Like most men my inner child is never far from the surface so a place called the Jurassic Coast (dinosaurs?!) which houses a town called ‘Beer’ seemed the stuff of dreams.

To make matters even better there was distinct possibility of marching this picturesque quarter of south England with a llama in tow (nothing to do with the inner child, I just like llamas).

While reality dictated I wasn’t to encounter any pre-historic monsters, my other half vetoed camelids and Beer is less Oktoberfest in vibe than hoped, the other distractions on offer proved more than adequate for a fantastic break away from the capital.

Your Local Guardian:

For the uninitiated the east Devonshire and Dorset coastline is a fertile hunting ground for fossil finders, earning it the Speilberg-esque name, and a World Heritage Site listing for good measure, with the 95-mile stretch offering picturesque views for the thousands of ramblers who travel its well-trod paths come rain or shine.

Nestled in the surrounding valleys, less than a mile inland, is Branscombe, a village centred on historic pub The Masons Arms, which was to be home for our two-day stay.

The pub has all the hallmarks you would expect from an establishment dating to 1350 - roaring fire, hidden cubby holes and a liberal scattering of horse brasses and historic knick-knacks - while the adjoining restaurant retains the historic feel but is more open and better lit.

Your Local Guardian:

The main pub is full of rural charm

Offering both a pub menu packed with the classics at prices hovering just above £10 there is also a second more adventurous menu on offer for those looking for fine dining.

Proximity to the coast dictated that seafood be the order of the day. I ordered the home-made pate to start with the mussels for main, while my partner had the mussels to start before attempting to tackle the biggest plate of scampi and chips ever seen. Quality was high and the portions gargantuan.

Your Local Guardian:

Such places often fall down on the accommodation side as planning law prevents changes to their listed buildings, built when mod-cons such as running water and ceilings higher than 6 ft were pie in the sky.

Owners St Austell Brewery has bypassed any potential restrictions by constructing an annex of modern rooms just metres away.

Your Local Guardian:

To describe our 'superior' room, as spacious would be doing it a disservice - one of the picturesque walks on offer in the area is the walk from the door to the bed - and the ensuite bathroom offers a large bath tub and separate power shower.

Such luxury does however come at a price, with a double occupancy setting you back a stiff £145 a night, breakfast included.

This heavy outlay is however redressed by the fact the main activity for the area, brisk walks combined with stunning scenery, come completely free. For a Londoner picking up a pint in nearby Beer for under £4 was also a welcome surprise.

Other attractions include Beer Quarry Caves, a five minute drive or 30 minute walk from Branscombe, offering insight into the area’s occupation since Roman times, the Pecorama Pleasure Gardens, Seatons old tramway and of course, the llama walks.

Look further afield and you can enjoy fossil hunting in Lyme Regis and Charmouth, take a visit to the Cerne Giant near Dorchester, or a day trip to Exeter city.

TO GET TO BRANSCOMBE: I advise you drive as the nearest rail stations are Honiton and Axminster, both several miles from Branscombe, and bus coverage is sparse.

By car from South London will take about 4 - 5 hours depending on traffic.

The Masons Arms, Branscombe, EX12 3DJ,