Summer Survival Guide - Part 2 - Get the guide

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Fed up with service stations? Or just want to know where a good one is? Then you need one of these guides.

We've rated them for you, so all you need to do is pack one in your glove box and you're ready for the off.

Read on to see which guides help you best.

Pocket Guide To Motorway Breaks
Edited by Alisdair Aird & Fiona Stapley
Published by Ebury Press
Price £5.99


The promise: 'Minutes away from motorway junctions and other major trunk roads, hundreds of relaxing escapes make for an ideal journey - if you're in the know.'

From the editors of the Good Pub Guide, this book includes places to eat and sleep not far from a large number of major A-roads and motorways.

It provides an impressive list of places with simple directions, and distances, from the junctions, as well as plenty of information about the facility.

You can also use the book to plan visits to country parks, museums and stately homes close to the motorway.

Slip off here M25 junction 6. The Swan in Denham - 'a civilised and buoyant dining pub in a charming village street' - is just 0.7 miles from the junction.
Rating

Off The Motorway
Authors: Paul and Shirley Smith
Published by Travel Publishing
Price £11.99


The promise: 'A comprehensive guide to the facilities at each junction as well as between junctions, but also includes a summary of landmarks and places of interest along the route.'

If you're after detailed information about Britain's motorways, then this is the book for you, as each road is described in detail.

There's even a guide to things to look out for as you drive and historical information about towns en route.

Every motorway junction is described, even if there are no facilities close by, to help you get on and off.

The off-motorway facilities are simply listed, though, so you won't learn much about the pub or restaurant.

However, the book is comprehensive and also includes details of A&E hospitals and petrol stations close to the motorways as well as detailed information of tourist attractions that are easy to reach from your route.

Slip off here M55 Junction 1 for the intriguingly named Phantom Winger, Le Frog Bistro or the Black Bull pub.
Rating

Breaks Near The Motorway
Author: Hugh Cantlie
Published by Cheviot Books
Price £12.95


The promise: 'Over 200 Pubs, Restaurants or Hotels just off the motorway'

Hugh Cantlie has personally selected every entry in this book and, having updated it every year since 2001, driven thousands of miles as research.

The attention to detail is impressive, even including descriptions of different sections of the motorways.

The detailed junction plans highlighting the route to the pubs, restaurants and hotels are easy to follow, and the descriptions of the facilities give you a decent idea of what to expect when you arrive. They also include a list of nearby places of interest.

Slip off here M4, Junction 14. The Pheasant Inn at Shefford Woodlands boasts 'an excellent chef, so food is taken seriously.'
Rating


Nip Off The Motorway
Edited by Eddie Kent
Published by MK Publishing
Price £5.99


The promise '…find your way to the nearest shops, petrol station, restaurant, hotel, park or whatever you need from wherever you are on the motorway.'

Nip Off The Motorway simply provides a list of facilities close to motorway junctions.

That includes supermarkets, fast food restaurants, pubs and hotels, as well as country parks, golf courses, petrol stations and tyre fitters.

The maps of the junctions are easy to follow, but there's little information about the facilities, and no indication of the distances from the junction.

On top of that, the 2005 edition we purchased from Amazon doesn't include the M25 or the M40.

Slip off here M6 Junction 44 for an Asda, McDonalds and Holiday Inn
Rating


Les Routiers in Britain Guide
Eited by David Hancock
Published by Les Routiers
Price £12.99


The promise: 'The most appetising places to visit off the motorway'

While not specifically aimed at motorway travellers, this guide includes 12 pages of maps indicating which Les Routiers-inspected pubs, restaurants and cafes are close to motorway junctions.

Information on each place listed is comprehensive and includes prices, a good idea of what to expect on the menu and from the rooms.

If you fancy keeping off the motorway for a little longer, then the rural maps of pub walks and a directory of farm shops and food suppliers should come in useful.

Slip off here M5 Junction 16 for the White Hart Inn in Winchcombe, serving modern British cooking with added Scandinavian specialities - the owner is Swedish.
Rating

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