Walking

Walking trail

Branscombe to Beer coastal walk

Walking trail

Starting in the heart of Branscombe village, this scenic walk through picturesque countryside passes by the historic Forge, Old Bakery and Manor Mill before heading towards Branscombe beach where you can see the 13,500 kilograms (29,800 lb) anchor of the MSC Napoli which grounded on the beach in 2007.

Follow the coast path up Hooken cliff for fantastic views of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site before exploring the pretty seaside village of Beer. Returning to Branscombe along the famous South West Coast Path, this hike will take you down the Hooken undercliff path which weaves through a 10-acre tract of land with chalk pinnacles on the seaward side that is abundant with wildlife.

Spectacular view from the path

Map

Map route for Branscombe to Beer coastal walk

Start:

National Trust car park, Margells Bridge, Branscombe, grid ref: SY196886

1

Leave the car park via the steps, cross over the road and take the footpath immediately to the left of the building opposite. Follow the path through the orchard passing the National Trust information room and the Old Bakery tea rooms (open from Easter until late October). Cross over the footbridge and walk straight through the field ahead and over a gated footbridge. Take the path in front you of that follows the leat that provides the water needed to power the Manor Mill grinding stones. At the end of this path go through the two gates in front of you to the Manor Mill (National Trust: Open Sunday afternoons from April to October, and Wednesday afternoons in July and August).

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2

Take the steps to the left of Manor Mill (or exit the Manor Mill on the ground floor), walk down the driveway and through the gate on the right to take the surfaced footpath which passes in front of a barn (signposted 'Public Footpath Branscombe Mouth ¾m'). As the path forks, take the path to the right that follows the fence line and passes over a wooden footbridge. Continue along the Branscombe Mouth footpath to the sea front and then take the 'Coast Path Beer 2m' path to the left that passes in front of the Sea Shanty restaurant and the MSC Napoli anchor.

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3

Continue following the 'Coast Path Beer 2m' path over the concrete footbridge at the mouth of the river by the interpretation boards and then take the path on the right signposted ‘Coast Path Beer 2m’ up the East Cliff (National Trust). After walking uphill through two fields, follow the ‘Public footpath Hooken cliff ½m Beer 1¾m’ path up a steep set of steps. Upon reaching the top of the steps continue forward to the bench for a rest where you will be rewarded with fantastic views of Branscombe, Sidmouth and the coastline beyond.

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4

After a short rest, continue along the public footpath towards Beer. Pass through the gated cattle pen and across a field with the remains of the old look out. Follow the footpath along coastline passing through a further two kissing gates before veering to the left as the footpath reaches the bottom corner of the field. Continue along this path passing through another kissing gate before going left along a well-established dirt path that follows the hedge line, and passes through a kissing at the foot of the Beer Head caravan park. At the end of Little Lane Coast Footpath by the HM Coast Guard Beer Station, follow the path signposted ‘Beer 1/3m' down Common Lane into the centre of Beer where you can enjoy an ice cream, Devonshire cream tea or join a mackerel fishing trip (seasonal).

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5

After exploring Beer, start your return journey towards Branscombe by walking back up Common Lane and turning left into Little Lane Coast Footpath by the HM Coast Guard Beer Station. Continue following the footpath back towards Branscombe past the bottom of the Beer Head bistro, shop and caravan park to the coast. Follow the South West Coast Path along coastline for approximately ¾ mile (1.2km) and then take the lower path that passes through a kissing gate signposted ‘Coast Path Branscombe Mouth 1m’ to return to Branscombe via the Hooken undercliff path.

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6

Follow the undulating footpath along the undercliff and beyond the chalets of the Sea Shanty Caravan park. After passing through the gate next to the cattle grid, follow the concrete drive across the field (signposted 'Coast Path Public Footpath'). At the end of the field continue past the Branscombe Vale Brewery ‘Branoc’ and Great Seaside buildings to the end of the drive. Turn right on to the road and then take the path immediately to the left (in front of a bench by an allotment) which passes through the Monterey Pine woods opposite Great Seaside Bed and Breakfast. Follow the path through the woods bearing off to the right. Climb over the stile and walk across the field and through a gate to rejoin the Branscombe valley path. Turn right onto the path and continue walking ahead passing through the gate next to the barn at the end of the Manor Mill driveway. Continue straight up Mill Lane and turn left before crossing the road to return to the National Trust car park next to the Forge (National Trust).

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End:

National Trust car park, Margells Bridge, Branscombe, grid ref: SY196886

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Branscombe to Beer coastal walk

Terrain

The coastal path connecting Branscombe and Beer is well maintained but naturally uneven. The walk involves a steep climb up East Cliff in Branscombe and an undulating walk back along the Hooken undercliff path. Care should be taken when walking alongside the cliffs particularly on the Hooken undercliff path.

Dogs are welcome along this route but must be kept on a lead on the coast path where cattle grazing signs are displayed

Branscombe to Beer coastal walk

Contact us

Branscombe to Beer coastal walk

How to get here

Address
Margells Bridge, Branscombe, Devon, EX12 3DB
By road

The National Trust car park is located next to the Forge at Margells Bridge, Branscombe, Devon, EX12 3DB. Branscombe village is signposted from the A3052.

By foot

This walk can be joined at step 3 (from Sidmouth) and step 5 (from Seaton) via the South West Coast Path.

By bus

The Axe Valley 899 bus from Sidmouth to Seaton (connections from Axminster railway station or Honiton railway station) stops at the bus stop next to the Village Hall and National Trust car park at the starting point of this walk.

By bicycle

The Route 2 long distance cycle route linking Dover in Kent with St. Austell in Cornwall passes through Branscombe. For further information visit National Cycle Network

Branscombe to Beer coastal walk

Facilities and access

  • National Trust car park next to The Forge at starting point
  • Additional parking behind Village Hall next to the National Trust car park
  • Toilets at rear of the Village and next to the National Trust information room
  • Additional public toilets located in the Sea Shanty car park at Branscombe mouth and at sea front in Beer
  • Picnic tables at the sea front
  • Shop at The Forge
  • Old Bakery tea-rooms, pubs, Sea Shanty restaurant and more available offering refreshments