OWNERS of a pub in a Purbeck village have said they are facing struggles this winter “unlike any other”. 

Jacci Pestana has said people are spending less money in Corfe Castle this winter and that the past few months have been “absolutely dire”. 

The landlady at the Greyhound Inn for 23 years said this winter, coupled with the cost of living crisis, has been a struggle.

The historic village, which boasts a 1,000-year-old castle, country pubs and quaint businesses is usually packed with tourists from across the world in the summer months. 

Bournemouth Echo: Corfe CastleCorfe Castle (Image: Shazz Hooper, camera club member)

Jacci told the Echo: “Pubs are suffering terribly in the cost of living crisis. 

“Corfe Castle is traditionally a big tourist hotspot, even in the winter, but the past few months have been absolutely dire. The village used to be a big, family destination. 

“Our business relies on that. We don’t have a car park and people usually come by train and it’s in the summer over five months when we generate most of our revenue that will see us through the winter. 

“But the Polar Express railway no longer stops in our village and it’s having an effect on us.” 

Jacci’s husband and co-owner of The Greyhound Inn added: “Essentially, the fundamental problem is not footfall; people are spending less” 

He said the pub’s electric bills have risen from £3,000 a month in 2022 to between £9,000 and £10,000 a month this winter, although that was brought down to £6,000 with a new provider. 

Bournemouth Echo: Corfe CastleCorfe Castle (Image: Nick Meek, camera club member)

“Our village is full of history right back from the Vikings and Saxons,” he said. “It’s steeped in it. Without the castle being open, businesses here would probably not survive.”

The Greyhound Inn is reportedly one of the most photographed pubs in England, thanks to the castle in the background.

The latest figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions found that in 2022, Corfe Castle had 235,987 visits. 

South east Purbeck ward councillor Cherry Brooks said the reported fewer visitors to the village will be down to the weather. 

She said: “I do think that the tourism decreases in the winter and this year we have particularly suffered with rain, high winds and floods – it's all a natural phenomenon. 

“It’s a beautiful village but we have to consider health and wellbeing. If the weather is bad, people won’t go out for their walks.”