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Membury services

Membury
Welcome Break
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsMembury services
Road:M4 between J14 and J15

MAP AND DIRECTIONS
Address:Welcome Break
M4 Services
Membury Motorway Services Area
Lambourn
Hungerford
Berkshire
RG17 7TZ
Telephone number:01488 674360
Signposted from the road?Yes
Opened:1972
Previous operators:Ross
Grid reference:SU308760
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, connected by a pedestrian footbridge.
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An obsession with curves and slopes creates this well-furnished but otherwise standard service area.

Facilities

Catering: Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea, Starbucks Drive Thru
westbound only: Harry Ramsden's
eastbound only: Chopstix Noodle Bar, Subway
Shops: Fone Bitz, Waitrose, WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Showers, Welcome Break Gaming
westbound only: Changing Places, Regus Express
Motel: Days Innbook Forecourt: Shell, Select, Deli2go, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea, AdBlue Containers

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £24, or £26 to include a £9 meal voucher.

Prices can be paid in the shop with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.

Trivia

Membury is built on the site of the old RAF Membury airfield. There is a tribute to those who served there in World War II in the car park.

The services can be identified by the large transmitting signal situated next to it. Within the services is a mural painted by David Fisher, who was recruited by Forte to paint one for most of their services.

The filling station was, for a time, not owned by Welcome Break but was actually a BP corporate site, under the BP Connect brand. This suggests Membury was one of the Highways Agency-owned sites. On 1 May 2017, the filling stations were handed back over to Welcome Break by BP and were re-branded to Shell, including the standard usual Deli2go offering.

The eastbound petrol station has an unusual layout whereby refuelling vehicles face what appears to be the wrong way. Not particularly remarkable, but slightly odd.

A Chopstix Noodle Bar opened on June 22nd 2017.

The site is 40.75 acres in size.

History

Membury abandoned building.
One of the abandoned buildings before becoming a Starbucks.
Membury services 1970s.
The upstairs dining area in the 1970s.

Ross originally wanted the services to be a replica of their first site at Leicester Forest East, however they couldn't afford to manage the traffic on the M4 whilst the bridge was being built. Even so, remnants of the idea can still be seen: both sides have a restaurant on a second floor which is accessed from a staircase, with the option of eating outdoors on a terrace. Moving the restaurant upstairs creates a rare bit of space in the rest of the services.

The distinctive building design with its high roof and open views was noted upon opening for being very noisy and exposed. The long corridors, running beneath the building to the second entrance, were initially a magnet for vandalism.

Old Restaurants and Shops

When Forte acquired the services, they wanted to build a tie rack, dry goods shop and shirt shop. Instead the services gained a garden centre, unique to the motorway network, and on the upper level a coffee shop which offered a blend of waitress and self-service catering. The room had a brown, grey and orange décor with a thick striped carpet. This was possibly called The Buttery, and it used a numbering system to deliver hot food ordered from the counter. Fresh flowers and pictures served as decoration. Next door was a screened-off café, split over both levels, with ramps connecting the two.

Welcome Break later trialled a Halfords shop here, before Granada adopted them as a partner.

The services have an extra building which used to be a Happy Eater, later a Little Chef and then a Red Hen. It closed with the demise of Red Hen; the westbound side became a training centre while the eastbound side was unchanged and appeared to contain a lot of the original furniture. Since 2012, a Starbucks Drive Thru and Regus Express meeting room have used the buildings.

Survey Results

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


In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 88% satisfaction score for the westbound services and 77% for the eastbound services.

In 2015, May 2012 and August 2011, VisitEngland rated the westbound services as 4 stars and the eastbound side as 3 stars.

In 2007, the westbound services won a four-star loo award. The eastbound side won a three-star loo award.

In 2006, the services won a four star loo award.

Also in 2006, Holiday Which? rated the services at 3/5.

In 1991, a Which? survey rated the services as "average".

In 1977 Egon Ronay rated the services as "just acceptable". He found it clean and described it as an "architectural masterpiece", and it served "reasonable" convenience-based food.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Chieveley (11 miles) Services on the M4 Leigh Delamere (29 miles)
none nearby Welcome Break services none nearby on M4
Michaelwood (M5 north, 56 miles)
Gordano (M5 south, 56 miles)

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