Beer

The beach at Beer
The beach at Beer. Photo: Steve Belasco.

Tucked in a small valley, the delightful, bustling fishing village of Beer is one of the treasures of the Jurassic Coast. Once famous for smuggling, the harbour is a natural cove, a suntrap sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds, with a shingle beach nestling in below the white chalk cliffs.

As there is no harbour, fishing boats are winched up onto the beach. At the foot of Sea Hill, the Fine Foundation Centre run by Beer Village Heritage tells the stories of the village and its place on the World Heritage Site and in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. More information on the World Heritage Site and a great view can be found at the Beer shelter above the beach.

The history of the village revolves around the nearby Beer Quarry Caves, where the famous Beer stone has been worked by hand since Roman times. Work in the caves stopped almost a century ago leaving great caverns, which are now open to the public and offer a fascinating journey through 2,000 years of quarrying history.

Beer Head, with the sandstone cliffs of Seaton beyond
Beer Head, with the sandstone cliffs of Seaton beyond. Photo: Steve Belasco.

Getting there

Need to know

If you look closely at Beer’s famous white chalk cliffs you’ll see lines of dark flint. Flint was a vital raw material for early man, and Beer is the last point going west along the coast where it could be successfully mined. There is evidence to suggest that during New Stone Age times (4,000-2,000 BC), Beer flint was traded all over the West Country.