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Welcome Break

Welcome Break
Welcome Break
Associated names:KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, Eat In, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, WHSmith, Fone Bitz, Waitrose, Days Inn, Subway, Papa John's Pizza, Harry Ramsdens, Ramada, Tossed, Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin Robbins
Predecessors:Trusthouse Forte, Ross
Acquired by:Appia Investments
Chief executive:Rod McKie
Headquarters address:2 Vantage Court
Tickford Street
Newport Pagnell
MK16 9EZ [map]
Phone number:01908 299700
Facebook Page
Twitter: @welcomebreak

The second-largest operator, Welcome Break have been extensively refurbishing several of their services (rebuilding Sarn Park entirely), replacing restaurants with a whole-new range of takeaway food brands. They were also quick to roll-out stand-alone Starbucks drive thrus wherever possible.

Welcome Break Today

The new styling being applied to their services

Welcome Break own many old buildings, such as Charnock Richard and the country's oldest, Newport Pagnell, but an expansion in the 1990s has also given them several much newer buildings.

Their retail offer is made up mostly of Waitrose, backed up by WHSmith, and they are introducing collection points aimed at commuters.

They were one of the first operators to take social media seriously, which they use to market their facilities. They regularly support Children In Need.


Having led several refurbishment programmes, throughout 2015 they redesigned most of their food courts, introducing Subway, Tossed, Papa John's Pizza and Harry Ramsdens to the motorway network, but doing without the traditional restaurant all together and relying on Harry Ramsdens for the breakfast trade.

Some of these units are operated by Welcome Break at other operator's services, including Cobham.

As part of their latest changes, brightly-coloured wood-effect styling is used for many of its corporate signs and flooring.


Welcome Break have always taken their roll in providing motorway motels seriously, right back to when they leant their own name to the Welcome Lodge. This became Days Inn (also Days Hotel), which they operate away from the motorway network and at other operator's services.

These are now being replaced by the more upmarket Ramada.

Company History

Full details: History:Welcome Break

The Welcome Break name was originally nothing to do with motorway services - but it was held onto. They went on to become the pride of Trusthouse Forte's family, and despite several names and changes forced upon them by Granada, the name continues to survive.

Logo History

The original motorway logo.
The most well-known logo, 1990-2000

When Welcome Break was merely a motorway restaurant to rival Little Chef, circa 1975-78, its logo was also an attempt to rival Little Chef's logo. It was a purple silhouette teapot figure with legs, a head and a chef's hat, inside a triangle with a red outline similar to the Channel 4 red triangle or an upside down Give Way sign. The accompanying text added "Highway Family Restaurants" at the bottom.

From April 1984, the new Welcome Break motorway services had a whole new red-and-cream logo. In around 1990, this was replaced by the slightly iconic swan logo and blue colour scheme, which can be seen to the right. In 2000 that image was then freshened up slightly to create a more relaxing image. The Welcome Break services at Warwick were given a hill figure of a swan made of quartz that same year, although it never resembled the swan on the logo, and is no longer there.

At one time they advertised their services with the slogan "High St. prices". How times change!

In 2006, the swan logo was then replaced by their new green-on-black colour scheme. All their services now use a mural which resembles its location, with the words 'Welcome Break' in white and green-on-black. Welcome Break have also teamed up with KFC, Waitrose and Starbucks to appear on their road signs, but they've previously used Sainsbury's, Burger King and Coffee Primo. At the end of the trend of pushing brand names further than their own, many road signs no longer used the Welcome Break branding at all, but new signs use the new format, showing the green-on-black logo.

Welcome Break Services

Full details: List of Welcome Break services

A list of services ran by Welcome Break can be found at this page, or you can view them on a map.

Extra Facilities

With the success of the Days Inn motel brand, Welcome Break had a hand in a hotel in central London. They have since expanded the motels at London Gateway and Birchanger Green to use the more upmarket 'Days Hotel' name.

In addition to this, Extra have let out most of their facilities to other companies, many of which have been taken up by Welcome Break:

  • Baldock (A1/A1(M)) - motel branded as Days Inn
  • Cambridge (A14) - motel branded as Ramada (formerly branded Days Inn)
  • Cobham (M25) - doughnut stand in WH Smith branded as Krispy Kreme; restaurants branded as Harry Ramsden's, Tossed and Papa John's Pizza; coffee shop as Starbucks and motel as Days Inn
  • Peterborough (A1/A1(M)) - motel branded as Days Inn
  • Wakefield (M1) - (Not Services) motel branded as Ramada (formerly branded Days Hotel)
  • Winchester (M3) - (Moto Services) motel services with Welcome Break running southbound motel

Former Services

The following services were once branded as Welcome Break:

1970s A-road Sites

The following a-road sites were ran by Welcome Break in the 1970s:

  • Camel Cross Motors (A303)
  • Fourways (A37)
  • Henstridge (A24)
  • Holmwood (A24)
  • Hilltop Grill (A30)
  • Kennford (A38)
  • Lamberhurst (A21)
  • Newcott (A303)
  • Rake (A3)
  • Upper Swainswick (A46)

Unbuilt Services

The following services were planned by Welcome Break but they were never built:

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