Motorway Services Online

Retrieved from ""

Grange Farm services


A45 south-westbound at Northampton

Signposted from the road.



map and directions


Two sites located within a junction, connected by a one mile public road.

A rare example of a service area with its own roadside diner attached, and an independent one at that.


Catering: '81 The Original Diner Outdoor Space: Grass area around building Charging Points: InstaVolt 120kW CCS & 50kW CHAdeMO Forecourt: BP, Londis, Costa Express, Hand Car Wash

Parking Prices

Short stay customer parking is available for cars. No HGV parking is available.

This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Grange Farm Service Station
London Road

Trivia and History

Buddies Grange Park 2019.jpg
The restaurant as Buddies USA Diner, pictured in 2019.

Camera icon

Opened by Burmah 1986
Restaurant opened by AJ's 1987
Restaurant sold to Little Chef 1997
Restaurant closed 2005
Restaurant reopened by Buddies USA Diner 2006
Restaurant reopened as '81 The Original Diner 2020

Access is available into the service area from both the A45 southbound and from Bridge Meadow Way. Once inside, there is no option to return to Bridge Meadow Way, as the exit leads to the A45 only. More curiously, the entrance to the service area from Bridge Meadow Way has very few signs to say what it is; it is just a mystery road and a secret route to the A45.

In practice, that secret road is probably more useful for traffic on the A45 which has taken the wrong exit by mistake. The real entrance to the service area is the second of two exits that are positioned very close together.

Despite the two routes into it, Grange Farm services was separated from the A45 by a council boundary. The service area was in South Northamptonshire while everything to the west of it, including the A45, was in Northampton borough. This anomaly was rectified when both sides became part of West Northamptonshire in 2021.

Early Development

The service area is built on the former sand pit at Courteenhall Grange Farm, which was positioned next to the single carriageway A508. Permission was first sought for the sand pit to be developed into a service area in 1979. Grange Farm services opened in 1986, with a Burmah forecourt.

With the forecourt open, there was interest in adding a restaurant to it. Happy Eater received planning permission for a restaurant, but it was AJ's who opened a restaurant here in late 1987.

Further plans for the site were put forward in 1988, with a two-storey hotel and a new sales building incorporating an additional restaurant were proposed, along with a new lorry park to the east of the site. This was approved but never built.

After AJ's was sold, the restaurant later became the Northampton branch of Little ChefHistory in 1997. Some say The Stig was banned from the branch for 17 different reasons. A Burger King franchise was opened next door.

20th Century

Grange Park was identified as an area for major development in the 1990s. This began with the upgrading of the A508 to become a dual carriageway, meaning Grange Farm would now be a service area for southbound traffic only, but with the potential for an increase in traffic. A new junction, the Wootton Interchange, was built around the service area, reducing the land available for development.

This period of change was completed with the A508 being renumbered to A45 in 2001, making it very clearly part of the route for cross-country traffic.

At the service area itself, the Burmah forecourt became BP in 2000, following their takeover. The forecourt store later gained Mace branding, before changing to Costcutter in 2017. The forecourt also gained two InstaVolt electric vehicle chargers in the late 2010s.

The Little Chef closed in around 2005. The building reopened as local restaurant chain Buddies USA Diner in 2006. All Buddies branches closed in the middle of 2020, but this one was then reopened by their original owner on 14 December 2020. It would now be called 'Hamburger Heaven '81', taking its name from when the first Buddies diner opened in 1981.

The forecourt store was de-branded from Costcutter in early 2023 and later became a Londis store in summer 2023.


Northampton (M1 north, 4 miles)Services on the A45Collingtree (northbound, ½ mile)
Nene Valley (6 miles)