Willoughby Hedge services
A303 between Amesbury and Ilchester
Signposted from the road? Westbound only
(Google Maps link)
Single site located at the side of the road.
A former Little Chef by the side of the A303. Although traffic can access it in both directions, crossing the road from the eastbound side is hazardous so not signposted.
Catering: Starbucks Amenities: Tourist Information Sign in lay-by adjacent to forecourt Outdoor Space: Small grass verge by coffee shop Forecourt: Esso, SPAR, Greggs, Rollover, Starbucks on the Go, Free Cash Machine
Short stay customer parking is available for cars. HGV parking is available on the B3089 adjacent to the filling station.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Willoughby Service Station
- 🗺 Grid reference: ST871335
- 📌 what3words: ///duty.stupidly.ideas
Trivia and Details
In the late 1960s, two Little Chefs opened on the A303, one two miles down the road at Chicklade and one here at Willoughby Hedge.
It was known as the East Knoyle branch (later 'West Knoyle') and appears to have opened in 1968, taking over an existing café that had been built in 1953. This was next to a forecourt which appears to have been there since the 1940s, and was branded Shell at the time.
This is a busy holiday route, which made it one of the busiest Little Chefs in the country. Granada rebuilt the building in 1999, with the new restaurant having light, weathered stone cladding and large windows. While it looked different to the Blue Bell Hill branch it copied, they were substantially the same. It gained a Coffee Tempo! in 2006, and later gained a Little Chef Express.
Parts of the building were painted bright red in 2015. By this stage it continued to have an extremely high customer turnover, but a refinancing deal by previous owners meant it was spending most of its income on rent.
The filling station has been branded Esso since at least the early 2000s and in 2007 received one of Esso's On the Run cafés with a Costa offering. In 2016, the filling station was acquired by EG Group who rebranded the shop to SPAR and replaced the On the Run café with Greggs and Subway concessions.
Following the acquisition of Little Chef by EG Group, the restaurant closed in June 2017. It reopened as a Starbucks a month later. A Chargemaster electric vehicle charging point remained in the car park following the takeover, but this was removed during a minor refurbishment in summer 2022.
EG Group permanently closed their Subway store that was situated inside the filling station, following the 2020 lockdowns. This space was later filled with a new Rollover hot food cabinet in summer 2022.
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