MY destination this week stops off at one of the oldest pubs in the locality: an inn which, although rebuilt in 1905, originally dated back to around 1750.

The Cross Keys Inn has a fine, historical facade, and boasts a most attractive, Victorian, mosaic-tiled, porch entrance.

However, the historical part of this rambling establishment, diminishes rapidly, as you walk into the spacious, open-plan bar area.

It does take you a little by surprise, as you witness a very contemporary styled interior.

Laminated floors, raised stage area, pastel shaded decor and stainless steel seating around the large, curved-shaped bar.

Although, it had retained two private, cosy, off-room areas, with fixed benched, leather upholstered seating and armchairs.

Externally, there is a neat, enclosed beer garden, at the rear of the pub. A smoking shelter is also available, along with a wide screened TV. I was met by the joint owner, Kristian Harrison. He has been at the pub since April 2013. And prior to this venture, had served in the Royal Navy for eight years, as a submariner.

He said: "I spent three to four months at a time, under the sea."

Crikey, you have to admire someone who can work and live in such a covert and unusual environment.

Kristian has quite a range of beers and ciders at his pub – and all at bargain prices. Three locally sourced cask ales, between £2 and £2.20. Four lagers priced £2 – £2.40, and quite surprisingly, in my opinion, two Strongbow draught ciders, at just £2 and £2.20 (dark fruit) respectively.

Of course, being a cask ale ‘connoisseur’, I plumped for one of the three on offer. It was a no brainer for me. It had to be, the Bank Top, Port O’ Call – it is a brewing masterpiece.

A smooth, rich and robust porter. The brewer adds a bottle of port to every barrel – and you can taste it! It was in superb condition.

Another classy slurp from Bank Top was sampled by my beery comrade, Dave Miller. Flat Cap Bitter is smooth, lightly bittered, malty excellence.

Not surprisingly, both are permanent fixtures on the serving counter, along with the light, fruity and refreshing, Golden Pippin, from Copper Dragon.

The pub was relatively quiet when we visited. Not surprising really for an early Tuesday afternoon.

However, all that changes at the weekend, especially when live football is screened.

Kristian said: "We are very busy over the weekend period. Friday night is the popular 80s and 90s disco. We also have all the Sky and BT Sports channels. Pool is very popular too, throughout the week. We have two tables, as you can see, to cope with the demand. I would class the pub as a sports bar."

A sports bar? I think that Kristian's description was a modest one. Most 'sports bars' don't serve fine cask conditioned ales. And if they did, it wouldn't be at two quid a pint.

For me, the Cross Keys is a 'pub package'. There's is something there to suit all types of patrons. Sporty or not, it's worth a visit.