A PICTURESQUE country pub has closed its doors without warning.

Visitors to the Lamb Inn at Winkton over the weekend were shocked to see a hand-written note on the door which simply says: “Sorry we are closed.”

There has been a sign outside the pub for some time offering a “fantastic business opportunity” but it has only closed in recent days.

The sign has been placed outside the Burley Road pub by ei publican partnerships, formerly known as Enterprise Inns.

The company advertises opportunities to run pubs across the country and its website reveals that a rent of £51,000 per year and estimated start-up costs of £16,750 are needed to run the Lamb, roughly two miles outside of Christchurch.

The pub, situated just outside the village of Winkton, has an outdoor play area and beer garden.

According to runyourpub.com it also offers two-bedroom accommodation upstairs.

It is not known if anyone is still living on the premises.

It offered lunch, evening and Sunday lunch menus and is known for its rustic charm and open fireplace.

It also offered a selection of cask ales, draught lagers and ciders.

Members of the public have taken to social media to speculate about its closure.

A former member of staff claims there are no plans to re-open the pub in the near future and that it closed on Wednesday July 3 at the end of the evening shift.

The pub is the latest in a string of hospitality venues to close across the county.

Christchurch has also seen the recent closure of the Goose and Timber pub at the Fountain roundabout in Christchurch town centre and Ye Olde Starre Inne at Purewell.

The New Queen, between Sopley and Ringwood, closed its doors to the public last year but is due to reopen under new management on July 12.

A spokesperson for Ei Publican Partnerships said: “Due to personal circumstances, the publicans at the Lamb Inn, Winkton have left the business. We would like to reassure the local community that we are committed to this pub and plan to reopen by the end of the month.”