A Green Living Roof, an RSPB Wildlife Centre and Mazy Nature Trails – Leeds Skelton Lake is No Ordinary Motorway Service Area

· Kirsty Allen · Lifestyle

Take a break at this futuristic motorway service area.

Skelton Lake

Lakeside walks, nature trails, countryside access, a living roof and heaps of your favourite shops and restaurants? Leeds Skelton Lake Services is like no motorway service area you’ve seen before – check it out.

From lush green spaces to family-friendly dining at the likes of KFC and Chopstix, Leeds Skelton Lake Services is the real deal…

Pull up to Leeds Skelton Lake Services at junction 45 of the M1 and you’ll be taken by surprise. Shrouded in green and teeming with wildlife, this futuristic rest area is no ordinary motorway services. Alongside IONITY high-powered electric vehicle chargers that run on 100% renewable energy and a 24-hour Texaco fuel-filling station, there’s a nature reserve, premium eateries and a modern outdoor play area, making it a fun-filled leisure destination in its own right. Here’s why everyone’s talking about Leeds Skelton Lake Services.

Dig into a wide range of food and drink

Skelton Lake

Forget everything you know about service area food. Take your pick from a wide selection of eateries, from family favourites to street food titans. You can share a platter of peri-peri chicken and chips at Nando’s, feast on authentic Romana pizza and dough balls at Pizza Express, or chow down on a big ol’ burrito with all the trimmings at Tortilla. With the likes of Burger King, Leon and Starbucks also making appearances, you’ll be planning your next trip before you finish your meal.

Admire the world-class design

Skelton Lake Exterior

The architecture of Leeds Skelton Lake Services is a feat of modern engineering, making it one of the most sustainable buildings across the motorway network. Sweeping timber beams and high level windows provide a spacious and naturally-lit interior, but it’s the living green roof that will truly capture your attention. Covered in seasonal wildflower meadow, the undulating design ties the building into the natural landscape, blending seamlessly with the surrounding countryside.

Get up close and personal with nature

Skelton Lake RSPB

An RSPB visitor centre within a motorway service area? Yep, you read that right. Take a wander up the feature staircase to the top floor and you’ll find a dedicated wildlife centre complete with its own viewing deck, where you can take in impressive views across the stunning Skelton Lake Nature Reserve and neighbouring landscape. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a grey heron or little egret while you take a break from your journey.

Combine business and leisure

Skelton Lake

The expansive mezzanine level provides the perfect space to meet clients and partners on route or stop to work on-the-go. If you need to stay overnight, you won’t have to scrimp on comfort – the 100-room Ramada hotel features modern rooms, fast WiFi and buffet breakfasts, as well as a fully-equipped fitness centre where you can work up a sweat. You can also pick-up essentials at the likes of Spar and Urban Express.

Entertain the little ones

Skelton Lake Playground

If the kids have built up excess energy during the long car ride, let them blow off steam at the on-site play area. The sprawling and modern design features swings, slides and timber beams, with plenty of space to climb up, run along, leap off and crawl under. Once they’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite at the adjacent picnic area whilst taking in the fresh air. Looking to carry on your adventure? Head through the gateway onto the track that circles the lake.

Venture out to the local landscape

Skelton Lake Aerial

Once you’ve finished exploring Leeds Skelton Lake Services’ ample facilities, take a walk from one of its many pathways onto the walkways and cycle routes that connect to the surrounding area. The 2 kilometre lap around the lake is the perfect way to stretch your legs, of if you want to head further afield, the canal-side Transpennine Trail takes you to Woodlesford Lock. Whether on foot or bike, there’s plenty of opportunity to take in the area’s vibrant plants and thriving birdlife.