Beer, South Devon: the Great British seaside

Beer in South Devon on the county’s Jurassic coast is the ideal place to experience the Great British Seaside, as Dag Pike discovers

Beer, South Devon: the Great British seaside

How can you resist anchoring for the night in a place called Beer?

Not only is it a delightful anchorage but when you land on the beach virtually the first building you come to is a pub.

Beer is also well located to break the long voyage across Lyme Bay, especially in a westerly wind when tacking is likely.

The white chalk cliffs of Beer Head are a good guide when approaching from the east.

As you get closer the rather large caravan park on the hills just inside the headland should appear and then you will see the village with its square church tower.

chart of Beer, South Devon

Credit: Maxine Heath

The seabed slopes inshore quite gently although it gets steeper near the headland, but you can use your echo sounder to feel your way into the anchorage just to the west of the open beach area and there are no off-lying dangers.

This location is probably the best spot to drop the hook as you will be well clear of the working boats which are common in the summer months.

You will also be better protected from any westerly winds, although if these are fresh you might experience some turbulence.

Any wind from the south west could bring a bit of swell into the anchorage when the waves are refracted around the headland.

Winds from the south and the east will leave you quite exposed.

This really is a fine weather anchorage and you will need to keep a watch on the weather forecast, but as winds tend to veer around towards the north after a fresh  southwester you should get reasonable shelter.

The holding ground is good.

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If you decide to head ashore you are probably best to land on the shingle beach to the west of the main boat landing place which is clearly visible.

The Beer Sailing Club clubhouse is perched on the low cliffs above a good landing point and you will see their dinghies parked on the beach below.

The club offers a warm welcome to visitors and could be a good starting point on a trip ashore.

It is advisable to check with the club about opening times.

On the beach itself is Ducky’s, a cafe with outside seating and an extensive menu.

If you walk up the road to the village you will find the Anchor Inn and its welcoming beer pumps and food. Further up the road there is the Barrel O’ Beer and the Dolphin Hotel plus a fish and chip shop so there are plenty of choices for drinking and eating.

If you need any chandlery then Jimmy Green Marine is further up the hill.

Beer is on the edge of the South West Coast Path, with the route from the village to Seaton particularly stunning with dramatic views across the coastline.

Beer, South Devon comes close to being the perfect place to anchor but being a popular traditional small seaside resort it can get busy in the summer.


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Source: Yachting Monthly

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