

A newly built petrol station sat empty, surrounded by temporary fencing.
The forecourt now sits empty following redevelopment.

The southbound petrol station was built in around 1988, with Diner 168 opening three years later. It promoted itself as being the last restaurant "for over 50 miles".

The forecourt was formerly operated by Malthurst and branded Jet. It was later acquired by MRH, who rebranded the site to BP in 2012.

Diner 168 closed in late 2018, following the owner's retirement. The site was sold in December 2018 and a Starbucks Drive Thru opened on 31 May 2019.

Work also began on two units on unused land adjacent to the existing car park in summer 2019. After planning issues, this was completed in autumn 2020. New plans to part-demolish the unit to make the unit into a restaurant add a drive-thru lane to the rear of the unit were approved in July 2021.

MFG commenced redevelopment works on the forecourt in January 2022, with the new filling station set to rebrand to Esso along with featuring a new canopy, larger Londis store, new high-speed pumps (including an AdBlue pump) and the installation of two new electric vehicle charging points. This was completed in May 2022, with the site expected to reopen that month, but the reopening was halted as MFG wanted to sell the site to placate the Competition and Markets Authority.

The site has sat empty since and it's not known who the site is now owned by. While the old location is still listed on BP's website, things got complicated in 2023 when BP opened a new site just three miles up the road, operated by MFG and promoted by both as 'Thirsk services'.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Thirsk (3 miles)
Ingleby Arncliffe (A19 north, 16 miles)
Services on the A168Wetherby (A1(M) south, 19 miles)