As temperatures drop through autumn and winter, the cooler weather offers walkers the perfect conditions to get out and explore the glorious scenery that Guernsey is famous for. After a restful night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast at the Old Government House Hotel or The Duke of Richmond Hotel, guests can set out on foot to discover the island’s spectacular coastline and also find out more about Guernsey’s rich history and abundant wildlife. From idyllic, deserted coves to 18th century cliff-top towers and ancient settlements, these beautiful coastal walks showcase the best of Guernsey.
Jerbourg Point to Saints Bay
Winding its way through a landscape that inspired Renoir to pick up his paintbrush, the route from Jerbourg Point to Saints Bay is supremely picturesque. Experience some of Guernsey’s loveliest bays and coves on this one and a half hour route. Begin at Doyle Monument and head down to the secluded inlet of Le Petit Port before travelling along the coast to Moulin Huet. It’s easy to see why Victor Hugo chose to picnic here, surrounded by curious rock formations. End your scenic stroll at Saints Bay Harbour, which is believed to have once been a smuggling hotspot. Admire the loophole tower, which looks out across the bay and was built to protect the island against the threat of French invasion at the end of the 18th century.
Vazon to Port Soif
Following a coastal route from Vazon Bay to Port Soif, this walk is a great way to embrace Guernsey’s nature, history and tasty local food. Set out from Fort Hommet – an ancient site and important fortification – and walk out on the headland of Creux des Fees, where local legend tells of an island invasion by fairies. It’s also home to the interesting remains of a medieval settlement. The footpath will lead you around the Albecq headland, which provides a great view of chunky granite formation, Lion Rock. You’ll soon arrive on the golden sands of Cobo Bay, where you can pause to enjoy a bite to eat. Afterwards, head along the bay to Chateau Grandes Rocques, once a school but now a privately owned property, before arriving at Port Soif. A haven for plant life and birds, pretty Port Soif has its own nature trail.
Rousse to Pembroke
Largely untouched, the landscape covered by this coastal walk showcases Guernsey’s wild beauty, and some of its history too. Rousse Tower marks the start of the route, one of the 15 loophole towers built to protect against possible invasion by the French at the end of the 18th century. From here, curve around Grand Harve and Vale Pond, the last remaining evidence that Guernsey was once two islands, parted by a saltwater channel. From here, head towards the quaint harbour of Les Amarreurs before setting off inland to see Les Fouaillages, which, at 6,500 years old, is thought to be the oldest manmade structure in Europe. Walk by Ladies Bay and L’Ancresse Common, once used for grazing and now an 18-hole golf course, to make your way to Le Varde Passage Tomb. This Megalithic site was discovered in 1811 and contained a variety of Neolithic and Bronze Age objects. The route finishes with another loophole tower, this time at Pembroke Bay, a historic site that was a strategic position during World War II.
Vale Castle to St Peter Port
An insight into Guernsey past and present, this walk offers a glimpse of Guernsey’s historic shipbuilding industry as well as its thriving capital, St Peter Port. Take Vale Castle as your starting point, which is over 600 years old and was once an Iron Age fort. Today, it’s a popular venue for performance art. Head onwards to St Sampson’s Harbour, the shipbuilding centre of the island before coming across Le Mont Crevelt Tower, one of the island’s loophole towers, crafted from local granite. From here, walk along the coastline admiring the views of Sark and Herm afforded by Belle Greve Bay. On a clear day, you might even see France. End your walk at the Memorial Mast roundabout, an eye-catching monument commemorating the liberation of Guernsey.
All images courtesy of Visit Guernsey.