“ Fishing village / port on the coast of Devon, England. „
Despite its large caravan park and a smattering of touristy shops down its high street, Beer is very much part of the real Devon that lives and breathes away from the hotspots of the tourism industry. Its fishing boats still return daily to unload their catch on the sheltered, shingly beach, and the whole village is thankfully free of the twee "Ye Olde Devone" mush that so many other places use to try to lure a few dollars more. Beer is situated in a little cove, at the eastern tip of the south Devon coastline, that runs down to the sea, west of the resort town of Seaton...to which one can walk, over the headland, along a path that offers fantastic views out over the bay. In fact, the path passes so close to the edge of the cliffs that part of it has been washed away...but the rest is still open, despite the ravages of foot-and-mouth (as of Easter weekend, anyhow). The beach itself is shingle, and benefits immensely from having Seaton so nearby to draw away the crowds, leaving it delightfully peaceful. Be warned, however, that parking your car can only be done at the top of the eastern headland - a steep walk for the very young or the very old! One of Beer's main draws can be found on the beach...a little tea shop that does everything from the most delicioius (and fattening!) cream teas imaginable through to fry-ups, burgers...in short, something for everyone at every time of the day. And if you're looking for something to take home and cook yourself, there's a little shop on the way back up to the road that sells today's catch...anything and everything from scallops to salmon, from cockles to cod. And if you want to eat in even more style, the Anchor Inn offers some truly remarkable fresh fish on its menu. I'll write another op on the pub itself, so I won't go into too much detail here, but suffice it to say that the restaurant is the pub's selling point - even after you've taken int
o account the beer garden overlooking the beach! All in all, a great place for a weekend away or even longer...there are walks along the beach at low tide, rockpools, inland walks, and in short everything that a holidayer could wish for! The only drawback is that you'll all be going too, now that I've said so much about it...
The most wonderful thing in this world for me, is to sit in a deckchair on the beach at Beer; a mug of steaming hot tea, bought from the beach kiosk, in one hand and a fresh crab roll in the other. The latter having been bought from the small fish shop just as you come down the steep slipway to the sea edge, where fresh fish is available daily from early morning - the crab and mackerel are the best you'll ever taste. Beer is one of those timeless Devon resorts, where real people live and work - a thriving fishing port - the boats launch directly from the beach - and small village community, spread over a steep slash in the chalk rocks situated between the small town of Seaton and the slightly bigger town of Sidmouth (both on sandstone). The beach itself shelves steeply to the sea - being very pebbly, but with patches of sand at very low tide and a short hard walk away are wonderful rock pools which have all kinds of interesting sea life in them - jelly shoes and dipping net are a must! Beer Head is the cliff situated on one side of the bay - over which you can walk to picturesque Branscome and there is a beautiful coastal path walk to Seaton on the other side of the bay. In the heart of the village, a small stream runs within an open channel down the length of Fore Street - where many small shops can be found, including a quaint post office, butchers, chemist, cafes, chandlers, art and craft shops, off licence and the most important clotted cream shop - where you can arrange to 'post a pot' to your friends or even yourself! Another very useful shop is the unexpected larger man's shop - where you can buy clothes for the big man in your life. Places to visit are the village church - the interior is very interesting; Peccorama - a model railway enthusiast's dream; and Beer quarry caves. Stay in one of the many rented cottages (there is a letting agency in the village) or at a B & B - there are ma
ny nearby. This has to be one of the most gentle, relaxing places to spend a holiday - uncomplicated by trashy tourism, yet with something for everyone. Enjoy!