There really isn't anywhere else quite like Scotland. Escapism is the only word for it. The welcome doesn't match up to the climate, and the views are a memory to withhold. The ultimate journey, a Pitstopper has requested help on the long journey all the way from Bristol! This is when you really need a good Pitstop... or five!
1. Gloucester Services (On the M5 Northbound)
One of only two services featured as Pitstops (and they are sister properties at that!), Gloucester Services have really got this right. The indoor children's play area is absolutely adored by little people, the food served in the restaurant is unrecognisable from a normal service station (and something gorgeous is available all day), there's outdoor space for 'fresh' air, and the farm shop is just brilliant for stocking up on the way or way back from holiday, or some car snacks. We love it.
2. Hanbury Hall (10 minutes from the M5 at Droitwich Spa)
A real family favourite on the National Trust list! Off the M5, the short 10 minutes is worth the journey when the children need a run out and play, or you need to see historical beauty in full flow. The choice of 3 eateries including one al fresco for a very quick fix are all ideal, and the play area is fantastic. Allow yourself a quick scoot around the Hall and escape the motorway good and proper.
3. Wheelock Hall Farm (5 minutes from the M6 at Junction 17 for Crewe)
We adore this small farm and play park. The children's play area and assault course are excellent and stimulating for all ages, and there are plenty of farm animals to keep them occupied when the playing is done. With a well-stocked farm shop (the bread is too more-ish for words) and delicious Tea Room menu (do NOT miss the chips), the only problem is prizing yourselves away. At only £3.50 entry for children and free for adults, we think it's great value too.
4. Wallings of Cockermouth (6 minutes from the M6 at Junction 33)
Cow-to-cone ice cream - BRILLIANT! A family run dairy farm since 1948, they've had a lot of time to get it right! Great kids menu, good disabled access, lovely savouries, amazing ice-cream, and stunning homemade chocolates. We want to get a lock-in! All this only minutes away from the Moto services, surely it's a sure thing.
5. Houghton Hall Garden Centre (Just moments from the M6 at Junction 44, north of Carlisle)
A 3-level garden centre with shopping galore, including food hall, toy shop, pets and aquatics. The World in Minature museum is an extra journey-breaker idea! The cafés have delicious light lunches, and there's a play area to boot.