Experiences 29 September 2022

Local Ambassador: Jayne Packham

Jayne is a local wild swimmer, who loves nothing more than being in the water and exploring all that our bays and beaches have to offer. Join Jayne for the day as she takes you to her favourite spots from sunrise to sunset.

“It really doesn’t matter if you’re into your sandy bays or your rocky coves - we’ve got it all in Guernsey.”

 A Sunrise Swim at Marble Bay

"One of my favourite swims for a sunrise is Marble Bay. It’s really off the beaten track. You meander down many little pathways and the beauty just opens up before you. It’s a real hidden gem in Guernsey. You’ll really find peace and quiet down here. It really is worth the effort of coming down to Marble Bay."

 

Marble Bay (Le Pied du Mur) - A small, secluded rocky cove situated near the south east point of the Island, with stunning views towards Herm and Sark.

How to get there: You can walk the cliff path from St Peter Port, passing Fermain Bay with its turquoise waters and along to eventually reach Marble Bay.

Alternatively, you can drive or take the bus to Jerbourg Point, where you’ll find parking, Jerbourg Kiosk and Hotel Jerbourg. You can then walk down the cliff steps and along the path towards St Peter Port, and you will reach Marble Bay from the other end. Here are some options for refuelling:

  • Hotel Jerbourg is home to The Cliff Top Coffee Shop, bar and restaurant where you can enjoy fresh, local seafood and produce as well as an impressive selection of homemade cakes with panoramic sea views. It's the perfect place to refuel after a swim.
  • Jerbourg Kiosk - Overlooking the other Bailiwick Islands, the kiosk serves food and beverages from snacks to burgers. On a clear day, you may even be lucky enough to spot France in the distance.

A Quick Dip at Havelet Bay

"We regularly have 9 to 10 metre tides here, so the currents are quite strong. But in the bays particularly along the shoreline, it’s very safe, so I’d always encourage people to give it a go."

For a quiet swim adventure, the south coast bays off the cliff path such as Marble Bay are often the perfect choice. But there is much more on offer on the Islands for every swimmer.

"Havelet is a real social bay. It’s in the hub of our town. For me, it’s my lunchtime swim."

If you are looking for a quick dip to refresh during the day, then Havelet along the front in St Peter Port is a great choice. Havelet Bay is more than a bay, it is also home to La Vallette bathing pools. The tidal bathing pools at La Vallette have undergone many renovations since their creation in 1865, most recently in 2022. In its earlier years, fans of the pools included 'Les Misérables' author Victor Hugo and Renaissance artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

"The feeling of getting in - it’s such a reset. You just get such a buzz."

How to get there: You can walk along the front of the town towards Havelet. There is plenty of parking at that end of town. It is also just a few minutes' walk from the main bus station. 

There are also a few places to enjoy a coffee or a meal after your swim in that area, starting with the cafe and kiosk at the Bathing Pools. You can also visit:

  • Octopus Bar & Restaurant: With arguably one of the best views in Guernsey, Octopus has an impressive lunch and dinner menu and is open all day so you can take your time.
  • The Slaughterhouse: On the edge of the harbour just along from Castle Cornet, The Slaughterhouse is a bar and eatery with both indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy drinks, meals and snacks.
  • Coco Mini Brasserie: A social hub for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Coco is a modern, French Mini Brasserie that serves all day from 730am through to 5pm, often with evening openings.

A Sunset Swim at Les Amarreurs

"A sunset is best observed on the West Coast of Guernsey."

Les Amarreurs is a hidden gem in Guernsey’s north. It is a scenic beach with a small jetty at the western end of L'Ancresse Common, complete with children's playground along with public toilets and plenty of parking. There are also kiosks and restaurants in the area. Here are a couple:

  • Roc Salt: One of Guernsey’s favourite beach restaurants, it offers has a great range of dishes, serving everything from steak to lobster with a relaxed dining experience and a roof terrace with a great view.
  • The Beach House at Pembroke: Stop for a coffee or quick bite to eat on Pembroke Beach around the corner from Les Amarreurs.

Local Recommendations from Jayne

"I would recommend getting in touch with some of the local swimming groups. We have a wide variety of swimming groups in Guernsey. There’s nothing like a local for knowing their own water."

Here are a few local swimming groups to join on your next swimming trip:

  • Mental Tentacles - Jayne’s own group, who make fun videos online of their adventures and are also welcoming to new faces.
  • Guernsey Swim Adventures - This group offers a variety of swimming breaks and adventures, as well as social swims around the Island.
  • Guernsey Open Water Swimming - A facebook group where locals arrange swimming meet ups.

Jayne’s Essentials For Sea Swimming:

  • Something to keep your head warm.
  • Goggles to see through
  • Your towel
  • A cup of coffee (or find a nearby kiosk to refuel afterwards)
  • "Ooh! Don’t forget your bathers. That would be embarrassing!"

Also, make sure you check all the tides. Guernsey's tidal range of 33 feet is one of the largest in the world, transforming the coastline every six hours or so. It's important to keep an eye on Guernsey Tide Table so that you don't get caught out.

“I’d thoroughly recommend people come here for a sea swimming adventure.”

Want to meet more of our local ambassadors?

Meet the locals who want to show you their Guernsey, so that you can have a truly authentic experience on your next visit to our Islands. From keen outdoor and wild swimming enthusiasts to real local foodies and adventurers, get all of the local recommendations here.