|Location||Whiddon Down, Okehampton|
The Whiddon Down branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A30 near Okehampton, Devon.
The Little Chef at Whiddon Down first opened in Autumn 1995 and was built as part of the Whiddon Down service area at the Merrymeet junction. The A30 between the M5 and Lands End is one of the South West's major routes. It feeds many major towns including Exeter and Okehampton and is often used by holidaymakers travelling to the Cornwall coasts for a summer holiday. Thus, a Little Chef here would be sure to attract a lot of passing traffic on the road, especially holiday traffic in the summer months of the year. Little Chef's owners, Forte, thought so too and in order to maximise the restaurant's potential, they chose a location close to the major town of Okehampton in order to encourage locals to the restaurant as well as dual carriageway traffic. The site chosen also had a filling station and Travelodge and could be easily accessed by all traffic on the A30 so Little Chef had all angles covered.
In terms of additional facilities, the Little Chef recieved a Coffee Tempo! outlet in 2006. This was later replaced with a Little Chef Express in 2012 along with 10 other Coffee Tempo! sites.
In its Little Chef guise, Whiddon Down was a popular site and seemed to do a good trade in its lifetime. Its visibility, attractive building, advanced signage and lack of alternatives nearby were surely all contributing factors.
Despite a decent run, the Little Chef at Whiddon Down sadly ceased trading in October 2014 probably due to its proximity to Little Chef's more major site at Sourton Cross, which was a lot more busier than Whiddon Down. The closure of Whiddon Down makes it the most recent Little Chef branch to have closed. This cuts the number of branches to 73.
Shortly after closing, the building re-opened as a roadside restaurant called Hog & Hedge.