Motorway Services Online

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Maidstone services


M20 at J8
(also accessible to traffic on the A20, but via a short section of motorway)

Signposted from the road.


ME17 1SS

map and directions


Single site located at a junction.

Rating: See the reviews

The M20's main service station sits in the middle of the Garden of England.


Catering: Chozen Noodle, Costa Coffee, The Garden Square Deli, McDonald's Drive Thru, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Costa Drive Thru Shops: Phone Tech, WHSmith Amenities: Days Inn, Changing Places, Jackpot £500, Showers Outdoor Space: Small grass area to the side of building Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway HPC 150kW CCS, 50kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2; IONITY 350kW CCS Forecourt: Esso, Londis, Costa Express, Dunkin' Donuts, Flatstone Pizza, f'real Milkshakes, Rollover, West Cornwall Pasty Co.

Parking Prices

First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £20 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £36, or £39 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using NexusPay or in the shop. The location code is 2062.

The fees are strictly enforced by GroupNexus.

Parking and use of the forecourt is also limited to 30 minutes maximum stay for all vehicles and is strictly enforced by Euro Car Parks.

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

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Roadchef Motorways Ltd
Junction 8
M20 Motorway
ME17 1SS

Trivia and Design

Maidstone services 2003.jpg
The old Wimpy restaurant.

Camera icon

Services opened 1997

For some time, Maidstone was the only service area on the M20. The entrance to the service area crosses the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which was constructed around the same time, and there is an emergency access point within the lorry park.

The service area is encompassed by Operation Brock. When there are delays at the Channel Ports, the J8 eastbound on-slip is closed, which means traffic heading towards the coast can leave at Maidstone services, but it cannot rejoin. To rejoin, traffic needs to head back to J7 and turn around, which is a significant detour. This new traffic system was trialled in March 2019, first introduced in October 2019, and has been used again on many occasions since then.

The other odd thing about Maidstone's location is that it's positioned at a junction, but it's still accessible by motorway only, because the exit for Maidstone happens to also be the start of Kent's first motorway.


See also: M20 Service Area Planning

As far back as 1962, there were plans for a large service area at Detling, near M20 J7. This was going to be the M20's main service station.

In 1974 attention turned towards Silverhill (later known as Hollingbourne), which Kent County Council preferred because it would be positioned at a junction, and therefore less environmentally damaging.

Throughout the 1980s, with plans still ongoing, Esso raised an interest in the land. They proposed three different possible layouts all positioned at M20 J8 (known to them as Woodcut Farm).

In June 1986 the Department of Transport confirmed their "M20 policy", which stated that they would be building a service area at Hollingbourne, and developers would be invited to bid for it. A public inquiry took place in 1988 where Esso's three proposals, as well as their objection to the Department of Transport leading the scheme, were all thrown out. The inspector considered building at Allington Quarry at M20 J5, but concluded it would be too expensive to build.

With the Department of Transport looking to save time and money, having won the case, they later decided to award the contract directly to Esso under a new private initiative scheme, on the basis that Esso had demonstrated an interest in the land. Progress was delayed by the fallout from the High Court case over Clacket Lane, which criticised the Department's procedures, and concerns about the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Most of the design work for Hollingbourne (eventually opened as "Maidstone services") was all completed in Esso's name. They chose to partner with Roadchef to operate most of the site. The forecourt opened in March 1997, and the main building opened a few weeks later. The building was arranged with a long foyer, typical of Roadchefs at the time, with one side having a restaurant seating 280 and a coffee stand, and on the other side was Wimpy, a tourist information unit, a shop, and then the toilets.

The changes were initially quite modest. The tourist information centre became a game arcade, Wimpy became McDonald's, and the shop took on WHSmith branding. The restaurant became Costa and Restbite.

Esso continued to run the petrol station, until they sold it to MRH, now MFG.


In 2015, a significant extension was planned which would have seen a new SPAR store added to the front of the building, and the layout changed to have the passageway snake through the middle of the dining area as with other Roadchef service areas, but this was scrapped.

In June 2018, the service area trialled a Costa machine which offered 5p vouchers in return for coffee cups and plastic bottles, as part of an initiative to reduce litter in the area.

MFG refurbished the forecourt in autumn 2019. This included the shop rebranding to Londis and the introduction of a number of grab and go options. Four IONITY electric vehicle charging points were also installed.

Work commenced on adding drive thru windows to the McDonald's restaurant in late 2022, with the main car park being reconfigured so that the drive-thru lane runs in front of the main building. The new drive thru opened with a soft launch on 31 January 2023, with the main building also gaining a new entrance and main walkway from the car park.

A Changing Places facility was added here in mid-2023, housed in a new bolt-on extension to the back of the amenity building. A Phone Tech store also opened in late 2023, replacing the former 'Miles of Smiles' children's entertainment area.

Roadchef intends to add around 60 spaces to the HGV parking area. Noise fencing would be provided around the hotel and some spaces would be designated for future conversion to electric HGV charging points.


Clacket Lane (M25 west, 27 miles)
Thurrock (M25 north, 31 miles)
Shooters Hill (A2 west, 36 miles)
Services on the M20Folkestone (23 miles)
Clacket Lane (M25 west, 27 miles)Roadchef servicesnone

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