Things To Do
Pecorama in Beer opened its doors to the public in 1975 and has been a favourite day out for locals and visitors alike ever since. Aside from the breath-taking views over Lyme Bay, Pecorama has nine acres of beautiful landscaped gardens with a 7 ¼ inch narrow gauge passenger carrying railway running for over a mile around the grounds. There’s steam and diesel locomotives, an electric tram, a railway modelling exhibition and shop, indoor and outdoor children’s play areas, plus various eateries on site. Even people who have been to Pecorama are surprised to discover that the PECO group of companies was established in 1946 to design and manufacture model railway track. That make PECO two years older than the NHS! Pecorama welcome around 80,000 visitors a year and the most common feedback from visitors and review on social media tends to mention great staff, the quality of the site, how much there is to enjoy and value for money.
These pretty cliff-top gardens are the perfect spot to savour the stunning sea views, workout in the outdoor multi-gym and let the kids run off steam in the playground.
Beer Quarry Caves
Head underground at this ancient quarry dating back to Roman times and find out about the quarrying of the world famous Beer stone, which has been used in the making of 24 cathedrals including St. Paul’s.
Fine Foundation Centre
Download an I-Spy Quiz from the website (below) to make the most of your visit to this volunteer-run heritage centre with rock-pool displays, fossils and historical photos.
Stargazing at the Norman Lockyer observatory
Join an astronomy class, enjoy a planetarium presentation ahttp://jurassiccoast.org/discovering/the-fine-foundation-heritage-centre-beer/nd take a look through the historic telescopes at this centre of astrophysical research founded by Sir Norman Lockyer.
Mackerel Fishing Trips
Charter your own boat with an experienced skipper for the day, or hop aboard a one-hour mackerel fishing trip to see what you can catch for tea.
Meet some of the 500 donkeys, mules and hinnies at this working farm situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you’re won over you can even adopt your own donkey for life.
Jurassic Coast Cruise
Hop aboard a Stuart Line Cruise from Exmouth (about half an hour’s drive) and delve into the history of the area while witnessing the Jurassic Coast afloat.
Step back over 200 million years to when dinosaurs roamed this Jurassic Coast. Hands on activities and fascinating exhibitions enable you to gen up on fossil facts, meet prehistoric sea creatures and follow in the footsteps of local fossil hunters
Hop aboard Seaton’s unique heritage tramway and spot birdlife as you follow the Axe Estuary nature reserves all the way to the medieval market town of Colyton.
It’s about 25 minutes’ drive to these magnificent botanical gardens where you can hop on the Bicton Woodland Railway, follow the nature trail and get lost in the maze.
Eat And Drink
Osborne’s Coffee and Wine Bar
Pop into this cosy spot on Fore Street for tapas, fines wines, local ales and Devon ciders, or coffee and light bite
This classic bang-on-the-beach café serves delicious Beer crab sandwiches, pasties and ice cream.
Beer Head Bistro
When the sun is shining there are few better places to take a seat than at this cliff-top bistro a short walk from Beer Head car park. With award-winning chefs at the helm, expect excellent food from breakfast through to dinner.
Taking its name from the building’s original use as a steam bakery, this relaxed family-run restaurant is a great place to tuck into succulent seafood alongside other local ingredients.
The River Cottage Canteen, Axminster
It’s only a 20-minute drive to the famous River Cottage Canteen run by local food hero Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Here you can tuck into all manner of seasonal produce, from Lyme Bay plaice and Portland brown crab to rabbit ragu and Devon Rose veal burgers.
Hix Oyster and Fish House, Lyme Regis
It’s worth the trip to Lyme Regis (20 minutes’ drive) to dine in this seafood hotspot overlooking Lyme Bay. From prawns and oysters to crab and cockles, almost everything served is plucked from the ocean in view. Celeb chef Mark Hix keeps his style simple and elegant, leaving the quality of the local ingredients to do the talking.
Take in the spectacular geology of the area on this 4-mile circuit that takes you through the Hooken Undercliffs to Branscombe, before ascending Hooken Cliffs (the furthest outcrop of limestone on the southwest coast) and looping back over the fields to return to Beer.
Beer to Seaton
Follow the coast path nearly 1.5 miles over the cliffs, enjoying stunning cliff top views before descending into the pretty seaside town of Seaton for refreshments and a spot of fossil hunting.
The challenging, seven miles from Seaton to Lyme Regis takes you through the untamed wilderness of the Undercliffs National Nature Reserve, created by a series of landslips and home to over 40 different species of bird.
Events & Festivals
Lyme Regis Fossil Festival May 4th
During this weekend of festivities celebrating the area’s prehistoric bounty, the whole family can enjoy fascinating talks and explore the past with a huge range of hands-on activities along the seafront.
Get your sea legs ready for a week of revelry and entertainment for all ages – from treasure hunts and sea shanties to sailing races and street food. Watch the red sails of the Beer luggers zigzag across the bay, join in the famous barrel rolling competition and witness the grand firework extravaganza.
From the crowning of the Queen to the illuminated carnival procession, Seaton’s annual carnival throws a week-long celebration that kicks off on August Bank Holiday.
Colyford Michaelmas Goose Fair
Expect Morris dancers, the Mummer’s Play and a mock auction of geese alongside family games and attractions at this medieval village celebration.
Beer R&B Music Festival
Now an established event on the annual calendar, this great little music festival brings a wonderful selection of rhythm and blues bands to the seaside.
Sidmouth Boxing Day Swim
Blow the Christmas Day cobwebs away by taking a saltwater plunge from Sidmouth promenade. Don’t be late – the plunge takes place at 11am and most of the swimmers are out by a minute past.
Shop Til You Drop
Seaton Artisan Market
There are a few seafront shops in Beer, but for a wider range of arts and crafts by local artists, head to Seaton’s artisan market that takes place on the first Saturday of each month.