Landlords at a village pub are raising a glass after they clinched a sought-after award.

The Royal Oak in Seaton has been named Pub of the Season by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), just over two years after Nathan Todd and partner Alizabeth Ludford took over the pub.

The couple’s hard work to transform the pub since they took charge, by redecorating and introducing real ales among other improvements, has paid off with them winning the prestigious prize.

Nathan said: “It’s not one we’ve won before and it’s regarded quite highly.

“We’ve been fighting the right fight to keep pubs open and it’s something which I’m passionate about.

“When we first got here real ales weren’t something the pub did but we’ve got three on permanently now and others that come through.

“CAMRA came through and were very impressed.

“It’s hard to put it into words because it’s quite an honour to receive the award.”

“We brought the real ales in because I’m quite a fan myself and then when we got here we had the choice of some generic bitter or the real ales.

“We introduced one and they took off.”

Loweswater Gold is one of the real ales which have proved so popular and helped drive customers into the pub but live music has also played its part.

“We got Loweswater Gold in once and had to ask the suppliers to get it in every week, people couldn’t get enough of it,” Nathan added.

The pub is set to get a facelift in the near future, while there is still some redecorating to be finished inside as the pair look to make their pub as cosy and inviting as possible.

“It’s had its challenges since we took over but since then we’ve organised beer festivals and we’ve got a piano in the bar for live music.

“We’ve got a really good atmosphere going and there’s a community spirit around the pub.

“It’s a great feeling to know that people want us here.

“There’s just me and my partner Beth who do all the hours and put the hard work but it seems to finally be paying off.

“Hopefully this is just the start of big things for the pub over the next few years.”