A popular west Dorset pub has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.

Last night, the Acorn Inn in Evershot narrowly missed out on claiming the 'Best Pub in England' award. 

The pub is run by Richard and Natalie Legg and is no stranger to accolades having been named  among one of the cosiest seasonal stays for 2024 from Red Magazine.

It was also named as a finalist in this year's prestigious Trencherman Awards and being recognised at the VisitEngland awards night on Wednesday, June 5, has left Richard and Natalie feeling 'delighted'.

Richard said: "We are absolutely delighted to win silver for Best Pub in England, we are so happy and proud of the incredible Acorn team for all the hard work they put in everyday.

"Plus a big thank you to all our guests for their support."

Richard and Natalie Legg at the awards night (back right) Richard and Natalie Legg at the awards night (back right) (Image: South West Tourism)

Elsewhere in the county, Nothe Fort won Gold for 'Best Small Visitor Attraction'.

This prestigious award was given to Victorian coastal defence fort after it had claimed the same award for the south west region in March.

Winning the award has left the team at Nothe Fort 'ecstatic' and full of pride.

Nothe Fort chairman, James Farquharson, said: "The whole team were ecstatic.  

"This award fills our team, our visitors and our community of Weymouth and Dorset with pride."

The news comes as the fort is experiencing record number of visitors in the first three months of the year and is on course to beat last year's record total of visitors.

Mr Farquharson added: "While Nothe Fort is very important to Weymouth’s tourism industry, it isn’t simply a tourist attraction. 

"The site connects our community to the people who came before us, particularly those who served in the military.

"We, as its custodians, have a responsibility to make the story of their lives accessible to our visitors and pass the fort on to the next generation as a well conserved and thriving entity. 

"This award acknowledges that we are achieving those things to an exemplary level."

Robin Barker from South West awards organisers services for Tourism, added: “It was a delight to share in the success of an astounding group of tourism businesses. Their commitment to excellence, sustainability, accessibility and customer service is a testament to their whole teams, whether managers, front of house staff, cleaners or volunteers.”

The 2024/25 awards are currently open for entry with a deadline of 23 June.  South West businesses are encouraged to enter in their county schemes, with the chance of going on to national success.