As lockdown restrictions ease, go the extra mile

With restrictions on domestic travel due to ease in less than two weeks, what better excuse to support local businesses – even when you’re away from home.

The Extra Mile is a new guide book that steers motorists away from grim motorway services and into tasty local alternatives. It offers a hand-picked and dependable list of brilliant and independent outlets with good-quality local food (often direct from makers and growers), space for children and pets to let off steam, fascinating attractions and knock-out views. Farm shops, cosy cafes, quirky attractions and gastronomic pubs that restore a bit of magic to a journey, without adding too many miles.

Find out more at

Win  a copy of The Extra Mile

We have two copies of The Extra Mile to give away. Simply leave us a message at the bottom of the page and we will pick winners next week.

Why it’s worth going the extra mile…

In the 62 years since the first motorway service area opened at Watford Gap on the M1, Britain has lagged behind other countries when it comes to rest stops for long-distance motorists.

In the early 1960s, motorways offered the dream of fast and comfortable long-distance personal transport, and a post-Festival of Britain hubris ensured the designs of the earliest service stations were ambitious. The vending machines, ‘robot’ kitchens, foot-operated taps and styling inspired by Americana and aviation enchanted motorists, but the originality of these early sites soon gave way to a homogenised approach to service area design.

As the number of service stations in Britain multiplied over the years, they gained a reputation for over-priced fuel and anodyne surroundings serving food that was both expensive and of questionable quality. The introduction of well-known burger concessions brought nothing if not consistency to the motorway service station dining experience. And all-the-while no provision was made for the non-commercial rest areas provided for drivers in America and on the continent. Such stops offer a free-to-use landscaped area away from traffic with tables, benches, loos and, occasionally, showers.

Ethical insurance

The ETA has been voted to provide the most ethical insurance.

The Good Shopping Guide each year reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly of the world’s companies and brands, with a view to supporting the growth of social responsibility and ethical business as well as a more sustainable, just society.

Beating household-name insurance companies such as John Lewis and the Co-op, we earned an ethical company index score of 89 – earning us joint-first place with Naturesave.

Ethical insurance company 2017

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Thirty years on, we continue to offer home insurancecycle insurance, and breakdown cover  while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.


  1. Peter Clark


    Yes please. Looks like a cracking guide

  2. John Davidson


    I’d love this book. I remember a book called “Just off the Motorway” from 40 years ago that provided similar information. Getting up-to-date information about alternative places to go rather than the grim, over-priced motorway service stations would be ideal.

  3. Helen


    Always happy to go the extra mile if there’s tastier food involved!

  4. Jayne Smith


    Ooh, yes please! I try to buy local wherever I can so this would be really helpful for my holiday to Wales in the summer. 🤞

  5. David Street


    What a thoughtful publication. Apart from the service stations on the M6 in Cumbria and M5 Gloucester (both owned by the same family) the rest in England are pretty awful. This will be a boon not just for business journeys but all families travelling on holiday, visiting relatives etc

  6. Les Gunbie


    Remembering the days when a Little Chef was an unimaginable treat … yes please!

  7. Kathy C


    I love trying new ideas for food especially locally. Growing up on a farm and helping my own children enjoy home grown food and preparing it themselves has been a real bonus for me,

  8. Derek


    I would much prefer to support independent business where I can even if it does mean an extra mile (or two) so would love a copy of this book

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