The owners of a pub in Tunstall near Kirkby Lonsdale are stepping down this weekend after 43 years in the game.

Andrew Wilkinson started at the Lunesdale Arms in 1981 and, alongside wife Belinda, has also been behind The Sun Hotel and Avanti, both of which are also found in the Lune Valley.

Having repurchased the Lunesdale Arms in 2016, the pair have decided now is finally the time to hand it over to new owners.

They said: "We would like to say a huge big cheers to all our customers over the last 43 years from the early Lunesdale days in 1981 to the Sun, Avanti and back here at the Lunesdale.

"We have also been lucky to have some amazing staff along the way who we wish to say a big thank you to - they were all much appreciated."

The Lunesdale Arms has dining for 70 people with a British take on a Mediterranean menu and has grown to be a big hit with the local community.

Back in 2022, the couple decided to sell the business so that they could finally get that 'quieter life' and now, at long last, they have the chance to try something new.

"Now we are looking forward to a new chapter of life on the other side of the bar," they added.

The pub will close its doors on Sunday, February 4, with the new owners greeting the public on Wednesday, February 14.

The news of the departure has been met with waves of sadness and reminiscing from locals, highlighting the key role Andrew and Belinda have played in the area.

One resident said: "Sunday nights at the Lunesdale was the place to be in the ‘80s, it was packed and full of fun.

"You made these places legendary and you were so friendly and welcoming to everyone."

A former employee also described how it was the 'happiest time of his life' whilst he worked alongside the pair.