Seaton - Beer Coast Guide
Seaton lies around six miles east of Sidmouth and is tucked into the Devon hillsides with Beer its close neighbour. Seaton is a small seaside resort town with a great beach, while Beer is a typical example of a traditional fishing village. Both can easily be visited from the A35 Exeter to Dorchester road. There is a good range of hotels in the town and nearby.
Reputed to have once been the haunt of smugglers both Beer and Seaton have strong sea faring traditions which still continue today. The towns are protected from the worst weather by the towering cliffs on either side but are open to the southerly gales. Seaton has a long sand and pebble beach while Beer has a small beach which is also used by the small local fishing fleet. While Seaton has good parking facilities Beer's small twisting lanes can become very congested in summer months. Both towns are hospitable and have a good range of tourist facilities for those who favour a quieter, hassle free seaside resort.
For details of Seaton Hotels and Holidays, Guest Houses, Cottages and attractions. Go to Seaton Hotels, Cottages and Guest Houses.
Seaton's history can be traced back to before Roman times when it was a farming settlement. With the arrival of the Romans a port developed as trade increased along the south coast. During the Middle Ages the town continued as a port and fishing village. The railway arrived in 1868 which replaced the use of the port to some extent but lead to the growth of the town as a seaside resort. Many of the town's buildings were built in the Victorian era when the esplanade was added along the foreshore. The main attraction of Seaton for tourists is the long sand and pebble beach which becomes very busy at peak season. While the natural beauty of the area is in abundance the town is somewhat lacking in attractions and major facilities for tourists. The exception is the Seaton Tramway which attracts around 80,000 visitors a year. The tramway is built on the old railway line and runs three miles inland to the village of Colyton.
The name Beer is derived from the Old English word for woodland - bere - rather than the famous drink of the same name. But don't worry there are plenty of places in Beer were you can get a beer! Over the years Beer has evolved as a fishing village with a prosperous side line in smuggling, or so the legends would have it! A local smuggler of the name Jack Rattenbury published his recollections; Memoirs of a Smuggler in 1873.
Fishing has been the main industry of the village over the years as the beach is protected by Beer Head from the strong westerly winds. The fishing boats are launched directly from the beach and recovered by means of winches which pull the boats onto the shingle beach. People gather to inspect the days catch in the early evening. The village is a popular tourist destination and there are several good pubs and restaurants in the village along with art galleries and local shops. The village is only small and can become very crowded in summer months - parking can be tricky! There is an excellent walk to the west of town that leads to Beer Head, a towering chalk cliff. The South West Coast Path runs along here to Sidmouth in the west and to Seaton and Lyme Regis in the east.
Beer Head Beer beach
What to see in Seaton - Beer and nearby
Axmouth - is a nearby village situated on the River Axe. Once a busy port it is now a mile form the sea.
Seaton Tramway - Tramway that runs inland to Colyton along the River Axe valley - Harbour Rd, Seaton, Devon EX12 2NQ Tel: 01297 20375 For details visit: Seaton Tramway
Undercliffs National Nature Reserve - A nature reserve since 1955, offers spectacular views and unspoilt clifftops. Located between Seaton and Lyme Regis
Beer Quarry Caves Ltd - 1, Gravel Cottages, Fore St, Beer, Seaton, Devon EX12 3JG Tel: 01297 625830
Shute Barton - Historic building - The National Trust, Shute, Axminster, Devon EX13 7PT Tel: 01297 34692
Map of Seaton and Beer
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