Lancashire's diamond dozen (11 actually) are highlighted in 2020 Pub Guide

The Millstone at Mellor is featured in the guide.
The Millstone at Mellor is featured in the guide.

A dozen Lancashire inns are among the best of British according to the latest edition of The Pub Guide.

The new version features 2,000 of the finest alehouses, coutryside inns, welcoming taverns and foodie destinations across the UK, selected by the motoring organisation the AA.

The very best 500 are described as the “Pick of the Pubs.” And 12 from the Red Rose county - mainly rural hostelries - are included in the top bracket.

The Millstone at Mellor, the Cartford Inn at Little Eccleston and the Clog and Billycock in Blackburn are amongst the glorious 12, as are the Parkers Arms at Newton-in-Bowland and the Eagle and Child in Bispham Green near Parbold.

But, embarrassingly, one of the 12, The Three Fishes at Whalley, has actually closed down since the guide was put together.

The AA’s expert inspectors visited thousands of eating and drinking places across the country to prepare the Pub Guide.

And the organisation says that while pub numbers have decreased in the UK since the Guide launched in 1998, “the quality of the UK’s pub scene is better than ever, with a record-number of pubs included in the Guide this year.”

A spokesman said: “From destination pubs worth making a detour for, to much loved locals, the 21st edition of the AA Pub Guide includes many old favourites, plus new and interesting destinations for eating and drinking, with several pubs making it into the Guide for the first time this year.

“Many of the pubs included in this year’s guide are also well-known for their culinary offerings; over 250 of the pubs have been awarded AA Rosettes for the quality of their cuisine, while the best pubs for accommodation are highlighted by an AA Star.”

Lancashire's top 11:

The Millstone in Church Lane Mellor near Blackburn.

The Clog and Billycock, Billinge End Road, Blackburn.

The Assheton Arms, Top Row, Downham near Clitheroe.

Oyster & Otter, Livesey Brandch Road, Feniscowles.

The Bay Horse Inn, Ellel, Lancaster.

Toll House Inn, Penny Street, Lancaster.

The Sun Hotel and Bar, Church Street, Lancaster.

The Cartford Inn, Cartford Lane, Little Eccleston.

The Parkers Arms, Hall Gate Hill, Newton-in-Bowland, near Clitheroe.

The Eagle & Child, Bispham Green, Parbold.

The Inn at Whitewell.