Pub of The Year 2019 is the Ship Inn, Shaftesbury. Against, as always, excellent competition. The Heart of Wessex Branch of CAMRA named the pub as their star, chosen from around 90 pubs in the branch area. The pub is now competing in the Wessex Regional Championship covering East Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, South Wiltshire, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. If successful, it will go against 15 other regional pubs for the title of CAMRA National Pub of The Year 2019.

The branch chose The Ship for its excellent support for real ale and focus as a community asset to Shaftesbury. “You would be hard pressed to find a more traditional, local town centre pub with its pub games – darts and pool – and active support for local charities.

CAMRA are particularly keen on the community involvement of the pub,” the judges said.

The Ship Inn is a Grade 2 listed 17th century pub built of stone with several original stone mullioned windows. Parts of the pub date back to the 14th century and it is reputed to be haunted. It was previously called the Ship Hotel and is at the top of Tout Hill, nearly as steep as the more famous Gold Hill.

Landlady Becky gets her award at 7.30pm on Tuesday, June 18.

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