A 16th century pub nestled away on the outskirts of Dartmoor has just been crowned Devon’s Pub of the Year.

The Castle Inn in Lydford took away the gold in this year’s Devon Tourism Awards, making this their third gold award of the year.

Tenants of the St Austell Brewery owned pub, Hannah Mayne and Jared Lothian, couldn’t quite believe they’d won the award – claiming it’s all down to consistency and providing a proper pub experience and community space for all to enjoy in the unassuming village.

A glass award now sits proudly on the bar’s top shelf at the 13-bedroom Devonshire pub Hannah and Jared took on in January 2019.

Since their tenure began, they’ve completely overhauled the pub, keeping its olde wordy feel whilst bringing a sophisticated yet quintessentially British pub feel. The team has gone from strength to strength, with 10 employees now quadrupled – a testament to the pair’s dedication to make the pub a destination for locals, visitors, cyclists, walkers and everyone in between.

From top notch food to relaxing rooms (some complete with a bathtub next to the bed), its low ceilings and thick joists and beams, it’s the sort of pub that you conjure up in your mind when you think of a British pub – and dogs are welcome too.

Hannah said: “We try and constantly be better, looking at what can we improve on, level up and make a better experience for the customer.

“We haven’t reinvented the wheel we’re just trying to be consistently good, offer good quality and offer genuine hospitality. It’s about creating that really comfortable environment where it doesn’t matter when people come in soaking wet or have a soggy dog – they can come in and have a pint.

“But it’s also about being a place where people want to bring someone special, have a special getaway, and this pub is that multifaceted place.”

Jared added: “People’s expectations of what a pub was in the past is very different to now – people still don’t know exactly what to expect when they come in, but we’ve always been keen to stay true and to want it to feel like a pub – nice rooms, having parts of the menu which are elevated but still ensure we have for instance a really good pie, a decent fish and chips – something for everyone.”

The Castle Inn is cosy and quirky, with multiple fires crackling away on the colder days and plenty of charming dining areas tastefully decorated and adorned with relics from the village’s past, like the Lydford pennies forged in the area which are now hung on the wonky walls.

In the summer the garden is the life and soul of the pub, featuring stretch tents and an outdoor bar serving a space which covers 130 people and overlooks the ruins of the castle next door.

The award follows a gold Taste of the West award and a gold from the Food Drink Devon awards won earlier this year.

The Castle Inn will now be entered into the South West Tourism Awards alongside other regional winners of the pub category, with the results of the overall pub of the year to be announced in spring 2024.