Seaton to Beer Walk.
- Distance: 2 miles.
- Time: 30 minutes.
- Height Range: Sea level to 80 metres.
- Path: good tarmac paths and road.
- Hills: steep.
2012 Landslip Causes Path Diversion.
In July 2012 a prolonged period of heavy rain caused many landslips along the Jurassic Coast including an 80m long landslip on the cliffs adjacent to the path to Beer. This is a process of natural erosion which has always taken place along this coastline. Often unpredictable and sometimes dangerous nature takes its course on this geologically unstable coastline.
The most noticeable effect of the 80m long landslip was the appearance of a hole in the Old Beer Road section of the South West Coastal Path. This has resulted in the East Devon District Council closing the road and pedestrian foot path to all traffic and walkers for the foreseeable future.
There is now a diversion route which takes walkers inland along the New Beer Road (B3172) As the route passes past the houses there is a new path through the woods down to the Old Beer Road. Walking towards the coast along the Old Beer Road rejoins the South West Coastal Path at Seaton Hole and the White Cliff Café.
This diversion will add 10 minutes to the walk.
From the centre of Seaton seafront walk west along the Esplanade and West Walk towards the Chine café and the white chalk cliffs of Beer.
At the Chine café at the end of West Walk there are two route options.
- Along the beach to Seaton Hole.
- Up the steps at the side of the Chine café to Beer Road.
Via Seaton Hole and the Beach.
Seaton Hole is a dangerous place at high tide with strong currents and swells. Walkers must avoid this route at times when the sea is likely to cut off the route along the beach to safety.
At low tide it is possible to walk along the beach from the Chine café to the steps at Seaton Hole.
Seaton Hole is at the western end of a fault line in the rock strata where white chalk cliffs protrude through the red sandstone and mudstone cliffs of this part of East Devon.
Access from the beach is up 37 concrete steps to rejoin the South West Way Coastal Path. The original steps were buried by a landslip and
the access from the beach fenced off for safety reasons. In 2001 Gordon Wellington and a team of local volunteers cleared the undergrowth and debris, constructed the steps and reopened the beach access. In recognition of this achievement, this section of the path is known as ‘Gordon’s Way’.
At the top of the steps rejoin the South West Way Coastal Path and walk up the slope to the junction at the Old Beer Road and Beer Hill.
At the top of the slope the Cliff café provides drinks and snacks where you can sit on the terrace and enjoy the views.
Via the steps at the side of the Chine café to Beer Road.
When the tide is too high up the beach to make the route along the beach to Seaton Hole safe to use, this alternative route allows safe passage to the Old Beer Road and Beer Hill.
Take the steps at the side of the Chine café and follow them upwards to the cliff top and towards the houses of West Cliff Terrace to join
the Beer Road. Turn left along the Beer Road and walk until you reach the wooded area where you will see the new path on the left going down throgh the woods.
Rejoin the Old Beer Road and walk towards the sea and the junction with Beer Hill.
At the Cliff café and the route down to Seaton Hole the two alternative routes have merged and it’s on wards to Beer.
Fork left up the single track Lane of Beer Hill.
This is the start of the steep slope upwards over White Cliff, walk up Beer Hill for 200 yards and turn sharp left onto the South West Way Coastal Path.
The path leads steeply upwards but you are rewarded at the top for the slope with a bench where you can rest and admire the spectacular view across Seaton Bay to Seaton and the Axe Valley and on a clear day across Lyme Bay as far as Portland.
Once you have caught your breath carry on along the path over the cliff top stopping at the several viewing points to take in the views and start the descent to Beer.
You will notice that often it is warmer this side of the cliff and sheltered from the wind, this is reflected in the increase in trees and undergrowth which hide the views of the sea and Beer and its bay until you are almost there.
Again there are viewing places along the path which allow superb photo opportunities of Beer beach and its fishing boats.
Turn left at the signpost marking the start of steep steps down through Beer Memorial Gardens with its benches and viewing terraces and down further to where the path joins Sea Hill opposite the Anchor Public House.
From this point you can turn left down Sea Hill to the beach (don’t forget to visit the fresh fish shop) or right up Fore Street to explore the village.
Alternatively you can follow the South West Way Coastal Path onwards to Branscombe.