A community-owned pub has been handed a top award after judges were wowed by the community focus and welcoming nature of the venue. 

The Countryman’s Inn at Hunton, near Bedale, has been named the North West Yorkshire Branch CAMRA Pub of the Year, beating other leading names across the region.

In its judging, the regional CAMRA group praised the venue for its activities, alongside its variation of drinks and its friendliness to locals and visitors alike.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Lisa and Dan behind the bar at the pubLisa and Dan behind the bar at the pub (Image: CAMRA)

The judges described the inn as: “A thriving and very welcoming village pub at the centre of its community that supports a wide variety of activities, with knowledgeable, helpful staff there to help you find a real ale that suits your taste.”

The pub is run by Lisa Potter and Dan Male, who have expressed their delight at the CAMRA award win.

When the announcement was made Lisa said: ‘We are proud to have been awarded first place in our CAMRA region for the second year running. With so many great pubs serving fantastic ales in our area, it is humbling.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Countryman's Inn at Hunton, near BedaleThe Countryman's Inn at Hunton, near Bedale (Image: CAMRA)

Alongside the first-placed Countryman’s Inn at Hunton, second place was handed to The Coverbridge Inn, at East Witton, near Leyburn, and in third, The Exelby Green Dragon.

A spokesperson for CAMRA added: “It was a close-run vote as all three pubs offer a good, well kept and varied range of real ales sourced mainly from Yorkshire breweries. The bar has certainly been raised with each pub having its unique character and charm, two of them are owned by the community, very much the social hub of the villages.

"The pubs in the competition are selected by CAMRA volunteers and judged on the quality of the beer, atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, and community focus.”