A TRADITIONAL country pub in Wimborne has been crowned the winner of the Daily Echo's Pub of the Year 2024.

The Old Inn in Holt received hundreds of nominations for the award and swept the competition, taking the number one spot.

Simon Pickup has owned the pub for 11 years.

Speaking on the pub's success, he said: "I am very proud of the hardworking team, they have been great.

"A huge thank you to all our loyal customers and friends who voted for us."

Located in Holt village, the pub boasts hearty homemade fayre, saying it's the 'perfect destination for guests in search of quality country dining.'

It recently underwent a renovation, with an outdoor pizza terrace equipped with a wood-fired oven.

The Old Inn's pub garden showcases an eye-catching water feature and plenty of seating.

General manager Connor Wiltshire-Hall has worked at the pub for eight years.

He said in the summer the venue puts on performances from bands and artists in the outside space.

Connor said: "We found out we had won Pub of the Year from our customers who came in to congratulate us.

"I think we are recognised for being consistent with what we do here. We've got a product that everyone cares about.

"We are a close-knit team, and we care about the service we deliver.

"We have a very loyal customer base that is really supportive."

One of The Old Inn's regular customers congratulated them on the win, saying, "Dearest congratulations to you all. I have always said it's the best pub in Dorset."

The Daily Echo asked Connor what it meant that the pub won Pub of the Year, and in response, he said: "It means next year I want to win again.  The fact that we have been recognised locally means I want to win nationally. "

"I want people to be up in London and recommend us as a must visit pub to visit in Dorset.

"You've got Hilton, and you've got The Ritz - I want to have an audience on that list."