Pubs have had to deal with a rollercoaster couple of years due to Covid-19, and they now face a new challenge - the rising cost of living.

Although this is the first time since the start of the pandemic that Wiltshire has had no Covid restrictions in place, pub owners have said they are not quite able to recap the benefits just yet.

Kate Holmes from the Railway Inn in Westbury noted that going out to the pub seems to something people are only doing on a special occasion these days.

She said: “Business picked up for a while when people became less worried about Covid, but now people seem to be waiting until the end of the month to go out now.

“Customers will comment on the price of beer, so it’s definitely a conversation that’s being had on a regular basis.”

Vicci, from Stallards Inn in Trowbridge has seen a major decline in customers over the last month.

She explained: “With all the prices going up it’s been a tough year.

“This is a music pub, so it’s heart-breaking if you’ve paid for a band and you’ve only got about 20 people in whereas in the past we had a full house.

“In Covid people even made their own garden bars and things like that so they’re able to enjoy their time with friends and family at home, and don’t necessarily need to come out any more.”

The White Bear in Devizes has also been feeling the pinch.

Georgina from the pub said: “We’ve definitely had a bit of a drop in sales.

“No one really knows if it’s going to go up and up and up, or whether it will drop down or if it will just plateau.”

But some businesses have managed to pull through without feeling the hit too severely.

The Hop Inn in Swindon has been thriving over recent months.

Jack from the pub told this newspaper: “We have got a large garden which I think appeals to people, so trade has not been too bad."

Nationally, it has been testing times for the pub industry according to the UK president of Atlus Group.

Robert Hayton warned that pubs are now dealing with "soaring energy costs, inflationary pressures and tax rises” which may force more pubs to close their doors.

Pub numbers across England and Wales have dropped below 40,000 for the first time, with 200 lost between the end of 2021 and the end of June.