A 19th century inn in the heart of the Lake District has been sold.

The Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale was on the market for £2.1 million.

It was sold by Colliers International for an undisclosed sum.

Jane and Ian Stephenson have run the popular inn since 1983 but decided to sell up.

The buyers are Anthony Guthrie and James Wilkinson, two businessmen from Hampshire who are new to the hospitality sector.

The Three Shires Inn has 10 en suite letting bedrooms with a bar, dining room and beer garden.

The purchase also included the next door detached four/five-bedroom self-catering property, which can be used as owners’ accommodation.

Neil Thomson, associate director at Colliers International, said: “Situated on the eastern side of the famous Wrynose and Hardknott passes, which generate excellent passing trade, The Three Shires Inn has been owned and operated by the same family since 1983.

"During this time, it has been extensively upgraded and extended, creating an extremely busy and successful business.

"All of this hard work has culminated in the current owners winning the Cumbria Tourism Pub of the Year Award 2017.

"The new owners have the enthusiasm and business acumen to build on this success and I wish them the best of luck in their new venture into the hospitality trade.”

This latest deal follows on from the recent sale of the 55-bedroom Grange Hotel in Grange over Sands to South African private equity Fund Fairtree Hospitality Real Estate, also handled by Colliers International.

Grant Seaton, senior business lending manager at The Cumberland, funded the deal and said: "We knew this property well with it being in the heart of the lakes and can confidently say it is a real gem.

"We wish Anthony Guthrie and James Wilkinson well and we know that it will be a terrific business and a real asset to the local area. The market for this type of hospitality property is quite buoyant, and we have supported a number of new acquisitions this year.

"The Lake District being awarded World Heritage Site status has given the area a boost and drawn attention to what a fantastic area it is to work in tourism, as well as stay. Although we enjoy working with businesses across the country, the Lake District is always close to our heart."