Two charming and pretty communities await the traveller as they wind their way along the narrow roads near the East Devon coast. The villages of Beer, and its smaller neighbour, Branscombe, are worth visiting in part just for the pleasure of walking or driving through them, such is the inviting look of the old buildings with their displays of colourful flowers. And at the bottom of each respective village’s valley, attractive and unspoilt beaches await.
Set between high white chalk cliffs, the fishing village of Beer is best known for the high quality limestone that has been a carver’s delight since Roman times, and the underground quarries that have provided this stone for many centuries can still be visited today. Alongside the fishing heritage are the stories of smugglers, and in fact this industry provided a second occupation for many of the local inhabitants. Today the main street of Beer has a good selection of high-quality shops and galleries, and it’s perfectly acceptable to have a pint of beer in Beer at the Barrel of Beer, one of the local pubs!
Nearby Branscombe stretches down the most picturesque of valleys, making it one of the longest villages in England, if not the longest. Drive slowly through this village from top to bottom, and you can be excused for wanting to pause numerous times to take photos of the gorgeous thatched cottages with their tremendously colourful gardens, and the sweeping hillsides that curve down to the pebbly beach. Either of these two villages would certainly make for a peaceful getaway in which to stay.