Travel Guide: Lihou Island
Like somewhere straight out of a Famous Five adventure, you can only reach Lihou Island at Guernsey’s lowest tides via a causeway.
Check the tides, pack your sandwiches and trek to Lihou Island from Guernsey's west coast, across the winding, cobbled causeway. A wildlife haven and bird spotter’s paradise, Lihou and the surrounding area is a Ramsar site, which means they are recognised as an area of excellence when it comes to wetlands. It is now home to more than 200 species of seaweed and 150 species of bird. A great way to spend a day or a unique overnight visit.
A note from Gold Accredited Guide, Gill Girard:
"I love taking people who have never been across the cobbled causeway to Lihou Island. This is a special place. When I was researching the island for a guided walk, I was often the only person there during the winter months. It felt remote, wild and unspoilt. I’m looking forward to when we can resume a family tradition and all go across for a summer picnic and swim in the Venus Pool - a beautiful, long deep natural swimming pool. Now this is a bit more of a secret, as the natural rock pool is difficult to see from above and takes some scrambling over the rocks to find. Well worth it when you do!"
How to Get to Lihou Island
The island is accessed on foot from Guernsey by a causeway at low tides throughout the year and is free of charge to visit. Lihou is often exposed and, even in summer, can be chilly. Be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes as the path can be wet (and your swimmers if you want to venture into the Venus Pool on the other side!). For more information on Lihou, and to check when the causeway is open throughout the year, visit their website.
Please note that the island is really only accessible on foot at low tide, so you need to keep an eye on the tide in order to avoid getting stranded over there! Tide timetables can be found online.
Where to Stay on Lihou Island
The general public are welcome to visit the island when the causeway is open. Whilst The States of Guernsey, Guernsey's government, is responsible for the island, The Lihou Charitable Trust is responsible for Lihou House and its grounds, where the accommodation options are. This large 9-bedroomed house, which was shelled during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands during WW2, serves as group accommodation and can be privately hired for those wishing to enjoy exclusive access to the island during the evening. Lihou House and its facilities are orientated towards youth and school groups, but also it accommodates adult and family gatherings very well and charges are kept as low as possible. The house has no TVs or music systems, allowing you to fully escape and enjoy having an island to yourself! A tractor and trailer facility service can be provided to assist with luggage, food and linen transportation, which is free for the first load but chargeable thereafter.
Things to Do on Lihou Island
Guernsey’s RAMSAR wetland and marine reserve is home to variety of wildlife including 150 species of bird. Perfect for a day trip, the tiny island is a great place for exploration!
Rockpooling - stick to the shoreline if you want to see the best of the wildlife which has made this tiny place their island home.
A Swim in the Venus Pool - mot for the fainthearted, this natural rock pool is deep enough to jump in.
A Visit to the Priory Ruins Built by the Benedictine monks, the Priory is thought to date back to 1114.
Where to Eat on Lihou Island
There are no eateries on Lihou, so take a packed lunch and refreshments and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Fun Facts about Lihou Island
The Lihou family name is included in records which go as far back as the 1400s.
Until 1415, the island was under the control of Mont Saint Michel and then Eton College until the English Reformation, after which it began falling into disrepair. The island was bought by the States of Guernsey in January 1995, who restored it for both islanders and tourists to enjoy.
During the Second World War, the house was very sadly used for target practice by heavy artillery during the German Occupation.