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Nene Valley services


A45 between Northampton and Wellingborough

Signposted from the road.



map and directions


Two sites staggered between junctions, with no public connection between them.

Once it had ambitions to be a full service area, but now it's mostly just a pair of petrol stations. The eastbound petrol station is open 24 hours.


Outdoor Space: Grass verges only Forecourt: on both sides: Esso, ASDA Express, Starbucks on the Go
and eastbound only: Free Cash Machine

Parking Prices

Short stay customer parking is available for cars on both sides, with HGV parking available on the eastbound side only.

Overnight HGV parking is also available on the eastbound side and is charged at ÂŁ14.99 per 24 hours.

Prices are paid in the shop.

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

Contact Details

🏱 Address:
Nene Valley Service Area
Nene Valley Way

Trivia and History

Ecton Little Chef interior 1.jpg
Inside the former westbound restaurant.

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Opened by Roadchef 1987?
AJ's acquire restaurants 1991
Sold to Granada 1997
Restaurants closed 2000
Forecourts sold to Euro Garages 2015
Scoffers Café closed 2020

Esso began plans to build a pair of forecourts and restaurants on either side of the new A45 here in 1984. They said that the petrol stations would be operated by Heron service stations, while the restaurants would be run by Little Chef.

A local inquiry was held in August 1985 led to the decision to refuse planning permission being overturned. The service areas were built but Roadchef emerged as the restaurant partner. The eastbound side was built on a larger field and is consequently more spacious. It had a larger, free-flow servery which was branded 'RoadChef', with wooden panels and wooden seating. The smaller westbound side didn't use RoadChef's name much, but instead promoted their waitress restaurant brand, Hickory's.

Both restaurants were acquired by AJ's in 1991. At this point, the sites were known as Ecton services. However, Roadchef wanted to build two lodges here, suggesting they were still the landlord. Plans for the lodges were renewed in 1996 but were refused.

By September 1997, the land had been sold to Granada, who turned each restaurant into one of their Little Chefs.

Probably due to the proliferation of Little Chefs in the area, both restaurants closed in 2000. The eastbound side was taken over by an independent café, who continued to maintain it in a style familiar to the original Roadchef. That Scoffers Café lasted a long time for an independent, but closed in June 2020, following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Without A Restaurant

Meanwhile the westbound restaurant fell in to disrepair, with its car park being taken over by years of foliage growth. It did have adverts pasted to it, including ones for Scoffers Café, but these have been buried by the undergrowth. There was a plan to turn the westbound restaurant into a Honda motorcycle showroom in 2009, but this was refused.

As a result, the parking areas seem excessive, and when the Highways Agency published their list of approved truckstops, Scoffers Café was included on it.

Esso planned to redevelop the eastbound filling station in 2004 and introduce their On the Run Café to the site however this didn't happen and both sites received Snack & Shop branding instead with a Coffee Nation machine. The Coffee Nation machines were later replaced by Costa Express machines in 2012.

Both filling stations were sold by Esso to Euro Garages in summer 2015 when they rebranded the stores to SPAR and introduced Starbucks on the Go machines to replace the Costa Express offering.

EG Group are now seeking to demolish both former restaurant buildings, which their agents called "relatively bland", and replace them with 24-hour Starbucks Drive Thru stores. Four electric vehicle charging points will be installed in the car park.

The eastbound forecourt became part of the Asda Express estate in December 2023, with the westbound forecourt following in March 2024.


Collingtree (north-eastbound, 6 miles)
Grange Farm (south-westbound, 7 miles)
Services on the A45Wellingborough (south-westbound, 6 miles)
Rushden (north-eastbound, 8 miles)