IT’S one of Southampton’s most historic pubs.

Originally dating from 1654, The Ship Inn on Old Redbridge Road boasts tales of royal visits, smuggling and pirates.

The huge hearth in the centre gives a warm winter welcome, and the lovely exposed beams creak with tales of its maritime past. Low ceilings and friendly regulars make it a very popular haunt for locals and those from further afield.

Shauna Moore, assistant manager, said: “It’s lovely here because as a team we get on so well.

“We’re not just work friends we’re friends outside the pub as well.

“The customers are lovely as well.

“And it’s nice to know you’ve made people happy when they leave.”

The pub has four lagers on tap; Beck’s, Heineken, Fosters and Stella, ranging from £3.50 – £3.90 a pint.

Their ales are Ringwood Best and 49er, with a different special guest ale every week. These are £3.30 – £3.50 a pint.

Food-wise they boast a range of everything, from traditional Sunday lunch with all the trimmings, to a wide selection of meat and fish dishes, and a tempting choice of weekly specials.

This week’s specials menu boasts pan fried duck with red wine, honey and cherry glaze, home made lamb hotpot and lamb stroganoff.

They have a selection of vegetarian dishes, gluten free meals and will be introducing a brand new dairy free menu in March.

Steak and ale pie is a best seller but as all dishes are home made, including gravy, Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes, customers can be sure that it’s all high quality.

The pub offers a three course children’s menu for £9.95 and kids eat free on Wednesdays between 5pm and 9.30pm.

Although they are fully booked on Christmas Day, there are spaces left in December for the four course £18.95 menu.

Tilapia with cherry tomatoes and a white wine sauce, and stuffed butternut squash with roulade are two of the meals on the festive celebration menu.

Landlady Alison Burgywn and partner Charlie Weight have been at The Ship’s helm since 2008.