We all dread the thought of a long car journey, especially with small children. However why not break up a long journey with a visit to some of these very alternative ‘service stations’. The kids will be able to stretch their legs and the adults will leave feeling refreshed and ready to continue the onward journey!
Mottisfont Abbey & Garden, Hampshire
Approx 15 minute drive leaving M27 Junction 3
Take a break from the roads and stretch your legs in the beautiful house and gardens along the River Test. There is also a play area for the kids to burn off some energy… perfect after a long car journey! Find out more.
Killerton, Exeter, Devon
Approx 15 minute drive leaving M5 Junction 28
Children (and adults) will love a pit-stop visit to Killerton! With a massive 6,400 acres and 20 farms and over 200 cottages, Find out more.
Basildon Park, Berkshire
Approx 15 minute drive leaving M4 Junction 12
Escape the motorway with a visit to this beautiful Georgian mansion, which of course will be dressed for Christmas! Children will love exploring the winter gardens on a family trail, what better way to wear them out! Find out more.
Approx 10 minute drive leaving M25 Junction 5
Escape the usual M25 chaos with a visit to the once family home of Winston Churchill. Stretch your legs with a walk through the picturesque gardens, and on selected dates you’ll be able to take part in a festive family trail. Find out more.
Approx 15 minute drive leaving M5 Junction 7
Take a break from driving and visit this secret wartime airbase. With so much space to roam around, enjoy the fresh air whilst the kids explore the RAF themed playground and natural play area! Find out more.
Tredegar House, Newport
Approx 10 minute drive leaving M4 Junction 28
This stunning 17th Century mansion will certainly leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after a long drive. Perfect for all the family there is so much of the estate to explore, and for the little ones a play area to let off some steam! Find out more.
Close to the A483 and A5 roads
Escape boring roads with a detour to this wonderful 18th century country house where you can explore the upstairs downstairs life of a family who resided there for over 250 years! You must pop along and say hello to the beautiful resident working horses, Claire and Jerry, as they love lots of fuss and attention! Find out more.
Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
Approx 2 minutes leaving M1 Junction 29
This beautiful Elizabethan country house is a perfect place to escape the motorway for a few hours with the family. There’s plenty of festive trails and activities to keep the little ones entertained whilst you take in the wonderful surroundings. It’s impossible to believe you’re just a couple of minutes away from the M1! Find out more.
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Approx 20 minutes leaving A1 (M) Junction 48
Visit this fantastic World Heritage Site with a historic Abbey, water garden, and deer park. The kids will enjoy the play area located near the visitor centre, perfect for stretching their little legs after a long journey. Find out more.
Gibside, Tyne and Wear
Approx 20 minutes leaving A1 (M) Junction 63
Park the car and explore the parkland which has an incredible 15 miles of footpaths suitable for all requirements and abilities. A perfect excuse for a festive stroll enjoying the great outdoors! Find out more.