This is the Extra service area on the M25. For the service station on the A2 in Kent, see Cobham (A2).
Britain's biggest and busiest service area finally opened in September 2012, bringing brand new facilities to the congested London Orbital.
Catering: Chozen Noodle & Sushi, El Mexicana, Greggs, KFC, Leon, McDonald's, Nando's, PizzaExpress, Starbucks, Tapori, West Cornwall Pasty Co, Krispy Kreme, Nescafé Azera Shops: M&S Simply Food, Top Gift, WHSmith Main Amenities: Changing Places, Children's Play Area, Quicksilver, Revolution Self Service Launderette, Showers Hotel: Ramada Charging Points: Ecotricity Forecourt: Shell, Select, Deli by Shell, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue, LPG (Autogas), Coach Toilet Drop, Hydrogen Refuelling Area
First 3 hours free for all vehicles, after which charges apply:
Up to 4 hours (including free period): £9 Up to 6 hours: £20 Up to 8 hours: £27 Up to 15 hours: £30 Up to 24 hours: £35 Up to 48 hours: £48 Up to 72 hours: £90 Each additional 24 hours or part: £35 Trailer swaps: £15
Prices are paid at the parking machines in the car park and food court, and can be paid using GBP, Euros or using fuel cards.
We are aware of a number of social media reports that Cobham is requiring all HGVs to pay after 35 minutes. This is categorically untrue, as confirmed by Extra.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Cobham Motorway Service Area M25
🌍 Operators (Official Websites):
Trivia and History
Official figures for customer levels at motorway service areas are always kept confidential, but an analysis of social media (and our own page views) suggests Cobham is the busiest. It is also the biggest.
At night, the coach park officially doubles-up as an overflow lorry park (this tends to happen at most services against their will, but Cobham is currently the only one to embrace this with official signage). In June 2019, work began to build a second HGV parking area with an additional 75 parking spaces, bringing the total to 147. There had been reports of some HGVs parking on the slip roads. One estimate suggested as many as 170 spaces are regularly required.
As a result of the HGV parking issues and the chaotic nature of the busy car park, long lengths of the roads around Cobham services are marked with double red lines - something rarely seen outside of major city centres.
On the evening of 21 February 2016, the service area was forced to close after invitations to an unofficial car meet went viral on social media. Over 3000 people descended on the services causing severe tailbacks on the M25 and filling the car park. On 26 July 2020, police again attended a car meet which was causing delays on the M25.
The service area received a lot of media attention in June 2017, following a serious assault in the petrol station.
IONITY electric vehicle charging points are due to be installed here soon.
Planning and Opening
Full details: M25 Planning Applications
When the M25 opened through here in 1983, no service areas were provided. Poynters Farm (positioned immediately west of Cobham) was one of many possible sites which were considered, but the Department of Transport were never able to settle on a plan in time.
Instead, it was decided that the M25 would have four service areas, which were expected to be suitable until 2015.
The planning application for Cobham services was submitted in 1995, under the name New Barn Farm. This was taken to the 1999 public inquiry alongside a number of service areas proposed for the M25 and the M4. This ruled that Cobham should be built.
The public inquiry decision was quashed by the High Court in 2000, as it was decided the alternative options hadn't been given due consideration. Another public inquiry was held in 2002 alongside more service areas proposed for the M25, M4 and M40.
Elmbridge Borough Council tried to argue that any new service area should be built Buckinghamshire instead. The Secretary of State concluded that Cobham's "serious green belt objections" were outweighed by the "compelling need" for a new service area on the M25, concluding that "the time for putting off the decision has long since passed". John Prescott once again granted planning permission for Cobham, as well as Beaconsfield.
An opening ceremony was held on 6 October 2012 to mark the opening of Cobham.
The service area consists of one very large amenity building and an equally large petrol station; both are believed to be among the largest in Britain. The site was built with facilities built to the south of the motorway, with an underpass allowing eastbound traffic to access it.
The amenity building (signposted as a food court) is similar to most Extra services in that it has the main units spread out around a central atrium, with toilets at the back. The hotel is then built-in at the side. A number of temporary-style units are placed in the middle, amongst the seating.
This was the second revision of the plan. The first had a smaller amenity building surrounded by parking, with an entrance at each end and a separate lodge to the side.
In 2016, significant changes were made to the road layout at what used to be a standard roundabout used to enter and exit the services. While the original layout was praised for its efficient and simple design, it proved to be crippled by the heavy weight of traffic and by motorists' forgetting which direction on the M25 they were using. As a result, the new layout has many signs, each with a heading pleading "PLEASE GET IN LANE".
When the plans for the services first went public, the services were going to include an LP4 restaurant and an Etap Hotel but these were replaced by Welcome Break's Eat In and Days Inn respectively. This was the first time one operator's own creation has been introduced to a rival service station. The Eat In restaurant was the last remaining Eat In restaurant to close on the motorway network in June 2015. It was replaced by Harry Ramsden's, Papa John's Pizza and Tossed which all opened on 7 July 2015. A Costa Express machine and Krispy Kreme counter could also be found in this area.
The Starbucks café, which was the largest in Europe when it opened, is also operated by Welcome Break.
The services used be the only services to offer both Starbucks on the Go as well as Costa Express machines, both under one roof. The Starbucks on the Go machine has since been replaced by a Nescafé Alegria machine.
A Nando's restaurant opened here on 29 November 2017 in a new extension to the main amenity building.
Papa John's Pizza closed in April 2018 and was replaced by an extended refurbished Tossed unit which opened in May 2018. During April 2018, the Mint Leaves unit here was removed and was replaced by WrapChic which opened on 1 August 2018.
A new Pizza Express, which is operated by Welcome Break, opened in March 2019 and is accessed from both the front of the main building and within the existing Welcome Break area as it is based in another new extension between the main building and the Days Inn hotel.
In June 2019, A Changing Places toilet was installed. In summer 2019, the Days Inn Motel here was rebranded to Ramada. In autumn 2019, the WrapChic store was replaced by Tapori along with their other store at Beaconsfield.
| Clacket Lane (22 miles)|
Pease Pottage (M23 south, 39 miles)
|Services on the M25||
South Mimms (42 miles)|
Toddington (M1 north, 53 miles)
Beaconsfield (M40 north, 26 miles)
Heston (M4 east, 21 miles)
Reading (M4 west, 42 miles)
Fleet (M3 south, 23 miles)
Ripley (A3 south, 5 miles)
| none on M25|
Beaconsfield (M40 north, 26 miles)
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