A WEST Fife pub is raising a glass after being named best in the Kingdom - and it there's a chance it could win the national title.

The Hillend Tavern, in Dalgety Bay, won the regional CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Pub of the Year 2023 competition last month and has now been placed in the final three for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Owner Francesca Henderson said she was "delighted" to have been given the title and praised her "friendly" community pub and its staff.

She told the Press "It's the hub of the community, that shows in our staff.

"We're dog friendly and have customer relationships, and our ale is good too!"

The 200-year-old pub will be judged by mystery CAMRA representatives on a series of different categories.

And Francesca is confident that her hard work, and that of her staff, can shine.

"Our customers have been very nice, very supportive, but they're quite biased, we have our regular clientele," she said.

Dunfermline Press: Chris Evenden, bar staff, outside the Hillend Tavern. Chris Evenden, bar staff, outside the Hillend Tavern. (Image: The Hillend Tavern/Francesca Henderson)

"It's all to play for, but as long as we can keep doing what we are doing then I think we have a chance.

"It'll be a mystery so we have to always be on our game."

She continued: "We're excited, last year we weren't even placed in the top five in Fife.

"We have won the award before in Fife and then came second in Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2018.

"When people come in they get a nice friendly service and are treated by the staff like they are friends, everyone feels at home when they're in."

The Hillend Tavern offers a variety of ales, which change on a regular basis.

Favourites are Orkney Brewery, Cromarty Brewing and Harviestoun Schiehallion.

The pub also has Hillend Community Hub and regularly raises money for local causes.