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British Pub Of The Year: The Bell Inn in Berkshire named top boozer of 2019 | UK News

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An old pub in a Berkshire village that has been in the same family for 250 years has been named the best boozer in Britain.

The Bell Inn in Aldworth was given the honour by the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), which has been ranking the greatest pubs up and down the country every year since 1988.

Nominations from more than 200 regional CAMRA branches are whittled down to a list of just 16, from which four finalists are chosen and pitted against one another for the crown.

Champion: The Bell Inn, Aldworth, Berkshire

The Bell Inn has been in the same family for 250 years and last scooped the CAMRA prize three decades ago, when owned by the current owner’s parents Heather and Ian Macaulay.

Manager Hugh Macaulay said “not much has changed” about the pub since its first win, adding: “We have kept our interior unspoilt all this time, and intend to keep it that way for years to come.”

Judges were impressed by the venue’s Grade II-listed interior, its large open garden, and “how a stranger entering the pub was treated like a regular straight away”.

And the runners-up…

Red Lion, Preston, East Anglia

Swan With Two Necks, Pendleton, West Pennines

This free house was recognised for being the first community-owned pub in the UK and for having an “ever-changing” assortment of beers, including many from small breweries.

Judges also liked the food on offer, which is homemade with locally-sourced ingredients.

Swan With Two Necks, Pendleton, West Pennines

Swan With Two Necks, Pendleton, West Pennines

CAMRA hailed this “outstanding” traditional pub for its recent renovation work, rotating selection of ales and “delicious” home-cooked food, which includes several speciality local dishes.

Also praised were the pub’s outdoor seating area for when the sun’s out, and open fires for when it’s a chilly.

George & Dragon, Hudswell, Yorkshire

George & Dragon, Hudswell, Yorkshire

Having been rescued from closure by locals in 2010 and subsequently refurbished, CAMRA was impressed with how this pub had been able to remain a staple of the community thanks to its on-site library, shop and allotments.

It also has a large beer terrace and stunning views over the Swale valley – the perfect way to sample its menu of beers, which are mostly from Yorkshire breweries.

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