SET in the tranquil backdrop of the South Downs National Park is the Hampshire watering hole that defines the words ‘country pub’.

Located in the heart of the small village of Tichborne near Winchester, the Tichborne Arms is believed to date back more than 600 years to 1429.

The current thatched pub building was rebuilt in 1939. The pub has been rebuilt several times over the centuries because its roof repeatedly caught fire.

Originally called The Red Lyon, the pub was renamed the Tichborne Arms in 1870 for reasons long forgotten.

Despite that thought it is said a pub has existed on the site from as long ago as1429.

Landlord Patrick Roper has run the popular pub, the only one in the village, for the last seven and a half years.

The 60-year-old originally came from a world far removed from the pub trade.

Before being ‘mine host’ at the Tichborne Arms, Patrick worked in London as a company secretary.

He said: “I am really glad I got this place. Being a landlord is a great lifestyle. It is hard work but very pleasant.

“You never know who you are going to have in the place and I enjoy meeting the customers.”

The pub also boasts its own beer festival which attracts people from across Hampshire and features more than 50 beers.

It holds a wide range of real ales which change regularly and are served direct from the barrel.

During the summer the beer garden is where punters can often be found enjoying the sunshine.

The watering hole prides itself on its food and a main course lunch costs £9.95.

The menu includes meals like an 8oz rump steak with chips and peas, pork tenderloin with apple and cider sauce, new potatoes and vegetables among many other pub classics.

Patrick, added: “We have found the right formula for food.

"We do good food in a merry atmosphere and people enjoy it.”

He described the pub in a sentence as ‘tranquil, old fashioned and friendly’.