National Trust running first pub
The National Trust, famed for its country houses, has turned its attention to running a pub for the first time.
The heritage organisation has taken over the Sticklebarn pub in Great Langdale, in the Lake District, Cumbria.
The pretty hostelry now has the status of being the only National Trust-run pub in the country.
Jeremy Barlow, the National Trust's general manager for the Central and East Lakes region, said: "The Sticklebarn has been a key part of life in Great Langdale for more than 40 years and is already a popular destination for walkers, bikers, climbers and campers, as well as day trippers. We are really excited about the opportunities this acquisition will give us and the benefits there will be for visitors."
The trust already manages a large part of the Great Langdale valley, and owns several farms, a hotel and a campsite.
Across the UK, it owns 60 pubs, including six hotels, but all those are tenanted and run as individual businesses.
Bar staff at the Sticklebarn will be employed by the trust and all the profits will be ploughed back directly into managing and caring for the picture-postcard environment which surrounds it.
Mr Barlow added: "Even the most frequent visitors to the Lake District often don't realise exactly how much of this amazing landscape the National Trust cares for.
"Running the Sticklebarn as a trust pub will raise our profile immeasurably in a valley which is renowned for its outdoor activities but, more importantly, it will place our expert teams at the heart of the action, sharing their knowledge about this region and what it has to offer."
He added that visitors are already seeing the benefits of the trust's ownership of the pub, with more than £40,000 spent upgrading the public toilets located between Sticklebarn and the neighbouring National Trust car park. There are also new changing facilities for those out walking, climbing, biking and bouldering on the Langdale fells.