Beer is a charming fishing village located on the south coast of Devon. With a potted history that’s traceable back as far as the Anglo-Saxon era when the settlement was known as Bearu (translated as The Groves), Beer is also known for smugglers, remarkably well-preserved quarry caves, an annual regatta and some lovely pubs and restaurants that have been plying their fine trade for decades. Today there is a lovely strand where you can take a pleasant stroll with sea views and quality pubs where you can sink some well-deserved drinks at the close of the day. Fishing boats are moored on-shore along this stretch of beach. Due to its superb location on the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site you can walk the South West Coast Path with ease.
About the village:
Perched at the edge of Northleigh AONB in a narrow woodland valley, Beer shares a stretch of coast with Seaton (East Devon); this fantastic village has been a great holiday hideaway for over a century. The local fishing fleet still strikes out from Beer, so many of the restaurants are a safe bet for dining out on freshly landed fish and shellfish. The Jurassic Coast winds its way eastwards to Lyme Regis with its iconic harbour, as well as TV locations used in Broadchurch, like West Bay; westwards you meet the Victorian-era holiday spot of Sidmouth and the red cliffs of Budleigh Salterton.
The shingle and stone beach at Beer is a nice, quiet spot to listen to the waves, read a book, and enjoy the slower pace of life that East Devon offers its visitors. Beer sits at the foot of some tall cliffs, and besides being a haul out for fishing boats and small craft sailors, there is also a large designated area for deckchairs and a row of beach huts for hire. At the fringe is Sea Hill, which leads up the hill and back to the rest of the village. You can follow the coast path over the hill to Seaton for even more beach. As well as Beer’s pretty beach, you’re not too far from the golden sands at Seaton, Branscombe, Weston Mouth and Sidmouth.
Stay in Beer for a traditional slice of coastal Devon life. If you crave choice and independence on your holidays, then our range of holiday cottages in Beer has something for everyone. With everything from converted piggeries to detached thatched cottages, we have a property to suit your needs. Take a look at Beach Side, offering stunning views out to sea, or Woodmans Stoop, a traditional thatched 17th-century farmhouse.
The food and drink:
Just above Beer Beach you’ll encounter Ducky’s, a delightful café. Drop by for lunch or a Devon cream tea. For a great pub lunch, try out The Anchor Inn. You are promised solid British standards including beef and ale pie with mash, and so much more. To sample some of Beer’s revered local seafood, try the Steamers Restaurant – the best for locally caught fish. Seaton also has a good sample of eateries for lunchtime and evening meals. Depending on the time of year that you are holidaying, check locally which establishments may be closed off-season. A bit further afield is The River Cottage experience just north of Axminster. Booking is essential for a dining experience par excellence at healthy food-campaigner and celebrity, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s famous barn restaurant.
Historically, the village was renowned as a smuggling base and was home to notorious smuggler, Jack Rattenbury. Skullduggery aside, Beer is on the visitor attraction map thanks to the fascinating Quarry Caves. Closed throughout winter, this vast man-made maze of underground caverns was quarried for Beer Stone. First worked in Roman times, stone from here was used to construct Windsor Castle, Exeter Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Hampton Court.
Besides the wonderful Beer Quarry Caves, which are the must-see attractions in the immediate Beer and Seaton area and to fully appreciate the area’s natural beauty go for a stroll along the circular walk up around Beer via Branscombe. The 4.5-mile route runs past some imposing clifftops unveiling surprising coastal views. Hooken Cliffs is another popular route, so pack your walking shoes and a packed lunch – the area is full of delights. In the neighbouring village is Seaton Tramway, which is a big draw for little boys and their dads. It’s a great family day out, where the whole family can climb aboard the trams for a ride.
Also investigate Pecorama Pleasure Gardens for its beautiful landscaped acres of plants, flowers and trees; it also has a model train railway and a cute tea room for a well-earned cup of tea and cake. The people of Beer host some interesting and fun public events throughout the calendar, including the Beer Rhythm and Blues Festival and the Beer Regatta. Try your best to coincide your trip with some of these events to experience Beer at its vibrant best.
Beer is home to several handy shops on the seafront and a few streets back but for a wider choice of shops and banks head a few miles inland to Axminster. Neighbouring Seaton also offers dining and shopping opportunities to save an extensive shopping trip into town for provisions.
Inspired to visit this riverside town? Take a look through our accommodation in Beer and pick out a holiday home that will provide you with an amazing holiday.