The Horseshoe in the Chalke Valley has been crowned Country Pub of the Year.

It was voted to receive the accolade by members of the Salisbury and South Wilts Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

It is the third time in four years that the traditional inn in Ebbesbourne Wake has won the award.

On the fourth occasion – last year – no vote was held because of Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

In an age when many pubs change hands regularly, The Horseshoe has a rare record of continuity – the same family has been running it for almost half a century.

Tony and Pat Bath have been in charge for 36 years having taken over from Tony’s parents Tom and Glad. They have now been joined by their daughter Jayne Sanger.

Tony said: “We work hard to achieve this and we would like to say thank you to CAMRA for voting for us.”

Ian Turner, the chairman of the Salisbury & South Wilts Branch of CAMRA, who cycled 10 miles from Salisbury, presented the award certificate supported by a group of CAMRA members who took the less energetic option of travelling on the number 29 bus from the city.

“It is great to be back to present this well-deserved award,” he said.

“The Horseshoe has a winning formula: excellent food and well kept beer in a lovely pub in a beautiful area. It has featured in nearly every edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and the Bath family has worked tirelessly to support real ale.”

Each year the Salisbury and South Wilts branch of CAMRA gives awards to two pubs in its area – one in the city of Salisbury and one in the towns and villages surrounding it.

The prize winner with the most votes – this year the Duke of York in Salisbury was declared the overall Pub of the Year while the other becomes either the City Pub of the Year or the Country Pub of the Year.

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