"A One-way Ticket to Beer Please!" Beer by johngayton
Beer Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 83 photos
Strangely enough I was having a conversation over a beer in the Rising Sun at Lynmouth and the subject of Beer came up - Beer the village on Devon's Southeast coast that is.
It had been a place on my list to visit for years but for whatever reason I'd never managed to make the time. HA! Imagine me not being able to make the time for Beer!!
So having just finished my contract up at Lynmouth I reckoned I should do something constructive between jobs and what could be more constructive than finally going for a beer in Beer??
Getting to Beer by public transport from North Devon required a couple of buses and a couple of trains, along with a bit of walking between bus stops and train stations, but then I never go for a beer until I've done something constructive, creative or energetic and the negotiation of the County-wide public transport system pretty much fulfilled all three criteria.
UPDATE MARCH 2016 Another swift visit has been made and this time round I had an overnight stay, which someone even picked up the bill for! A visit to the Beer Quarry Caves was thoroughly enjoyed, although I was a tad disappointed to find that the beer they quarried wasn't actually drinkable stuff but hey, ho it was a fascinating way to work up a thirst and you'll find my new tip by clicking Nor Any Drop To Drink
My journey took me from Lynmouth to Barnstaple by bus, a ten minute walk from the bus station to the rail station, then Barnstaple to Exeter by train, Exeter to Axminster by another train, a local bus to Seaton and then the final leg the bus from Seaton to Beer.
Those that know me will appreciate the delight I took in asking the Seaton bus driver for a "One-way ticket to Beer please." HA!
Talk about the "Pig in the proverbial..."
Here I was and everything is signed "Beer" - there's a Beer Post Office (OK it doesn't actually sell beer but I suppose you could use it to post some); the Beer Village Store (which does sell beer); the Beer Fish and Chip Shop (beer-battered fish of course); the Beer Wet Fish Shop (no beer involved but the fish are flappingly fresh); The Marine House at Beer ("at beer" being a phrase I use sometimes myself) and slightly irreverently the Beer Church (St Michael's to those who take these things seriously).
And its not just the buildings - the road coming into the village from Seaton is Beer Road, which is the newer version of Old Beer Road which leads onto Beer Hill, before arriving at Beer Beach, at the far end of which is the limestone promontory of Beer Head.
All this Beer and I haven't even gotten to the pubs yet!
The village's name doesn't actually have anything to do with the beverage - in the Domesday Book it is written as "Bera" whilst in the 16th century King HenryVIII's antiquarian, John Leland, referred to the village as "Brereworde". Other spellings have included "Ber", "Beare", "Bereword" and "Bereham" and so the etymology of the name is kinda confused.
But what's in a name?
The village itself is a delight, tucked away in its own little corner of Lyme Bay, which it overlooks, and with no through road as such (the Seaton road, the B3174, merely skirts the top end of the main drag).
This stretch of coastline is the World Heritage designated Jurassic Coast, the 95 miles of cliffs and coves which span a couple of hundred million years of the the area's geographical history between Exmouth and Swanage. This is also an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as such modern development pretty much halted in the 1950's which means that the village has retained its character from that time. None of the buildings are larger than two stories high and most are Victorian or earlier, built from the local stone and faced with flint.
The main road, which starts off as The Causeway before becoming Fore Street and then Sea Hill, winds its way down to the pebbled beach which is still very much a working fishing cove. Although there is no actual harbour, the cliff promontory of Beer Head provides a natural shelter for the bay and the boats are launched at high tide and then reeled back onto the beach by powered winches or the communal tractor.
As well as fishing the village's other main industry is tourism, but in a low-key sort of way. The beach is popular with families during the summer and there are beach huts for hire. In the village itself there are the usual craft and souvenir shops, as well as the three pubs and a couple of restaurants. Being located on the South West Coastal Path it is also a popular year-round stop off point for walkers providing accommodation and sustenance (yep the three pubs again!).
- Pros:Three Cracking Pubs!
- Cons:Not Particularly Well-served By The Public Transport System
- In a nutshell:The Beer(s) Made It Well Worth The Journey
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