A WEST Fife pub has celebrated scooping the title of CAMRA Pub of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Hillend Tavern will now go onto the next stage of the UK competition where it will be judged against its counterparts in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland later this year.

The 200-year-old pub received its latest honour after being assessed by mystery CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) representatives on a series of different categories.

Owner Francesca Henderson was delighted to hear of their success.

"We are very, very pleased," she said. "We are so chuffed to have won the big accolade for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"They come in and there's a big list of criteria that they judge you on from customer service to knowledge about beers, what are in the toilets, decor, ambience, everything. It is thinks like that which all adds to the experience for the customer.

"We don't do anything special, it is what we do and it has been good enough and we are delighted. We are not expecting to really get much further up against the big boys but we are happy with what we are and what we have done so far and if we do make it further, that is an absolute bonus."

Francesca said the local residents are a vital part of the pub.

"We are such a community led pub and there is so much going on in the village," she added. "I think we are still amazed every day by how people gush about the pub. They just love it. It is very satisfying to have that from so many people."

The Tavern is also up for success at the forthcoming awards organised by The Dram Magazine.

They are one of four pubs vying for the title of top dog friendly pub in Scotland with the winners being announced next month.