A POPULAR pub is set to close.

After 15 years Alastair and Claire Ross have decided to close The Oak Tree Inn in Hutton Magna, between Scotch Corner and Barnard Castle.

Their last day will be Sunday, May 6.

The couple came north, from London, in August 2002 and set about making their mark on the business.

Inclusion in The Good Food Guide, The Michelin Guide, Michelin Eating Out in Pubs and Alastair Sawday’s Pubs & Inns soon followed and they have held a 2 Rosette rating in The AA Guide since 2010.

Claire said: “Our intention was always to sell the business as a going concern. It is a fantastic business, but, after getting some interest last autumn that did not result in a sale, we felt that it was time for us to take more control and ensure our situation changed.

"We have been here for over 15 years and on the market for six of those, and are ready for new challenges.”