Beer Past & Present
Beer, an alluring coastal village, evolved around a smugglers cove and complex of caves which were historically used to store contraband goods. These caves are now part of the attraction of the village. The dominant building material is flint, a hard glassy stone found in the local chalk rock. In the past Beer’s main sources of income came from fishing and lace production. Now-a-days tourism features high on this list and lace production has ceased somewhat.
Present day and Beer retains a strong seafaring tradition, with skills and business handed down from family to family. Visitors are privy to the splendid paraphernalia of the fishing industry. Strewn across the beach are an array of coloured wooden boats, traditional nets, winches and rope. There is no harbour and therefore it is a common sight to see boats winched up the beach, enabling passers-by a close up of the catch of the day. This local produce is sold within Beer and Belmont House is a loyal and regular customer so you will be sure to taste some of the seasonal produce.
Beer is a natural suntrap and views across the bay from the Jubilee Gardens are breathtaking with sheer cliff faces and stunning seascapes.
Beer has even been used as the location for a Midsummer Murders series, Down Among the Dead, with John Nettles, with The French Lieutenant’s Woman being filmed around the corner in Lyme Regis. ITV’s Broadchurch series with David Tennant & Olivia Colman, was filmed also in the area at West Bay, where Nick Berry also filmed Habour Lights.
Things To See & Do
Here is a list of some of our favourite things to do, giving you the ‘local experience’ which will be unforgettable. You will be sure to return!
Fish and chips on the beach here in Beer:
We are fortunate to have a delicious fish and chip shop in Fore Street, in the village. On a barmy summer evening there’s nothing better than fish and chips on the beach. Why not stop off at the Off License (also in Fore Street) for your favourite tipple on the way down!
Relaxing and playing on Beer beach:
Beer beach is a beautiful, sheltered pebbly cove. At low tide there are rock pools to poke about in………..no you’re not too old! The self-drive motorboats are also great fun. They carry up to 8 passengers and you can hire them for ½ an hour, an hour, or a day. They come equipped with a fishing line so you can have a go at catching your supper to BBQ on the beach later! If all that sounds just too energetic, just relax and watch the fishing boats coming and going from the excellent choice of beach cafes. They serve anything from delicious cream teas and crab sandwiches to full cooked meals. There are beach huts also available for hire from the beach. On Monday evenings you can watch the Beer Luggers go out sailing. They are beautiful traditionally built West Country wooden vessels with blazing red sails, a real sight to see. Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoon’s dingy sailing takes place. Beer Regatta is held every year in August, when there is a week long programme of events for all ages (Check with us for details).
Walk from Beer to Branscombe:
This is such a stunning walk, but not for the faint hearted. Beer to Branscombe is easy….Branscombe back to Beer is a serious climb! Once in Branscombe (the longest village in the country) visit the Masons Arms, a beautiful thatched hostelry with an open fire in the Winter offering real ales and excellent food. There is also The Fountain Head pub, also offering real ales and good pub grub. The National Trust has a forge, mill and tearoom in the village (check with us for opening times) and the cream teas are to die for! On the beach, The Sea Shanty serves cream teas, ice creams and light lunches. Branscombe beach is the property of The National Trust. It’s peaceful, unspoilt and flanked by beautiful countryside. There is a NT car park a very short distance away from the beach.
Walk from Beer to Seaton with a trip on the Seaton Tramway:
Hire a Boat & Go Fishing:
Go down to the beach and you can hire a small motor boat. Choose to simply cruise the coastline, or if you prefer, have a go at a spot of mackerel fishing. The rods, line and feathers are all provided, and if you are lucky to catch one, bring it back to the Belmont House and we will have the chef fix it up for your breakfast the next day.
The 2 mile walk across to Seaton on the South West Coast Path offers stunning views of both coast and countryside. Once in Seaton head for the Seaton Electric Tramway (on Harbour Road car park) and take the tram 4 miles inland to the historic rebellious town of Colyton. The route takes you alongside the estuary, a haven for a large variety of birds and wildlife. Once at Colyton station there is a café and shop. During the peak season there is a horse drawn wagon that will take you the short distance into the town of Colyton, where we would urge you to wander along the river or through the quaint back streets. There are a variety of fascinating individual shops to investigate, 3 pubs and cafes to grab a bite to eat before your return journey. Trams run regularly during the season and take 25 minutes each way.
Jurassic Coast double decker bus (X53):
This is a brilliant service, and means you can leave the car behind, sit ‘up top’ and enjoy the stunning views. It also means of course that it could be ‘free’ if you are of the ‘magic age’ for a concessionary bus pass! The service runs from Exeter to Poole and passes through Beer for either direction. We have always particularly enjoyed the Beer to Weymouth leg, which takes about 2 hrs. Hugging the coast you get fantastic views of Abbotsbury and Chesil Beach. It stops off at Bridport en route for a ‘loo stop’ and takes a break on Weymouth sea front before continuing on it’s way to Poole. The service currently operates every 2hrs 7 days a week.