South Mimms services
A busy service area at a busy roundabout, consisting of a large building with car parks and neighbouring facilities sprawled across much of the local area. It is a rare example of separate facilities being provided for cars and HGVs, both operated by the same company.
Cars and coaches can access the main facilities, but HGVs cannot.
Catering: Burger King, KFC, PizzaExpress, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, The Good Breakfast, f'real Milkshakes, Jolly Rancher Slush, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks on the Go, Starbucks Drive Thru Shops: Little Waitrose & Partners, Top Gift, WHSmith Amenities: Ramada, Changing Places, Game Zone, Revolution Laundry, Showers Outdoor Space: Grass area by hotel; Access to Wash Lane Common Nature Reserve Charging Points: Applegreen Electric 150kW CCS & 100kW CHAdeMO; GRIDSERVE Electric Highway 50kW CCS, 50kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2; Tesla Supercharger 150kW CCS Forecourt: BP, Marks and Spencer Food, Wild Bean Café, Free Cash Machine
South Mimms Truckstop
The South Mimms Truckstop is only accessible to HGVs.
First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 for a further 24 hours and HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £37 (or £39 to include a £12 meal voucher).
Separate parking is provided for cars, coaches, HGVs and caravans.
Prices can be paid in the shop, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
The Welcome Break
Welcome Break Service Station
Trivia and Design
See also: History:South Mimms
The service area's site comprises of several businesses and units, including a council depot. The only sensible route between the motorways and the village of South Mimms is to leave at the junction and drive through the service area, where there is a link road to the village. This feature is pretty much exclusive to this service area.
The fire meant between 1998 and 2013 it was both the oldest and the newest service area on the M25. Its dedicated HGV facilities meant South Mimms was often included in truckstop guides, where it boasted 200 HGV parking spaces.
The motorway network's first public piano was added to the amenity building in April 2023. It is provided in partnership with Electric Umbrella, who later went onto add a piano at Welcome Break's Oxford site too.
Six more electric vehicle chargers were added in May 2022, under their parent company's brand, Applegreen Electric. Early drawings suggested the Welcome Break brand would be used. Either way, it represents a change from motorway service areas normally outsourcing their charging facilities to third parties. A further eight chargers were later added in October 2023, to assist with demand for EV charging at the site.
The services are off a busy roundabout, however its location presents an even bigger problem for the police. Over time, several illegal activities have been uncovered here, largely due to its location being where two major routes cross, one coming out of London (where South Mimms is the first service area you'd pass) and one heading towards the Channel Ports.
National Cycle Network route 12 runs along Wash Lane, behind the service area building, with a gate for cyclists to access the facilities. This is an unusual feature for a motorway service area, but unlike the footpath at Severn View, at South Mimms the facility isn't advertised to cyclists.
The gate is actually there to provide customers with access to Wash Lane Common Nature Reserve. Hertfordshire County Council have been working to promote and improve the nature reserve, in turn improving the view from the service area. This puts South Mimms in the unusual position where it offers a break to people who are out for a leisurely stroll.
A new building was added next to the hotel in April 2016, which was planned to become a Frankie & Benny's, but opened as a rare example of a franchised Ed's Easy Diner. The trial brand represented Welcome Break's efforts to increase their share of the restaurant market. The store closed in April 2018, and reopened as a PizzaExpress on 8 June 2018.
The motorway network's first Pret a Manger opened here on 24 August 2016. It is operated under a contract which expires in 2025.
The former Tossed unit sat empty for three years following their closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was replaced by Welcome Break's first Taco Bell unit on 19 February 2024.
In the Public Eye
Half of the music video for the number one World Cup song '3 Lions '98' was filmed at South Mimms, where it played the role of a French service area. The Lightning Seeds, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner, Robbie Williams and Chris Evans all filmed scenes in the car park, while Geoff Hurst was filmed using the petrol station. The footage was shot on a single day in May.
The service area was mentioned in Ian Sinclair's book 'London Orbital', which came to the conclusion that it was dire and in need of a refurbishment. A few weeks later, he said things had improved, but there was also traffic queueing to leave the site and join the main junction. Roger Green wrote a book about the service area, titled 'Destination Nowhere: A South Mimms Motorway Service Station Diary'.
On TV, the service area had a recurring feature in Sky's 'Brainiac: Science Abuse'. It has also appeared in 'EastEnders'.
|Cobham (45 miles)
Toddington (M1 north, 25 miles)
Beaconsfield (M40 north, 28 miles)
Reading (M4 west, 54 miles)
Heston (M4 east, 30 miles)
Fleet (M3 south-west, 51 miles)
|Services on the M25
|Thurrock (32 miles)
Birchanger Green (M11 north, 39 miles)
|Services on the A1(M)
|Baldock (23 miles)
|London Gateway (M1 south, 17 miles)
Fleet (M3 south-west, 51 miles)
|Welcome Break services
|Birchanger Green (M11 north, 39 miles)
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