A VILLAGE club on the outskirts of Northwich has been named the best in the UK by the experts in real ale.

Barnton Cricket Club has been named the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) National Club of the Year, beating off competition from 28,000 other clubs across the country.

Mike Elliot, club manager for 15 years, said: “This is out of everything, social clubs, football clubs, everything.

“I’ve been after it for 15 years.

“We’ve been finalists twice before but never got there, and now we have.”

The club, in Townfield Lane, is a regular feature in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and is described in the 2014 book as being ‘as popular as ever’ and offering ‘three regular and up to four guest beers sourced from local microbreweries’ as well as a ‘popular beer festival held every November’.

Club Mirror magazine and CAMRA joined forces three years ago in the quest to find the best real ale clubs , which are defined as those which offer a fantastic atmosphere, welcoming surroundings, and top quality real ale served in great condition.

Keith Spencer, CAMRA national director, said: “Barnton Cricket Club remains as popular as ever and it is clear to see why, with a fantastic range of real ales kept in excellent condition.

“The club is open to CAMRA members and club members alike, who all enjoy popping in for a quick pint – whether they’ve earned it on the cricket field or not.

“The club is a very worthwhile winner of this coveted CAMRA award and should be seen as a great example to clubs across the UK who are thinking of offering more real ale.”

The club’s success adds to a host of accolades for the Northwich area, including Davenports tea room, which was named as the Tea Guild’s Top Tea Place in the UK in 2013, and Northwich appearing in the Sunday Times’ 101 top places to live in Britain.