Walking from Beer to Branscombe Mouth.
This cliff top walk has been featured as one of the ‘Sunday Times’ top ten walks in England. On a clear day, the views across Lyme Bay are spectacular with a blue sea bounded by the red Triassic Devon cliffs and the dramatic Hooken Undercliff.
- Distance: 2 miles.
- Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Height Range: Sea level to 135 metres.
- Path: Grassy, well marked along cliff tops and through fields.
- Hills: Very steep.
The walk starts and finishes at Sea level with the highest point on the cliff tops being 135m above sea level. The walk uphill out of Beer to Beer Head can described as moderately hard. Once at Beer Head the going is easier but still uphill, flattening out until the start of the descent to Branscombe Mouth. This descent is very steep (Heart Attack Hill) making the return walk uphill using the same route, very hard.
The path splits at a signpost on the cliff top between Beer Head and the Old Coast Guard Lookout. Here, it is possible to descend into the Hooken Undercliff via steep steps (the Stairway to Heaven) where you can either walk along the beach or take the path through the edge of the Undercliff to Branscombe Mouth.
When you reach Branscombe Mouth you will find a ‘Pay & Display’ Car Park, Sea Shanty and Visitor Centre.
Here at the Sea Shanty visitors can buy snacks, drinks and if they wish a full meal.
A sign posted path at the side of the Sea Shanty leads to Branscombe Village. The village is a short way inland and is spread out along a long winding road. There are two Public Houses in the Village, The Masons Arms which is closest to the Coastal Path and the Fountain Head which is at the far end of the Village, both are well worth a visit.
Starting at the Anchor Public House, turn right up Common Lane keeping the sea on your left as you walk uphill.
At the entrance to the Car Park turn left onto the Coastal Path carrying on towards the caravan park following the path through the fields.
At a high point on this section of path you can look back at Beer Beach.
The Coastal path goes uphill through the fields until you arrive at Beer Head. Enjoy the views to Portland Bill in one direction and Torbay in the other. Turning west, take out your camera as you will want a picture of the spectacular chasm of Under Hooken, created in 1790 when part of the cliff broke
away and slipped down.
Continue on the path upwards towards Hooken Cliffs and the old Coastguard lookout tower.
Go past the signpost to the path leading down to the Undercliff and Hooken Beach.
Continue on the coastal path to the Lookout and across the South Down Common until it reaches the boundary of the National Trust East Cliff.
This is the highest part of the walk at 135m above sea level and Branscombe Mouth and the beach come into view.
Its then down a steep descent to Branscombe Mouth to Branscombe Mouth and the Sea Shanty café and shop.