Round and About Beer, East Devon.
Beer is a beautiful East Devon fishing village of about 1,500 ideally placed in the world renowned Jurassic coast and is a designated place of outstanding natural beauty. It is steeped in Smuggling history, the renowned smuggler Jack Rattenbury – known as the “Rob Roy of the West” was born here. Because of the chalk cliffs the beach is a real sun trap and with Beer Head sheltering the bay from prevailing winds the sea is often very calm, ideal for swimmers and relaxers alike. There are still fishermen operating from the beach and you are able to join them by hiring small motor boats or join in a short mackerel fishing trip or deep sea excursion.
Why is it called Beer? The origin is a bit uncertain, but the Saxon’s called it “Beerham”, the Normans “Bera” as in the Domesday Book and in 1698 it was called “Beare”. Many other variations appeared throughout the centuries.
The spectacular coastline means that walking is a popular activity. There are walks for all needs and just a stroll up the Beer Head is very rewarding. Carry on West from Beer head along the cliffs and you will arrive in Branscombe (Where the MSC Napoli was beached in Jan 2007). A much more spectacular way is to use the Under Hooken footpath down the cliffs. From the path you can view what many people regard as a Smugglers’ Cave, but was in reality a quarry accessed by a sloping shaft from the fields on the cliff top. There is a nice and easy walk East to Seaton with wonderful views. Just along the coast there is the famous 6 mile Undercliff Walk from Seaton to Lyme Regis. Blackbury Camp nearby is always worth a visit.
There are many things to see and do and throughout the summer months local organisations put on many varied events, the highlight of which is Regatta Week. Regatta Day is always the first Thursday after the second Monday in August, so the week will start on the Saturday before this and finish the Saturday after.
Beer Quarry Caves. Conducted tours by trained guides,give the visitor an hour-long tour of this vast man- made complex of underground caverns created by centuries of quarrying the famous Beer Stone. The underground quarry first worked by the Romans,supplied stone for 24 cathedrals including Exeter and St.Pauls, parts of Westminster Abbey,the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. Quarried by hand, the smallest blocks weighing 4 tons, the stone was carted on horse-drawn wagons and by barges from Beer beach to its destination, sometimes involving journeys of several hundreds of miles.
Pecorama is home to the famous PECO Model Railway Exhibition and the Beer Heights Light Railway. The Exhibition hall displays wonderful detailed layouts in many different scales, some with push button controls enabling children to operate the trains.
The Gardens are also home to the 7¼" narrow gauge passenger carrying line, powered by a fleet of miniature steam and diesel locomotives. The route winds its way along exciting cuttings and embankments, through a long purpose built tunnel, at the same time giving wonderful views of the village of Beer and Lyme Bay.
Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon's glorious Axe Valley, travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life. It has always been famous for the open top trams, but also have three enclosed single-deck saloons. So visit any time of the year - there is a tram for all seasons!
Donkey Sanctuary is a UK based charity near the Regency town of Sidmouth working worldwide to improve conditions for donkeys and mules.
Visitors are free to spend as much time as they wish meeting the donkeys in the Main Yard where they wander at will. These donkeys live in the main barn with the other residents, some of which are over 40 years of age. You can stop by and spend some time with them as they adore fuss and attention in their old age.