A RIBBLE Valley pub has been crowned the best in the country by the Campaign For Real Ale.

The Swan With Two Necks, in Pendleton, will be formally presented with the award today after emerging victorious in only its second bid for the coveted prize.

It beat off competition from 57,000 other pubs up and down the country to claim the title of CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year.

Delighted husband and wife team Steve and Christine Dilworth have run the pub for 27 years.

They came second in 2012 and, due to competition rules, were barred from competing in 2013.

Earlier this year the pub was officially crowned the CAMRA East Lancashire Pub of the Year, adding to their title in 2012.

The pub was visited anonymously throughout the year by CAMRA judges during several rounds of competition.

Steve, 59, said: “This is a huge honour for the pub and it’s a real team effort.

“We have a fantastic team here and some of them have been here for almost two decades.

“This is a proper pub and we pride ourselves on serving proper food and proper beer.

“We have three full-time and nine part-time and we could not have done it without them. Our sons Robert, 28, and Michael, 24, both lend a hand.”

MP for Ribble Valley Nigel Evans, who lives next door to the pub, said: “I am delighted for Steve and Christine and all the staff.

“Not only does it have a fantastic selection of real ale and wonderful food, but they really are the best neighbours that you could ever hope to have.

CAMRA’s pubs director Julian Hough said: “The Swan with Two Necks is the best of the best.”