What is Beer, Devon actually like? Channel 4's Village Of The Year

January 19, 2018

On today's episode, Beer was thrust into the limelight as it competes to be crowned Village of the year.

Channel 4 presenter and actress Penelope Keith alongside fellow judges are scouring the country to find the best communities in the UK. 

The lucky village which wins the coveted title, will receive a prize of £10,000 to spend on a community initiative. 

And whilst there's some heavy competition, there is one place which I know very well... Beer. 

I have visited Beer annually for the past 18 years and whilst summer's can become crowded, there is nothing like the quaint little fishing village. 

Situated on the Jurassic Coast in East Devon, Beer is surrounded my limestone cliffs and countryside walks. The shingle beach is idyllic with coloured fishing boats dotting around the turquoise coastline. 

You can't forget the village itself, which is filled with independent boutiques and coffee shops. 
Nor can you go wrong with food, the three huts on the beach will sort you out with any traditional seaside food you could desire and around every corner, there is a traditional pub, waiting to serve you a fresh pint of beer. 

But why have I been going for the past 18 years? 

It's a family tradition to go to Beer every summer. My grandma first went there in the 1950's when my mum and uncle were small children. In the 50s going abroad wasn't an option as only the elite could afford the privilege, but for my grandma and grandad, Beer proved to be the paradise they always wanted. 

It is remote... for better or for worse. We stay at the top of the famous Beer Hill, where the only thing around you is fields, sheep and a eye-catching view of the sea. Trying to get a phone signal or internet access is as probable as flying pigs - it just ain't happening. For me, this is a blessing, it gives you the chance to fully disconnect from social media and purely embrace the present and visualise the future. Often, I think of Beer as my Thailand, a place that spiritually cleanses me. 

The weather. British weather is always going to be temperamental, one minute the sun's shining and the next it's pouring out the heavens, but generally speaking, the south of England gets better weather than the north. And honestly, there is nothing better when it's blazing hot to go to the beach and swim in the sea. Trust me. 

There is a mixture of tourists and locals. During the months of June, July and August, most places become tourist destinations and whilst this is sometimes the case of Beer (avoid Regatta Week!) majority of the time there is a balance between tourists and locals. This may be because accommodation in the village is rather limited and you do have to book well in advance, but it means there is a home away from home feel. As a visitor, you can see day to day life for a village citizen and there is something comforting about that.  

Beer will always have a place in my heart and is home to some very special memories. £10,000 would really benefit the community, so fingers crossed it will win!

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