Motorway Services Online

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Watford Gap services


M1 between J16 and J17

Signposted from the road.



map and directions


Two sites located between junctions, connected by a pedestrian footbridge.

Rating: See the reviews

Possibly the most famous service station name in the country - so it's a bit of a shame that it looks no different from most other services. Still, given that it has been there for over 60 years, it's quite an achievement that it's able to keep up with the others.


Catering: on both sides: Chozen Noodle, Costa Coffee, McDonald's, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Costa Drive Thru
plus northbound only: Coco di Mama, Fresh Food Café, f'real Milkshakes
and southbound only: The Garden Square Deli, LEON
Shops: Phone Tech, WHSmith Amenities: on both sides: Jackpot £500, Showers
plus northbound only: Changing Places
and southbound only: Days Inn, Regus Express
Outdoor Space: northbound only: No grass space
and southbound only: Tiny grass space to left of building
Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway HPC 350kW CCS, 100kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2 Forecourt: BP, Shop, Wild Bean Café, Free Cash Machine

Parking Prices

First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £20 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £31, or £34 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using NexusPay or in the shop. The location code is 2220 (northbound) and 2237 (southbound).

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:
Watford Gap Motorway Services Area

Trivia and Design

Old restaurant.
Cramped but popular - the original restaurant.

See also: History:Watford Gap

The traditional 'gateway to the north', Watford Gap probably manages to be both Britain's most famous and most infamous motorway service area. It has also managed to convince the world's press that it's the oldest.

Going right back to the days of The Blue Boar, Watford Gap has seen highs and lows that have all shaped Britain's motoring culture. The name 'Blue Boar' is still used on some internal documents as of 2021.

Watford Gap was still managed under its original operating lease, which was one of very few that were never sold. Negotiations are underway to renew it.

Recent Developments

In 2010, a large redevelopment of the northbound service area saw a new entrance created, and the restaurant reduced from a large Restbite servery to a smaller Hot Food Co. counter. In 2012, this was changed to Roadchef's trial restaurant Fresh Food Café.

A new LEON restaurant opened on the southbound side on 24 November 2021 in place of the Chozen Noodle unit. The Fresh Food Cafe unit was also replaced with a new Garden Square Deli unit in late December 2021 which offers Chozen Noodle products as well as New York Bakery products.

Western Power Distribution increased the electricity capacity at Watford Gap in early 2023, to allow each side to gain a GRIDSERVE electric vehicle charging hub containing twelve new high-powered chargers. Both EV hubs went live in September 2023.

Meanwhile, in November 2023, Roadchef were quoted as saying that Watford Gap is "past its sell-by date", saying that they were "not proud of it" and that the building "is not British architecture at its finest". They said they were ready to replace it with a new building in place of the current car park, with a business lounge, up to 150 electric vehicle charging points and a double-deck car park. The new building, which still needs to clear a number of hurdles, would make the facility much easier to manage in line with modern customer demands. It has been designed with feedback from students at Bristol University's Innovation department.

Despite the redevelopment plans, Roadchef continue to invest in the current buildings and added a Coco Di Mama offering to the northbound Fresh Food Café unit in January 2024.


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