M3 Fleet Services

Opened: 1973
Original owner: Forte
Current Owner: Welcome Break
Location: Between 4a and 5
Petrol: Shell

Lewis Cox remembers:

“Your site brings back some memories when I child of M3 Fleet Services. As part of a regular long journey, Fleet would always be the stop for toilets and sandwiches. I have many many memories, including
the adventure playground amoungst the pine trees on one side, on one visit I was devastated to see it was no longer there and the place was a building site I believe for the travel lodge.”

“The place has changed an awful lot. It once had a video shop and many wierd restaurants before the Fast Food hysteria set in. The toilets used to be outside the main building, presumably so that the place could be locked up but still have 24hour toilets. The building has since been extended to include them. The Southbound side was refurbished some time before the northbound. This was bright and breezy, and the return trip was dark and dingy with the old Welcome Break logo lasting for ages – and their
erstwhile: “The Shop”. Little Chef, Wimpy, Red Hen, Grannary, KFC, Burger King, McDonald’s and I daresay a few more have all had a prescence there over the years – and it now boasts (?!) that it has
all three fast food chains on one side, and a KFC on both.”

“The new Winchester services isn’t a patch on it, and for me, Fleet is the classic service station – if only the original buildings with funny sky shutters on the roof still existed. Now it looks as bland as any of them,
but the memories are still there!!!”

Many thanks to Lewis for sharing these memories with us all.


Until the year 2000, this MSA was the only MSA on the M3. Space was reserved for another MSA on the motorway, but by the year 2000, the land on the north side of the road had been sold for housing. The wide slips that were built pre-empting a MSA still exist.

Won National Overall Loo of the year (best loo anywhere, any category) award in 1992. The only MSA to do so at this high level. The southbound site currently has a 5 Star Loo of the year Award 2003 along with 33 others in the road transport category. (find best loos overall)

Orginally built in a scandinavian style with plenty of fir trees around the area. Had a huge adventure playground on the site where the hotel now exists. The new cladding that Welcome break rather detracts from the scandinavian feel of the original building, but outside the wooded area is still pleasant and distinctive, even though today local pressure on land means that a new housing estate is being built right next door to the west bound site.

Not all facilities are not mirrored, you need to cross the road via the enclosed foot bridge for some shops, if you are particular about what you want.

August 2006: Fleet appears to be the first site with the new corporate logo. It may just be a test site for a future new look, but it beats the old look anyday! (even if the capitals appear SHOUTY!). The loos have a freindly smiling face on the wall to greet you as you enter. (a blue man in the mens, a pink woman in the ladies- in the same art style how Colonel Sanders is represented on the KFC logo.) The pseudo brands have been dropped, so the shop is called the WELCOMEBREAKSHOP, the games room is WELCOMEBREAKGAMES (at least I think there are no spaces!) – Excellent. The restaurant is now EATIN (was food Connection) For more info- see the weblog entry

Photos :
Fleet, Spring 2004 (Eastbound)

Fleet West, Summer 2006 – Which do you prefer?.

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