Now little more than a petrol station and a hotel next to the M1, Markfield shows all the promise of being a full service area but doesn't actually achieve it.
Hotel car park
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars and HGVs must pay £6.
Prices are paid in the Spar store.
The fees are strictly enforced by Euro Garages.
Leicester Markfield Service Area
Little Shaw Lane
- Telephone number: 01530 244706
- Grid reference: SK476111
Trivia and History
The first application for a service area here referred to a "drive-in type restaurant". It's not clear whether this was a rookie error, or a reference to a planned restaurant. In 1999, there was a plan to build another stand-alone restaurant in the car park. In 2005 Moto stated that this was still a long-term ambition, although ultimately it didn't happen.
Change Of Owners
The service area was built by Granada who wanted to quickly increase their number of sites. They may have been hoping that them opening their Granada Lodge here would stop Welcome Break expanding Leicester Forest East. As a result, they used the name Leicester, but on this website we would tend to stick to Markfield to avoid confusion.
It had a simple cross-shape with a restaurant, shop and toilets.
The fall of Markfield
The Little Chef and shop closed in 2008. The Little Chef became a Moto-operated Costa and was then closed again, leaving a large empty space next to the Burger King unit. The entrance was moved from the side of the building, to a new porch leading to the restaurant.
Moto sold the main amenities building to Euro Garages, who added a Coffee Nation machine, but then closed the whole building in 2014. This appears to have been a short-notice decision as posters and furniture from the time are still visible inside.
Lots of mould has gathered around the partition next to Burger King and within the former Costa unit. The entire building has flooded and the floor has worn away.
Very little attention is paid to this site: everything is tired and overgrown. As of 2018, the main building, children’s play area and all other land except the petrol station and hotel is fenced off.
|Leicester Forest East (6 miles)||Services on the M1||Donington (9 miles)|
|none nearby||Services on the A50||Leicester (A46, 9 miles)|