When you visit the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean this summer, you will be spoilt for choice...
Beer is a picture-perfect, unspoilt fishing village on the south coast of Devon. Once a smugglers haven, as most of the rugged Jurassic coast was, but today mostly famous for it’s fishing and seafaring tradition and well as the stunning cliff coastline. Often linked to beer the drink, the name ‘Beer’ actually originates in the old English word for woodland ‘beare’, because of the nature of the forestation around the town many years ago.
The beach in Beer is a natural suntrap and with the waters in the bay being sheltered by with the limestone cliffs that offer protection from the wind, this little part of the Jurassic coast is perfect for a beach holiday. But this beach is not just for lounging about, it is actually a ‘working beach’, something that really just adds to the experience, with the brightly coloured boats, nets, winches and working fishermen, for those who are just visiting.
Walking in and around Beer in Devon is one of the most fabulous experiences, and the walk by Hooken Cliffs is a 7 kilometre walk of sheer perfection. With moderately steep ascents and descents along this walk, including quite the long flight of steps and places where paths are rather close to the edges, this is not a walk particularly suitable for little kids or for the very inexperienced walker, but by no means do you have to be a ‘professional rambler’ to get the most enjoyment out of this incredible walk along the coast and cliffs of Beer. Hooken Undercliff is the site where a dramatic landslip happened in 1790 and left a rugged landscape with thick vegetation, speared through by the famous white cliffs and pinnacles. As an added bonus, the landscape around the walk and the cliffs is an absolute haven for wildlife.
Beer’s St Michael’s Church was consecrated in 1878 and then constructed on the site of a 16th Century chapel. Originally it had a spire, bit for safety reasons, this was removed in 1964 and replaced with the tower which still stands today. In the church is a wonderful wooden Memorial carving, carved by a local in remembrance of those who gave their lives to their country in the first World War.
You’re staying in a lovely holiday cottage in Beer, you want to prepare a nice a meal for you and your party and, of course, you’re thinking of serving a delicious fish dish with freshly caught local fish. Well, you’re in luck, your first stop should be the Wet Fish Shop on Sea Hill in Beer. All fish and shellfish from Wet Fish Shop is caught off the coast of Beer and handled with quality and sustainability in mind.
If cooking your own dinner isn’t your thing or if you just fancy fantastic chip shop fish & Chips, Beer Fish & Chip Shop on Fore Street is the answer with local fresh fish and chips to take away or to eat in. Are you in the mood for trying something special that you definitely don’t see in many chip shops, try the speciality fish like rays and rock salmon. Pies, sausages, mushy peas and all the chip shop traditionals are also on menu, of course.
Far above the village of Beer, sitting on the hillside and overlooking the beautiful sea, is Pecorama, the Beer Heights Light Railway. This 9-acre site shows us the manufacturing production of the world famous PECO products, the team behind Railway Modeller and Continental Modeller magazines, as well as the Beer Heights Light Railway. This fantastic attraction in Beer is great for families, garden lovers and model railway enthusiasts alike.
A wonderful independent restaurant in the centre of Beer, The Smugglers Kitchen offers something rather unique in East Devon, in a menu of delicious food and drink for the discerning wine drinker and food lover. With an exciting and ever changing menu of fresh West Country fare, the team of super-talented chefs source their produce as locally as possible, and almost everything is made in-house and then enjoyed by diners from near and far in the cosy restaurant.
The cave complex at Beer Quarry is a man-made limestone underground attraction as well as the main source in England for beer stone. The caves at Beer Quarry link such historic buildings as The Twoer of London, Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey to Beer as without the beer stone, they simply would not exist! The Beer Quarry Caves attraction is a fantastic place to go in Beer, for anyone at any age. This quarry is now a series of stunning underground caves with interesting exhibits and ancient stone carvings.
A real treasure of wonderful antiques as well as vintage and collectable items is waiting for you at the Dolphin Antiques and Collectables Centre Clapps Lane, as it has done for over 25 years. The collections include jewellery, china, glassware, textiles, collectable pottery, fossils and local fishing gear, silverware, furniture, clocks and much more.
Run entirely by volunteers with a great love of the heritage of the village of Beer, is the Beer Village Heritage Centre. Created with the advancement, protection and education of the natural and social history, conservation and the environment of Beer, in particular Beer’s marine and coastal environment and fishing industry, this is one place not to miss when visiting Beer in Devon. Guided and self-guided tours and activities are offered as well as talks and general information.
Devon’s leading centre for the fine and applied arts from local and national artists and crafts people is the Marine House at Beer and Steam Gallery in the centre of Beer. On display and for sale throughout the year are selections of work by over 100 artists.
A fantastic local’s pub, the kind that welcomes visitors and tourists also, of course, The Barrel of Beer is the perfect place to go for a good pint, good pub grub and a relaxing moment out of the sun or off the beach in Beer.
This wonderful little deli on Fore Street in the heart of Beer, has all the vegetables and fruit you could ever hope to find as well as savoury pasties, pies, the most delicious local cheeses, olives, pickles, preserves and jams, local eggs, fresh bread and homemade tarts and pies. A really lovely deli, perfect for stocking up when you’re staying in a holiday cottage in Beer.
On Fore Street in Beer is a lovely little café and bakery where you will find the tastiest and freshest bread and cakes all baked locally in the neighbouring town of Seaton. Delicious savouries are also on sale here, with all pork-based products made from the owner’s own traditional, rare breed pigs bred from the small holding in Axminster.
Although not technically in the village of Beer, Seaton Tramway is only a 5-minute drive away and such a lovely experience that it deserves a place in this guide for sure. The tramway is 3 miles of completely unspoilt countryside along the beauty that is the Axe Valley and the tramway itself is operated on a narrow stretch of land between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton, travelling alongside the estuary of the river from one nature reserve to the other, offering unrivalled views of the fascinating wading bird life.