Surrounded by stunning countryside and a phenomenal section of UNESCO World Heritage coastline, the idyllic village of Branscombe is the perfect base for exploring South Devon’s great outdoors.
The Mason’s Arms nestles between Seaton and Sidmouth, within walking distance of the Jurassic Coast. Step into a wealth of rural bliss right on your doorstep. Here are some of the essentials to check off during your visit.
Unwind in one of the most tranquil, picture-postcard villages on East Devon’s Jurassic coastline. With a mile-long high street winding its way through a spectacular valley, Branscombe is believed to be the longest village in the country.
You’ll have all the time in the world to potter past colourful cottages adorned by pretty hanging baskets, before continuing your gentle stroll all the way down to a secluded shingle beach.
Step back in time
Branscombe boasts a number of lovingly-restored historic working buildings. Among the most impressive is the thatched Smithy, which is now a museum. There’s also the old bakery, which greets visitors with open fires, vintage baking tins, and storage jars galore.
Further up the hill, you’ll find the charming St Winifred’s Church. This remarkable landmark dates back more than a thousand years and comes complete with one of the finest views in the county.
The Jurassic Coast
Branscome sits at the heart of England's first natural World Heritage Site. The Jurassic Coast runs along 95 miles of coastline from East Devon to Dorset and reveals a ‘walk through time’ spanning 185 million years of life on Earth.
Trace the footsteps of the dinosaurs and go fossil hunting where you’ll be able to capture your very own slice of history. Such a vast collection of rock types makes for some mind-boggling geology and the landscape is just as beautiful as it is significant.
The South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path runs along the entire length of the Jurassic Coast, giving walkers a bird’s eye view of prehistoric Devon and Dorset. You’ll find dramatic, sheer cliff faces, peculiar rock formations, and some of the finest coastal views the UK has to offer, all backed by wildflowers and rolling countryside.
This delightful fishing village is just a short drive, or stroll if you’re feeling adventurous, along the coast path. Sheltering behind the white chalk cliffs from the prevailing winds, Beer’s natural cove is also a glorious sun trap and a haven from the elements.
Once famous for smuggling, the history here centres around the fascinating Quarry Caves, which are now open to the public.
There’s a wide variety of exciting attractions within easy reach of Branscombe that are sure to keep families and couples entertained for days on end.
Highlights include the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, the Seaton Tramway, Branscombe Airfield, and Holyford Woods Nature Reserve. There’s even a chance to meet some new furry friends at Peak Hill llamas.
With a captivating, old-world charm, it’s no wonder Sidmouth draws visitors back time after time. Majestic red cliffs surround a stunning regency seafront, all overlooking wide, clean beaches. Take a trip to Fields, one of the few remaining independent department stores, where you’ll find an authentic example of ‘service as it used to be’.
Should you time your trip to coincide with the first week of August, don’t miss the fantastic Sidmouth Folk Festival. This traditional annual staple has been a summer highlight each year since 1955. There are more than 700 events during the festival that completely transform the town into a carnival-style wonderland.
Indulge at a spa
If all that walking and sea air has tired you out, why not treat yourself to a relaxing day of luxury at Aspara in Sidmouth? Unwind and indulge with a range of divine treatments. There’s even an exclusive Hydra-spa that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised.