IT IS the pub right next to Winchester University – but it is not just students the County Arms manages to rope in.

Sarah Jones and Lee Bryan took charge at the Greene King watering hole back in November last year, and have had a “seriously good time” since.

The couple told the Echo how different social groups come together at their pub in Romsey Road, whether they be students, locals, workers from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital just a stone’s throw away, or officers from the nearby prison.

Lee, 43, who was born and raised in Stanmore, has recently returned to the city, and said he was “really excited to come home and live above the pub”.

He added: “Being where we are on the edge of the city, being a cheap pub with lots to do, we get such a good crowd of people in, and it really is great.

“Ever since starting, it’s been trouble free, and it’s really nice seeing everyone get along in our pub, particularly when we put on our events, which we try to do as much as we can.”

Events at the County Arms are varied, and include a quiz night, karaoke, a meat raffle and darts tournaments.

Lee said: “Not too long ago we had a Star Wars party, and I’ve seen some costumes in my time, but the ones the people made for our event were just incredible!

“But it wasn’t just the students getting involved with that, it was everyone. I think we are doing a good job at making this a real good community pub on this side of town.”

The pub is also dog friendly, shows sport on TV, and offers blue light discount to those in the services.

Around 80 per cent of staff members are students, which Sarah says helps build a relationship between them and locals.

She said: “Students are not always welcomed by some people in Winchester, but here it’s the complete opposite, and we’re very proud of the relaxed atmosphere we have.”