A hearty walk with fantastic elevated views of the endless sea and the Jurassic coastline’s red & white chalk cliffs in East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This is one of our family favourites. A rewarding walk that blows away the cobwebs, but not one for the faint hearted. I like the simplicity of the directions (pretty much follow the cliff line) and although this walk can be done in either direction, the pretty coastal village of Beer offers a good ‘break’ half way through with a variety of great eatery options, shops to wander around, beach to skim stones at, and a small park with swings and a slide which, I’m sure, can boast to have one of the best sea views in all of Devon. Let’s not forget my favourite honeycomb ice-cream from Bay View ice cream stand just outside their café on the sea front that I always enjoy on the return walk.
Beer was crowned runner up in Channel 4’s ‘Best village of the year 2018’ award, complemented on its fishing and lace heritage as well as its community spirit – enjoy the episodes on catch up here:
Route map: Click on the link for great directions from National Trust or Country file. They have different starting points. Alternatively, there is a car park on the beach front, but do keep your parking receipt as there have been a number of instances of having to appeal parking fines.
Walk type: Coastal cliff walk with an especially steep hill immediately leaving Branscombe beach.
Length: 1 hour there and another back (depending where you park).
Distance: 3 ish miles each way
Little ones’ transport mode: Babies and toddlers in slings or back packs. Older kids need to be good walkers.
Footwear: Decent footwear. Steep hill from Branscombe up East Hill to start the walk and the return journey via Hooken undercliff path is undulating.
Dog friendly: Yes. Just keep them on a lead when livestock are grazing and pick up after them.
Suitable ages: Babies and toddlers will enjoy the seeming ease of the 450ft ascent from the valley bottoms as they sit comfortably in their slings or back packs (a must), while their parents climb the steep hill. But there are benches at opportune times to have a break and enjoy the glorious views. Older kids, who are good walkers, can be spurred on by the draw of a fantastic ice-cream at Beer or, come the Autumnal months, both little and bigger mouths can enjoy the bountiful collection of blackberries conveniently growing all the way along the walk.
Snap shot of what’s at..
- National trust cafe
- Picnic tables
- Stoney beach
- Toilets & Baby Changing on a side board situated in the car park
- The 13.5 tonne Napoli anchor from the MSC Napoli cargo ship which ran aground in 2007 is on display outside The Sea Shanty (beachside café)
- Lots of choices of places to eat (including take-away fish and chips on the beach while watching the bobbing fishing boats)
- Cafes on the beach
- Shingle beach
- Public Toilets & Baby changing on a side board area
- Shops to wander around
- Play pooh sticks in the brook that flows down the high-street in the open conduit.
- Tractors on the beach (sometimes used to haul the boats in)
Need to know
Walk is always open.
How to get there
National Trust directions: Margells Bridge, Branscombe, Devon, EX12 3DB
Country file directions: Saint Winifred’s Church: 2, Branscombe, Seaton EX12 3DA
Branscombe beach car park: Branscombe, Devon, EX12 3DP
National Trust car park: free for members
Branscombe beach car park: £1 an hour. Pay in full, top up any extra time and keep proof of payment – there have been reports of the private company issuing fines and those who no longer have receipts for their stay cannot appeal.
Loos & Baby Changing
Available at both Branscombe beach car park (at the entrance) and Beer beach (just up from the beach next to the small play park and Bay View café)
Both have baby changing in the form of a side board table area and both are public toilets and the standard you’d expect.
No. This walk is definitely a sling or back-pack job. Steep hills, kissing gates and styles.
Yes. Dog friendly walk with lots of open land to run about on, but if cattle are grazing then they must be kept on a lead. Also, you might want to watch the dogs near the cliff edge, especially if they see a rabbit!
At Branscombe beach, dogs are allowed throughout the year; however dogs are not allowed 150m east and west of the pole at the front of the café.
At Beer beach, dogs are allowed all year round on the East side of the beach – past the last beach hut (see signs).
Anything else to do?
Hire a deck chair and relax on the shingle beach for a few hours watching the boats bobbing into shore with the fish catch of the day.
Take a mackerel fishing boat trip from Beer beach
Enjoy Countyfile’s ‘Top Picnic spot in the UK’ for a stunning view of the beach and village by heading up to the Jubilee Gardens situated at the top of the headland.
Adjacent to the Jubilee Gardens is a children’s playground and an outdoor multigym
Pecorama: click here
Beer Quarry Caves: Click here for their website.