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Donington services


M1 J23a northbound and J24 southbound
(also accessible to traffic on the A42 and the A453)

Signposted from the road.

Post Code:

DE74 2TN

map and directions


Single site located at a junction.

Rating: See the reviews

Is it an airport? Is it 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.


Catering: Burger King, Costa, Greggs, Harvester Express, West Cornwall Pasty Co, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme Shops: Cotton Traders, Fone Bitz, Ladbrokes, M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Main Amenities: Changing Places, Children's Soft Play Area, Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Full Hou$e, Lucky Coin, Moto Meetings, NomadPower, 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 £27.50. HGVs can pay £29.50 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.

Contact Details

Moto Services
Junction 23a M1
Castle Donington
DE74 2TN

  • Telephone number: 01509 672220
  • Grid reference: SK467252

Trivia and History

Donington Lake 2017.JPG
The lake at the back of the services.

Camera icon

Opened by Granada 1999
Re-branded Moto 2001

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. This was planned again in 2004 and 2009, backed by East Midlands Airport.

The opening ceremony in 1999 was hosted by TV presenter Charlie Dimmock.

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

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

A Costa drive thru is expected to be built next to the car park. Indoor and outdoor seating would be provided as part of it.

Building Design

Donington services shops.
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 today. 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 thoroughly 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, in doing so 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 rare example of a Moto Fresh Express café in a forecourt.

The main building opened with shops including Knickerbox, Tandy Express, Thorntons (which lasted a lot longer than the rest), 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.

On 21 May 2013, a franchised 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. . As of 2020, Harvester still survives at Donington but has not been rolled out to any other Moto sites, despite many other restaurants being refurbished.

This site is home to one of Moto's first internal West Cornwall Pasty Co units.


Leicester Forest East (16 miles) Services on the M1 Trowell (11 miles)
Appleby Magna (15 miles) Services on the A42 end of road
Tamworth (M42, 21 miles) Moto services Trowell (11 miles)

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