The award-winning Pear Tree at Purton hotel and restaurant has announced its closure after 30 years - just after earning its 25th mention in the Good Hotel Guide.

The highly-acclaimed hotel announced its immediate closure today on its website and Twitter page.

The announcement read: "It is with regret and sadness we announce the permanent closure of The Pear Tree at Purton from today with immediate effect.

"The Young family who have run the hotel and restaurant for 30 years are moving on.

"We would like to thank all of our customers and friends for their support over the past 30 years."

Managing director Anne Young made the announcement after deciding to retire, whilst her daughter and hotel manager Alix Young will move to the north of England with her family.

Anne said: "I have given 30 years of my life to this business and while I look forward to retirement I will miss the hotel, staff and my friends in the community very much.

"Overheads have continued to rise, especially utilities, repairs and food.

"Last year we moved from a seven day to a five and a half day operation but we still have struggled as a business to balance the books.

"We made every effort to continue as a going concern but this just wasn’t possible.

We wanted to do what was fairest for our staff and customers."

The hotel has stated on their website that they are currently contacting all booking directly to arrange cancellations and any refunds that are due. Staff have been told about the closure and all relevant redundancy payments will be honoured.

The hotel is in the process of being sold and is expected to re-open as a different business in due course.

The news comes just two months after the announcement that The Pear Tree had earned a mention in the Good Hotel Guide 2018 - for the 25th time since 1993.

The hotel, which also boasts its own vineyard, was praised in this year's Guide for its attention to detail, imaginative cooking, friendly staff and well-kept gardens.

One comment even called The Pear Tree "the epitome of a perfect British family-run country hotel".

In October, Anne said: "It’s an honour to be in the Good Hotel Guide for the 25th time.

"You cannot pay to be in this guide – you have to earn your place in it, so it feels like a true honour to be featured in 2018, which is also the 40th anniversary edition."

The hotel was originally a vicarage and parts of the building date back to when Henry VI was on the throne.

It was first built next to the parish church but in 1912 it was shifted 400 yards brick by brick – possibly because the gravestones had reached the front door.

Anne and husband Francis bought the empty building from the Diocese of Bristol 30 years ago and eventually won planning permission to turn it into a hotel.