Using a local DNS server while connected to a VPN on a windows PC

I have a home network with most devices running NordVPN.

I have a raspberry pi acting as a mini home server – and have just started using Pi-Hole a DNS program that points various tracking and marketing URLs to nothing.

If I manually set the DNS on my computer to the local address of the Pi then it all works fine. But if I turn on the VPN (on my PC connecting over the wifi to the router and out to the intenet) then the local DNS simply fails.

In summary:-
With the VPN off I can ping my mini-server and nslookup specifying it as the server ‘nslookup –’ all works fine. But if I activate the VPN, while the ping is still fine, the nslookup times out.

I suspect the DNS requests are being sent out through the VPN (which then can’t access my local addresses). Is there a way of verifying this? And if it is the problem configuring the PC to use the Pi first even when the VPN is active?

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