From forest bathing to nature retreats, nature has long been thought of as the place to relax and restore. If you are in need of a recharge, mindful hikes are an excellent way to get outside in nature, relax your mind and get the endorphins flowing. And our quiet coastal cliff paths are the perfect place to do it.
What is mindful hiking?
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment, not worrying about the future or worrying about a long 'To Do' list. Many people associate mindfulness and meditation with stillness, but in fact you can practise them anywhere, even on the go. All you have to do is pay attention to the present - the sights, smells and sounds around you. Mindfulness has proven benefits including reducing stress, giving mental clarity, better sleep and overall improved feelings of wellbeing.
Hiking also has great wellbeing benefits. It improves cardio fitness, gets you outside, strengthens bones and muscles and improves your mood.
Mindful hiking combines the two: intentionally going out with no plan other than to walk, observe and restore in the present moment. Ideally, head out without any technology distracting you, or you could follow along with a guided walking meditation if you need an aid to help your mind to focus. Whilst walking, try to focus on the nature around you, the sounds and colours, as well as your breathing and how your body moves. This will help to keep you in the present moment.
Places to hike and walk on the Islands of Guernsey
The Islands of Guernsey have beautiful, varied nature to explore. With 4 dedicated RAMSAR sites across our 5 islands and miles of stunning coastline and woodland trails, there is a hike for everyone. You can find routes based on difficulty or duration here on our website.
Some of our favourite spots for a mindful hike are:
1. Around St Saviours Reservoir
Situated in the rural interior of Guernsey, it offers a relaxed 2 mile route with views of both the sea and countryside, with lots of wildlife to observe including several bird hides.
2. The Beaches of Alderney
Following the beautiful beaches of the north of Alderney, you can explore bird hides and historic fortifications on your walk. With ocean views, this is a perfect place to relax.
3. Enjoying vistas at the Art for Guernsey Renoir Route
This hike shows you some of the most beautiful views of Guernsey than inspired artist Renoir. Five frames along the route let you stand in the exact spots where he worked on his paintings.
4. Exploring Nature Trails and Historic Woodland
Combining gentle country lanes and a climb up to a headland with spectacular sea views, this route follows the Saumarez Nature Trail and is perfect for a restorative moment.
5. Blending a Wildlife Walk and Beach Views
This route combines the Colin Best Nature Reserve wetlands, the Shingle Bank with its floral and fauna, and the long Vazon Bay perfect for a relaxed hike. This path has lots to observe so is perfect for mindful walking.
6. Hiking along the South Coast
An energetic hike with amazing views, this route takes in Guernsey’s Venus Pool, the remains of ancient fortifications and a great picnic spot. More intense, but worth it for the excellent scenery.
7. The Clifftops of Sark
Explore Sark’s natural beauty and amazing views on this 3 hour hike around the centre of the island and across the Coupee, a natural isthmus that is 260 feet high, connecting Little and Big Sark.
Want a helping hand?
Download the Visit Guernsey App for Self-Guided Routes
You can find map routes and be guided along your path using our app, available on both the App Store or Play Store. It can help you navigate trails, see estimated durations and find points of interest to explore.
In-Person Guided Walks with Local Experts
If you would prefer to be guided in person, we have lots of very knowledgeable guides on the Islands of Guernsey, each with their own specialities.
For more information and to get to know our guides visit the dedicated website of The Bailiwick of Guernsey Guild of Accredited Guides.