Man likes Gloucester Services off the M5 a bit too much
Service stops – you really don’t think much of them unless you’re bursting for a wee or desperately craving a pack of beef jerky on a road trip.
But for Chris Arnold, service stops are an obsession.
The 31-year-old loves a roadside rest stop so much that he even had a honeymoon in one.
Chris, from Bristol, says he finds roadside services ‘exciting and calming’ and spends a lot of time in them.
He reviews them online and has top-five favourites which include ones on the M6, M74 and A66.
His top service station is Gloucester Services off the M5 – which he visits for fun dozens of times a year.
He recently tied the knot with long term partner Francesca Scott – with his love of service stations mentioned in her wedding speech.
They even had a post-wedding break at Tebay Services off the M6 in Cumbria.
Chris records videos and take pictures of each service station, which he then shares with his friends and fans on social media.
Chris, a DJ and radio presenter, regularly visits Gloucester Services – famous for its posh farm shop – as it’s only 40 minutes from home.
He has been there so many times he’s even been named their best customer.
Chris said: ‘Service stations are just lovely little places. When you’re doing a long journey you want somewhere relaxing.
‘Service stations these days have been taken to the next level. People complain that they are too expensive but I think they are worth the extra bit of money.
‘When I moved to Bristol I heard about the one at Gloucester – I had to go visit.’
In summer last year, Chris married his long term partner, Francesca.
When they got back from their official honeymoon in Thailand, Chris found a letter waiting for him.
He was shocked when he opened it and realised it was from the team at Gloucester Services – and that they were offering him a wedding present.
Chris continued: ‘It was a lovely gesture and the gift was a free night and three meals in the Tebay Services hotel.
‘They told us to let them know when we wanted to go, it was very touching. We went to the hotel last week, it was amazing.’
After his visit to Tebay hotel, Chris wrote a review. It reads: ‘Wow, just wow.
‘What an incredible place. Glorious location, delightful interior decor, serene toilets.
‘Even the local ducks are friendly. 10/10. A+. Would definitely recommend.’
Chris’ love of Gloucester Services has landed him in online arguments from time to time.
He added: ‘I get trolls online at time, they tell me that Gloucester Services is terrible.
‘I try to befriend them and ask if they would like to meet up to discuss the pros and cons of service stations but they just say they want to beat me up.
‘There’s always going to be haters out there.
‘My wife often rolls her eyes at me for going on about Gloucester Services so much, she even referenced them in our wedding vows.
‘She said she still loves me despite going on about them all the time. She came with me to Tebay though so she’s reaping the benefits now.’