WONDERING where the best place in our region is to get a pint and relax in a beer garden?

The AA releases its Good Pub guide 2020 today, a guide to the top pubs, inns and guest houses in the UK.

It also takes a look into the rapid growth of the spirit and craft beer industry and why they are proving popular.

The 21st addition boasts a record number of pubs, with 20 from County Durham and also features a "pick of the pubs" list of the top 500 pubs that have been specially selected by readers and critics.

The Morritt Arms, near Barnard Castle and The Bay Horse, Hurworth-on-Tees are the two in this area that the AA thinks are particularly special.

The Bay Horse prides itself on being a traditional quaint English pub compete with open fires and a walled Victorian garden.

A spokesperson said: “The food itself celebrates the region with quality local produce, and our passionate team of staff are the driving force behind the many accolades we have earned over the last decade.”

The guide says The Morritt Arms Hotel, just off the A66 outside Barnard Castle, "is a quaint and unique place that offers home comforts and first class service as standard. The Dickens Bar epitomises the unique feel, with an original Dickensian themed mural adorning the walls, it truly is a special place to enjoy delicious food and drink.”

The AA Pub Guide 2020 will be available for £15.99 online and in bookstores today.