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Rownhams services


M27 between J3 and J4

Signposted from the road.


SO16 8AP

map and directions


Two sites located between junctions, connected by pedestrian subway.

Rating: See the reviews

The only substantial services on the entire south coast route, recent refurbishments have breathed life back in to what was becoming a forgotten place.


Catering: on both sides: Costa Coffee, McDonald's, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Costa Drive Thru
plus north-eastbound only: New York Bakery Co.
and south-westbound only: Chozen Noodle, Fresh Food Café, McDonald's Drive Thru, LEON, Skwishee Iced Drinks
Shops: on both sides: WHSmith
and south-westbound only: Phone Tech, SPAR
Amenities: on both sides: Jackpot £500, Showers
and south-westbound only: Days Inn
Outdoor Space: Grass area to the side of both buildings; Picnic Area Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway 50kW CCS, 50kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2 Forecourt: BP, Shop, Wild Bean Café

Parking Prices

First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £13 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £33, or £36 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using NexusPay or in the shop. The location code is 2206 (westbound) and 2066 (eastbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by GroupNexus.

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

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Motor Way Service Station
Rownhams Lane
SO16 8AP

Trivia and Design

The service area building with white paint.
The main westbound entrance as it looked for many years.

See also: History:Rownhams

Two distinctly different designs make up the services. The westbound has always been the bigger of the two, and as of 2019 it boasts Roadchef's flagship brands including Leon and SPAR. Eastbound looks tiny in comparison, but there is a plan to add a new restaurant.

The westbound service area forms one of five bases for Boarhunt, a local recovery service. If there are significant delays at Southampton's docks most lorries are told to wait at the services.

Despite the location, the westbound service area is regularly referred to by Roadchef as being on the "M27 northbound".

In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 75% satisfaction score for the westbound services and 76% for the eastbound services. This means the pair were the third and fourth worst-performing respectively. By 2018 things were much better, with 87% and 93%, and in 2019 westbound rose to 96%. The previous poor performance may explain why it has a turn-in rate of around only 4%.


The first motorway Costa drive thru unit opened at the eastbound service area in July 2016, which required the access road to be re-aligned. This tiny unit offers no internal seating at all. A second one opened in May 2017, along with a significant extension moving the toilets to the old entrance to make room for the new SPAR store.

Roadchef currently hold planning permission to build one of their first stand-alone, two-storey McDonald's drive thrus in the eastbound car park. As part of this rearrangement, 8 GRIDSERVE charging points, 12 Tesla Superchargers and 4 forecourt chargers would be built, which would be covered by a canopy. As part of that work, 43 new car parking spaces would be provided by the building, and a further 97 new car parking spaces would be built by the forecourt.

Meanwhile, in Spring 2022, a drive thru lane with two order points was added alongside the westbound amenity building to connect with the existing McDonald's restaurant. To achieve this, the flow within the car park was reversed, and some spaces were removed from the HGV parking area. The drive-thru lane opened on 23 June 2022, with an official opening ceremony attended by Roadchef's CEO Mark Fox and The Services King.

The eastbound WHSmith store was refurbished in January 2023, reopening on 3 February with new 'grab and go' options.


West Wellow (A36, 4 miles)
Stoney Cross (A31 westbound, 9 miles)
Picket Post (A31, 15 miles)
Services on the M27Winchester (M3, 15 miles)
Farlington (A27, 22 miles)
Sutton Scotney (A34, 18 miles)
noneRoadchef servicesSutton Scotney (A34, 18 miles)

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