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Monday, October 13, 2008

Beer Devon

Beer, located around a small cove on the south coast of Devon, east of Exeter, is one of the county's most pleasant spots.

Beer Devon

Both a working port and a tourist town, Beer retains its essential authenticity. The gently sloping stone beach is lined with squat, brightly-painted fishing boats and the small town, with a population of less than 1,500 people, has some lovely stone houses, restaurants and pubs. Small leats (aqueducts) running along the sides of the streets to empty into the sea, increase the charm of the town.

Beer Devon

Beer is famous for its stone, which has been quarried since Roman times and used in such diverse buildings as the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and numerous churches and cathedrals throughout the country including Exeter Cathedral and St. Paul's in London.

Beer Quarry Caves offer guided tours for groups and individuals of the caves, which have also been used as smugglers' hideaways and a sanctuary for the persecuted in past centuries. The caves contain the workings of the first Roman quarry workers as well as later Saxon and Norman sections. Not just a place to store smuggled loot in the 18th century, the caves gave protection to Catholics fleeing persecution and were worked until the beginning of the 20th century in often appalling conditions.

Beer Devon

Beer's reputation as a smuggler's haven, made famous by Jack Rattenbury's 1837 Memoirs of a Smuggler, was reaffirmed in 2007 when a cargo vessel, the MSC Napoli, on route from Sweden to South Africa, ran aground near Branscombe, just to the west of Beer, and thousands of people from all over Britain, rushed to the site to scavenge for the goodies washed ashore.


There are infrequent buses to Exeter, Lyme Regis and Poole from April to October.

The Anchor Inn on Fore Street (Tel: 01297 20386) and Steamers on New Cut (Tel: 01297 22922) are recommended pubs for their fine beer and food. The Anchor has accommodation too - 8 en-suite bedrooms.

Beer Devon

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