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South Mimms services

South Mimms
Welcome Break
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsSouth Mimms services
Road:M25 at J23
A1(M) at J1
(also accessible to traffic on the A1 and the A1081)

Address:The Welcome Break
Welcome Break Service Station
Bignell's Corner
South Mimms
Potters Bar
Telephone number:01707 646333
Signposted from the road?Yes
Grid reference:TL230002 (SABRE Maps)
Services type:Single site located at a junction.
Visit South Mimms/Welcome Break's official website
Facebook Page

A busy service area at a busy roundabout, consisting of a large and modern building with car parks sprawled across much of the local area. It claims to offer special facilities for truckers.


Catering: Burger King, Ed's Easy Diner, Harry Ramsden's, KFC, Pret a Manger, Starbucks, Subway, Tossed, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea, Starbucks Drive Thru Shops: Fone Bitz, Travellers, Waitrose, WHSmith Main Amenities: Changing Places, Children's Play Area, Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Showers, Tesla Supercharger, UK TruckClean Truck Washwebsite, Welcome Break Gaming Motel: Ramadabook Forecourt: HGVs and cars:
BP, M&S Simply Food, Wild Bean Café, Air1 AdBlue
Forecourt: HGVs only:
BP, Shop, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £31, or £33 to 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.

Last updated March 2018.

Trivia and History

South Mimms building.
The large amenity building.

Full details: History:South Mimms

The services' site comprises of several things, including a works unit. The only sensible route between the motorways and the village of South Mimms is to leave at the junction and drive through the services, where there is a link road to the village. This feature is pretty much exclusive to the services.

The fire meant between 1998 and 2013 it was both the oldest and the newest services on the M25. It was recently marked as a Highways Agency approved truckstop.

The original land-owners, BP Express, operate the main filling station here, but not the one exclusively for HGVs.

In the government's list of assets, South Mimms services was valued at £2,000, making it the country's least valuable service area. This is probably more to do with the very long (125-year) lease.


The services are off a busy roundabout, however its location presents an even bigger problem for the police. Over time, several illegal activities have been uncovered here, largely due to its location being where two major routes cross, one coming out of London (where South Mimms is the first service area you'd pass) and one heading towards the Channel Ports.

National Cycle Network route 12, also known as the Great North Way, runs from Hadley Wood to Hatfield via the services, and then it continues towards the North East.


The hotel here underwent refurbishment and reopened in mid-2016, branded as Ramada. Previously it was a Days Inn.

A new trial brand called Ed's Easy Diner opened a diner here on 4 April 2016 in its own building between the main building and the hotel. It is the first Ed's Easy Diner at a Welcome Break site. This was originally going to be a Frankie & Benny's but was changed at the last moment.

The motorway network's first Pret a Manager opened here on 24 August 2016.

In the Public Eye

The services were mentioned in Ian Sinclair's book 'London Orbital', which came to the conclusion that it was dire and in need of a refurbishment, with traffic queueing to leave the site and join the main junction. A few weeks later, he said things had improved. They also starred several times in Sky's 'Brainiac: Science Abuse' and 'EastEnders', and Robbie Williams has sang in the car park.

Roger Green wrote a book on the services titled 'Destination Nowhere: A South Mimms Motorway Service Station Diary'.

Survey Results

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

In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 96% satisfaction score for the services.

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

Lord Adonis (Secretary of State for Transport) wasn't impressed by the services when he visited in September 2009, as the toilets were closed throughout his visit and there was a lot of confusion.

In 2007 and again in 2008, South Mimms won a five star loo award. In 2006 it received four stars, and in 2005 five stars.

A 1995 review in The Independent gave the services three stars, calling it "modern and pleasant".

In 1991, a Which? survey recommended the services.

In 1989 the Landscape Advisory Committee described the services as "first class", a rare honour.


Cobham (45 miles)
Toddington (M1 north, 25 miles)
Beaconsfield (M40 north, 28 miles)
Reading (M4 west, 52 miles)
Heston (M4 east, 30 miles)
Services on the M25 Thurrock (32 miles)
Birchanger Green (M11 north, 39 miles)
none Services on the A1(M) Baldock (23 miles)
London Gateway (M1 south, 17 miles) Welcome Break services Birchanger Green (M11 north, 39 miles)

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