A HUSBAND and wife who sold The Twelve Bells pub in Cirencester almost a year ago to travel the world, have now returned and bought it back.

Steve and Carole Mutlowe, both 55, sold the Lewis Lane pub to James and Ruth Brown in November 2016 before going on a once in a lifetime trip around the world.

It was an excursion which had been in the planning for 12 years, with the couple agreeing to do it before they were 55 and putting money aside ever since.

Their globetrotting saw them take in Myanmar, New Zealand and the USA, including a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and a trip to Vegas, which Steve described as “Blackpool on acid”.

“We didn't do any hostels, we did posh backpacking,” he said. “We did only have backpacks though; 12kg each.

“We travelled on the bus, we flew different places, drove different places. We flew into LA, and drove up to San Francisco, which was somewhere we’ve both always wanted to go,” said Steve.

But, having originally planned to be away until next April, by June they were both “absolutely shattered” and missing Cirencester.

“We did a five-and-a-half-month trip around the world, came back, sat around for a month doing nothing and then decided we didn't really want to be semi-retired, we wanted our old life back,” said Steve.

“We did look at a few other pubs in the area, but then we just approached James and Ruth and they said they'd sell it back to us.”

Since taking up the reigns again at the Twelve Bells, he said the customers are the same and it “was like just being on a big holiday and then coming back home”.

“We missed our family, who all live locally; that's why we came back to Cirencester, and our friends.

“You get to a certain point in life and the friends you’ve made are your friends for ever after.”