Donington Park services

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Donington Park Services
Castle Donington services.jpg
The main building
Donington Park services is located in Leicestershire
Donington Park services
Donington Park services (Leicestershire)
Coordinates:52°49′25″N 1°18′21″W / 52.823651°N 1.305887°W / 52.823651; -1.305887Coordinates: 52°49′25″N 1°18′21″W / 52.823651°N 1.305887°W / 52.823651; -1.305887
Operator:Moto Hospitality
Previous operator(s):Granada
Date opened:1999
Website:Moto[permanent dead link]

Donington Park services is a motorway service station off the M1 motorway, A453 and A42 interchange (junction 23a) near Kegworth, England.


It is owned by Moto and offers 20% discounts to all RAC members. The site also has the world's smallest branch of Marks and Spencer Simply Food.

It shares its name with Donington Park, a racing circuit, which is also next to East Midlands Airport - the former RAF Castle Donington. It is situated in the parish of Long Whatton and Diseworth, and the religious parish of St Michaels & All Angels, Diseworth.


It opened on 8 July 1999, being originally owned by Granada, which became Moto in 2001. It was one of the first to offer a whole set of non-food shops, similar to an airport, which now has been adopted as standard. The neighbouring airport has far fewer landside facilities for those awaiting arrivals (before check-in).

Radio 1[edit]

On 25 April 2008 Greg James presented the BBC Radio 1 Early Morning Breakfast Show live from Donington Park Services.[1]


As an integral part of Newsnight's 2010 General Election coverage, it set up home in the Travelodge, and interviewed workers on-site in the run-up to the election from 7 April, to gauge public opinion. The correspondent on-site was named Motorway Man.[2] It is thought by psephologists that 'swing voters' habituate such service stations, and many live nearby - North West Leicestershire, the home seat is a marginal seat. In previous elections, such voters were labelled Mondeo Man. The idea received a very negative critical response. One example is Grace Dent's scathing summary:

"No one cares about Motorway Man, the mythical creature that election strategists are claiming will swing the result, e.g. the Brit take on the US election's Joe The Plumber. "I'm living at Donington Park services on the M1 for a month," Newsnight's reporter Stephen Smith told us sadly in early-April, "I'll be interviewing Motorway Man!" Cue: thrice-weekly updates from inarticulate apolitical muggles sitting on motorway service benches. Call me old-fashioned but I want my pundits to be cleverer than me."[3]

Download Festival[edit]

In early June every year the service station becomes a popular location for people from all over Europe attending the Download Festival to stop for a traditional "last supper" and to use the facilities before entering the festival site and suffering for up to 5 nights of no showers and porta-potties. It is also often the first stop on their exit from the festival for their first hot meal.

Interior from upper floor


  1. ^ "BBC Radio 1 - Greg James - Services". 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  2. ^ Motorway Man
  3. ^ Dent, Grace (1 May 2010). "Grace Dent's Screen burn: Election news round-up". The Guardian. London.

External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]

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