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Donington services

Facilities | Rating | ReviewsDonington services
Road:M1 J23a northbound and J24 southbound
(also accessible to traffic on the A42 and the A453, not far from the A6 and the A50)

Address:Moto Services
Junction 23a M1
Castle Donington
DE74 2TN
Telephone number:01509 672220
Signposted from the road?Yes
Previous operators:Granada
Previous names:Donington Park
Grid reference:SK467252
Services type:Single site located at a junction.
Visit Donington/Moto's official website

Is it an airport? A town? It's one large services catering for many roads at once. It is located at M1 J23a but the junction has no north-facing sliproads, so traffic heading to/from the M1 north has to leave at J24 and use the parallel A453. It forms a gateway to The National Forest, and as such it has information boards and viewpoints round the back by the lake.


Catering: Burger King, Costa, Greggs, Harvester, West Cornwall Pasty Co., Costa Express, Krispy Kreme Shops: Cotton Traders, Fone Bitz, Ladbrokes, M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Main Amenities: Children's Soft Play Area, Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Full Hou$e, Lucky Coin, Moto Meetings, NomadPower, Picnic Area, Changing Places, Showers, Truck Wash Motel: Travelodgebook Forecourt: BP (with: BP Autogas LPG), Shop, Greggs, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Air1 AdBlue

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £23 or £25 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2435.

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.


The lake at the back of the services.

Donington (commonly misspelt 'Donnington') considers itself to be the gateway to the National Forest, and at the back by the lake there are information boards and viewing platforms. Until the 2016 sign replacement, it was called Donington Park services (the same as the racing circuit, often wrongly called 'Castle Donington').

In 1989, before the A42 was built, a much smaller service area was proposed in the north-east corner of the roundabout.

On 25 April 2008 Greg James presented BBC Radio 1's Early Morning Breakfast Show (4-7am) live from the services.

Building Design

The view from the in-built Travelodge.

The services were the first to be built with a design compared to that of an airport terminal which, albeit slightly modified, is still used by new services in 2013. It was billed by Granada as "a village by the roadside", aiming to reflect the wide range of facilities which would appeal to commuters.

It's the only service station where a hotel is built-in to the main building: some have access to the motel through the building, but few have the motel as a second storey. This design takes advantage of the fact few services had a hotel franchise from new, reducing the impact the construction had on the local environment.

Brand Changes

When it first opened the forecourt had a Sketchley dry cleaning and a photo development service, allowing commuters to stop by on the way to and from work, joined by a Moto Fresh Express café. Other shops it opened with included Knickerbox, Tandy Express, Thorntons (which lasted a long time), Tie Rack, The Sock Shop, Halfords, and Early Learning Centre.

The services were the first site to gain a Marks and Spencer store - at its time it was the smallest of their stores in the world, but it was then extended and re-branded to M&S Simply Food. It was built where the Burger King was, and the Burger King was moved further back. A WHSmith store also opened here, replacing Birthdays and the Moto Shop.

The Highways Agency had applied to build a regional control centre here in 2004, but it was refused.

On 21 May 2013, Harvester opened here on a trial basis. If it was successful, Moto planned to roll out Harvester across their network to replace Eat & Drink Co. but as of 2016, Harvester still survives at Donington and has not been rolled out to any other Moto sites.

The West Cornwall Pasty Co. outlet here is one of the two first internal West Cornwall Pasty Co. outlets at any Moto sites.

Survey Results

Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.

In 2015, the services were rated 4 stars by Visit England.

In May 2012 and August 2011, Visit England rated the services as 3 stars and said it had a lot of sockets for business users. It also came top for rural access due to its proximity to the National Forest.

In 2006 the services won a four star loo award and were graded 3/5 by Holiday Which?.

In 2005 the services won a five star loo award.


Markfield (9 miles)
Leicester Forest East (16 miles)
Services on the M1 Trowell (11 miles)
Tamworth (M42, 21 miles)Moto services Trowell (11 miles)

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