Welcome Break's half of the split services, for northbound traffic, with Roadchef operating the other half.
Catering: Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks on the Go, Yorkshire Tea Shops: WHSmith Main Amenities: Showers, small dog walking area, Welcome Break Gaming Hotel: Days Inn Charging Points: Ecotricity Forecourt: Shell, Select, Costa Express, Yorkshire Tea, Air1 AdBlue
First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 for a further 24 hours and HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £27 (or £29 include a £10 meal voucher).
Prices can be paid in the shop and restaurant, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.
Sedgemoor Motorway Services Area
Brent Knoll Picnic Area
Trivia and History
Full details: M5 Service Area Planning
When the M5 opened in the 1970s, the Department for the Environment weren't sure how they were going to strike the balance between building enough services for people to be able to rest, and building too many services meaning they wouldn't be very profitable. This was especially problematic in Somerset, where the M5 was expected to be much busier in summer than in winter.
To get around this, the site identified for a potential service area at Sedgemoor opened with only a car park and toilets. It was named Brent Knoll picnic area, and it was spaciously arranged so that it could one day be turned into a full service area. The overflow car park, which for a while was designated for caravans, appears to be the original car park.
The barren car park led to concerns from users about crime. Inspectors said the toilets were "full of vandalism". Trusthouse Forte (the owners of the next service area to the north) were invited to set up temporary catering facilities on the northbound side - they did this in 1978 and called it a "new concept in motorway catering", with a "continental-style building", accompanied by "attractive, chalet-style picnic facilities".
Life As A Service Area
The full building opened in 1987, along with the Shell petrol station and a narrow HGV parking area. Forte worked with the Department of Transport as an early example of a service area developed by private initiative.
The main building opened with a large Granary restaurant area on the left, and a Julie's Pantry takeaway area on the right. The shop was straight ahead in the middle with gaming and toilet areas to the back. It was branded THF, but changed to Welcome Break in 1988.
Welcome Break looked at adding La Baguette. Julie's became Granada's Burger King in 1996, and the shop became WHSmith in around 2008. The restaurant area, having gone through all of Welcome Break's incarnations of restaurant and coffee bar, now serves mostly snack-based food. A Chopstix Noodle Bar was added in July 2017.
The service area's heritage as a picnic area can still be seen in its unusually grassy appearance. In February 2018, plans were put forward for a KFC drive thru to be built on the grass at the back of the services.
|Gordano (19 miles)||Services on the M5||Bridgwater (13 miles)|
|Gordano (19 miles)||Welcome Break services||none|
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