East Devon self guided walking vacation, England

“Dose up on English bucolic loveliness on this short walking break, hiking beautiful coastal paths in East Devon with the promise of cream teas, too.”


Self guided walking | two full day walks and one half day walk | map, route and commentary provided | Branscombe to Beer | Branscombe to Weston Mouth | Donkey Sanctuary | stay in a 14th century inn | English breakfasts

Description of East Devon self guided walking vacation, England

This East Devon self guided walking vacation, England, is a weekend of wonderful. Our routes are along the World Heritage Jurassic Coast running either side of the lovely village of Branscombe. From your thatched inn, footpaths lead out in all directions into glorious countryside. The paths we follow are the best, the most scenic.

Enjoy carefully researched and crafted self guided walks on East Devon’s coastal path, one of England’s most glorious areas of stunning coastal scenery. The routes have been thoroughly researched by us and tested so there’s no risk of getting lost. A marked up Ordnance Survey map is provided, along with short background commentaries highlighting features of special interest, natural and manmade, to give an insight into the area’s history, culture and habitats.

This is a self guided vacation so you can walk at your own pace, spend as long as you like over lunch and pause at places of interest. The routes do not exceed eight miles and are suitable for anyone of average fitness, able to walk on varied undulating terrain for up to five hours. The routes on both days are undulating. You’ll stay in a delightful thatched 14th century inn, with comfortable ensuite, character rooms and prize winning cuisine.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Settle into your lovely thatched inn before you enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant's acclaimed restaurant.
Day 2:Today you'll walk between two idyllic villages, Branscombe and Beer. Branscombe nestles in a beautiful combe, its narrow lanes lined with pretty thatched cottages. The cluster of National Trust properties includes an ancient forge and a bakery - perfect for a Devonshire cream tea at the end of the walk! A splendidly scenic coastal path leads to Branscombe Mouth, once the haunt of smugglers, now a popular spot with boats and cafes. An undulating path winds through a spectacular tumbled chasm of undercliff, a renowned wildlife habitat. Then up to Beer Head with fantastic views across open seas towards Portland Bill in one direction and Torbay in the other. And, with luck, you may see peregrine falcons high up amongst the rock stacks. Lunch is in the utterly delightful village of Beer with its pebble beach, boats and stone fishermen’s cottages. More spectacular coastal scenes await you as you make your way back to the comforts of your idyllic retreat at Branscombe. On the way you are likely to see a variety of East Devon’s wonderful flora. (7 miles, 11 km)
Day 3:More spectacular walking, today in the opposite direction towards Sidmouth. This section of coastal path from Branscombe to Weston Mouth is gorgeous, arguably the best in all East Devon. You may be lucky enough to see dolphins down below, dancing in the surf, as you walk along the coast, fantastic views towards Torbay ahead. If you visit in May you will be in for a special treat: clouds of rare butterflies in wonderful wild flower meadows. Lunch is at Weston’s famous Donkey Sanctuary where there you'll enjoy meeting the residents. Each one enjoys a life of loving care and attention in this special place which also promotes the welfare of donkeys worldwide. Back in Branscombe, you curve down between two steep hills, delightful cottages adorned with hanging baskets lining your route. What better way to conclude than with a Devonshire cream tea at the wonderful Old Bakery! (7 miles, 11 km)

Please feel free to contact the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: East Devon self guided walking vacation, England


Walking is the least carbon intensive way to travel, keeping the environmental impact of our walking groups to a minimum. Where it is necessary to travel by means other than on foot, we encourage the use of public transport; if that is unavailable, we share taxis or minibuses. On this walking weekend, we walk directly from the Masons Arms each day so group transport is not required. We aim to balance the environmental impact of traveling with the benefits sustainable tourism brings to local rural economies such as Branscombe’s. The Masons Arms shares our environmental values and the staff are mostly drawn from the local community.

In our small home office we recycle paper, cardboard, ink cartridges and printed material to reduce the waste in landfill sites. We purchase recycled printer cartridges, paper, envelopes, labels, pens, toilet tissue, bin liners. We turn off printers, photocopiers, computers, battery chargers and transformers at the end of each day and avoid ‘screen savers’, use energy-efficient bulbs and low-energy appliances. We cut CO2 emissions by maintaining heating thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting. We do not use tumble dryers nor take disposable plastic bottles to the countryside, instead promoting the use of water bottles manufactured by companies like Sigg.

We do not print brochures, keeping customers informed electronically via email, electronic newsletters and our website. We encourage clients to remit their payments electronically via PayPal or by bank transfer.


We include on our walks visits to local projects, craftsmen and artisans wherever possible; for example, on our visits to Branscombe we visit the local forge and the old mill to provide our clients not only with an understanding of traditional crafts and skills but also with an opportunity to buy souvenirs typical of the region.

On walking vacations we use only small privately-run hotels and inns. On our East Devon Coast weekend, as well as patronising the local inns in Branscombe and Beer, we also take our clients for coffee at Branscombe Mouth, another opportunity for purchasing souvenirs. They also visit the Old Bakery in Branscombe for cream teas and other establishments in Beer. They learn about local produce and sample the cheeses and ales produced at Branscombe Vale Brewery. We patronise local taxi companies to transport our clients from the nearest railway station when buses are unavailable.

Visiting the Weston Donkey Sanctuary makes clients aware of the valuable work done there. Lunching at the Sanctuary provides clients with an opportunity to buy souvenirs or they may elect to 'adopt a donkey'. On all our tours, we contribute in many ways to local rural businesses and over the years have formed excellent relationships with local business owners, bringing them repeat business. It is our aim to continue to do so.

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