Walk - Beer YH - Branscombe

5.6 miles (9.0 km)

Beer YHA - EX12 3LL Beer YHA

Moderate -

A varied walk between two contrasting villages. There are extensive views, as well as geology, and wildlife and historical interest. The walk can be extended if you choose to walk back to Beer rather than taking the bus.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Coombe View Campsite

Come and stay with us in the heart of the beautiful green East Devon countryside. Just one mile from the unspoilt coastal village of Branscombe.

Belmont House

2 minutes walk from the beach & South West Coast Path, offering Adult Only accommodation in 5 comfortable, ensuite rooms. Pubs, cafes and restaurants 1 minute walk away for breakfast and evening meal.

Oakdown Holiday Park

Family run award winning Holiday Park with touring, camping, glamping units and 5 star leisure lodges. Peace & tranquillity by the Coast.

Holyford Farm Cottages

A variety of accommodation options at this stunning Grade 2 listed property, in a beautiful remote setting near the village of Colyford, less than 1.5 miles to the Coast Path at Seaton.

Higher Wiscombe, near Beer

4 dog friendly cottages, all bedrooms ensuite, two sleep 6, one sleeps 20, one sleeps 2. Luxurious and very eco, just inland from the South West Coast Path.

Starcombe Cabin

Self-catering, dog-friendly holiday let sleeping 4/5

9 Riverside

A beautiful, 3 storey terrace next to the river with 4 bedrooms (sleeps 8). Perfect located for easy access to the Path and town. 2 night stays available (check availability)

1 Chapel Mews

1 Chapel Mews is a luxurious, cosy and modern cottage in a quiet area of central Sidmouth, 180 paces from the SWCP.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.


Slap bang in the centre of Sidmouth’s world famous esplanade & community.Our all day offering has something for everyone – so whether you visit to eat, drink or stay.

What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.


Pecorama is a leading visitor attraction overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage coastline with award-winning gardens & rides on Britain’s finest 7.25 inch railway.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From Beer Youth Hostel turn left down Bovey Lane towards Beer. Head for the village centre along Causeway.
  2. When you reach the sea turn right and pick up the South West Coast Path.
  3. After an ascent walk out along the relatively level white cliffs of Beer Head. There are spectacular views here, from Portland Bill in one direction to Torbay in the other.

The Hooken Landslip is one of several along this part of the coastline, and is due to the difference between the porous chalk and greensand beds in the top of the cliff and the more clay-like rocks (marls) below them. Rainwater is easily drained through the upper beds, but when it reaches the top of the marls, it can descend no further, and so it spreads out horizontally instead. This has the effect of turning the whole surface below into a slide. As the cliffs are tilted at a slight angle towards the sea, the upper masses of chalk have no grip on the rocks below, and eventually they slip from the cliffs, with the spectacular results you see at Under Hooken.
Before this landslide happened, South Down Common was a level surface which extended to the edge of a sheer cliff. Somewhere around 1788 its stream became blocked underground, and, with nowhere else to go, the water pooled on the top of the marls. This lubricated their surface, and a year or so later a great fissure appeared in the clifftop, cutting off about ten acres from the rest of the common.
One night, sometime in March 1790, this perilous portion of the upper cliff finally broke away, and 15 million tons of chalk and greensand descended almost 100 yards. The shoreline moved some 200 yards into the sea by pushing up a great ridge in the seabed beyond. Crab pots laid about 10 feet underwater the previous evening were found the next morning some 15 feet above water!

Follow the path into the chasm down the well-maintained path, and on to Branscombe Mouth.

This section of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is truly magnificent.
Branscombe Mouth used to be the scene of fishing and smuggling, and was later used to land coal. Some fishing is still done on a much smaller scale: visit one of the village pubs to sample local crabs, lobsters or fish.

  1. Follow the level path up the valley and then onto a tarmac section. On reaching the road, fork left to visit the Old Bakery and Forge and the National Trust information point to discover more about the valley.

The old mill at Manor Mill farm has been restored by the National Trust and is open to the public on summer weekends.
Branscombe is a really enchanting and picturesque village steeped in history with close links to the traditional lace trade of this area.

  1. Either catch the bus back to Beer after enjoying local fare at one of the local teashops or pubs,or walk back to Beer. If walking, take the inland footpath from Vicarage, climbing steeply back up the valley side.
  2. A short distance after reaching the top of the hill the path forks, giving you the choice of joining the farm track taking you past Pecorama pleasure gardens, or keeping left and going past the unique Beer Quarry Caves.
  3. If you took the left fork to visit the quarry and caves, follow Quarry Lane eastwards. At the end of Quarry Lane turn left up Bovey Lane to the Youth Hostel.
  4. If you took the right-hand fork at 6, turn left onto the road when you reach Beer, pick up the footpath just 150 yards or so beyond and to the right, following it over a small lane. Turn left onto the next road, and then left at the T-junction. Follow the road back to Bovey Lane and on to the Youth Hostel.

Public transport

The  Axe Valley Mini-Travel Bus 899 Bus runs between Branscombe Village Hall and Berry Hill, Beer - a journey of around 20 minutes. For timetable information visit Traveline (www.travelinesw.com) or phone 0871 200 22 33


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