Culture & History | Experiences 9 November 2023

Discover Something New on a Hike in Guernsey

No matter the season, a wellness walk or challenging hike on the Islands of Guernsey is always a welcome activity. From a stroll along our country lanes to a hike above our bays along the cliff paths, there are walks to suit all abilities.

Our hikes have the added benefit of being surrounded by our Islands’ rich history, with heritage sites and historic sports to discover as you walk, whether you want to pop into a museum or climb to the top of a castle or explore the physical reminders of our history that are dotted along our coastline.

Our VisitGuernsey app has a range of routes, filtered by difficulty and duration, with points of interest along the way. We’ve also compiled this list of walks to help you on your next trip to our Islands. So whether you want to get up as the sun rises, watch it set over the horizon or take to the cliffs for an adventure, there is a walk for you to discover.

A sunrise walk on Guernsey’s East Coast

For a walk as the sun rises, head to our east coast. For a flat, scenic walk, start at Bordeaux Harbour, with views over our other Islands. You can pick up a coffee from Woodies Kiosk in the car park and begin your walk along the coastal path towards St Sampson. Please note that this walk is about 6km long, and will take roughly 1 hour to complete.

Opposite the coastal path, you’ll see Vale Castle. To enjoy the views over our Islands from higher up, cross the road and climb to the top of the ramparts of this historic castle, which dates back to the Iron Age.

After exploring the tower, continue on your stroll, walking along the pavement, keep St Sampson Harbour on your left as you follow the coast all the way into St Peter Port. You’ll pass some of our more obscure, and pretty, east coast beaches on your way, and so long as they are to your left, you’re heading in the right direction.

As you pass Salarie Corner, a popular spot with locals for a quick and easy swim in the sea, you’ll see St Peter Port emerging in front of you. From here, there are plenty of places to explore. From Havelet Bay, the Bathing Pools and La Valette Underground Military Museum, to Candie Museum and Gardens and Victoria Tower just up the hill, not to mention Hauteville House, there is something to suit all tastes. A must-see is Castle Cornet, with over 800 years of history contained within its walls. Even if you don’t make it inside, the walk out to the castle and the Castle Breakwater Lighthouse beyond is worth it.

After the sun rises, make sure to stop off for brunch at one of the many eateries in St Peter Port. Here are a few options:

  • Coco for French-inspired dishes, freshly baked pastries, omelettes, smoothie bowls and more.
  • Christies for a long, leisurely brunch with all the classics on offer, good coffee and even a mimosa if you feel so inclined.
  • Cafe Emilia for everything from a freshly baked cake and coffee or a full English.
  • Dix Neuf for a menu that caters to all in the perfect setting for sitting, relaxing and watching the world go by.

Find even more brunch options here.

When you’re ready, take the 13, 91 or 92 bus from the bus terminus in town, which will take you back to the car park at Bordeaux Harbour.

For a shorter version of this walk, take a look at this hike.

If the history of Guernsey or St Peter Port is something you want to learn more about, this walk has many historical stops along the way.

A sunset walk on Guernsey’s West Coast

Guernsey’s west coast is well known for having some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. For a sunset walk that will keep you along the coast, with views out to sea, start at Portelet Harbour. Please note that this walk is just over 8km long and will take around 2 hours to complete. However, you can choose to start the walk at the car park by Richmond Kiosk, which will reduce the distance to about 2.5km and take just over half an hour.

There is a well-stocked beach kiosk or the Imperial Hotel above the beach, for snacks and food before you begin. You could also walk to the Fairy Ring (and make a wish before you begin!) and Fort Pezeries, for a piece of Guernsey heritage.

Along the way, you’ll pass a whole host of Guernsey’s west coast beaches, such as:

As you begin your walk along the coast, you’ll come across Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum and the Guernsey Pearl, which also has a cafe inside if you need a quick refreshment (open until 5pm). Near the causeway to Lihou Island at L'Eree, you’ll also find Le Creux ès Faïes, a well-preserved Megalithic passage tomb known as the entrance to the Fairy Kingdom in Guernsey folklore.

As you keep walking, you’ll pass Driftwood Inn, which serves a range of locally sourced dishes in its restaurant. Nearby is Le Trépied Dolmen, another prehistoric passage grave built during the Neolithic period and the notorious meeting place for the fabled Guernsey witches.

After following the coast past Perelle for about 2km, you’ll come to Richmond Kiosk. For a more relaxed meal, or to pick up some snacks, stop in at the newly refurbished Vistas Cafe at Vazon Bay. Whilst at Vazon, walk up to Fort Hommet and Fort Hommet Gun Casement to learn about, and see physical reminders of, our wartime history and for views back over the bay.

Some of the best sunsets you’ll find are at Cobo Bay. At the end of your walk, pick up some fish and chips and sit on the sea wall as you watch the final part of the sunset. If you fancy a sit-down meal, nearby you’ll find popular local pub The Rockmount, serving classic pub dishes and a variety of drinks, and Cobo Bay Hotel, specialising in fresh local seafood.

To get back to Portelet, jump on the 61 or 92 buses.

For other coastal hikes, this folklore-inspired walk is a good option or this hike will take you to prehistoric tombs along our west coast common.

A walk along the south coast cliffs of Guernsey

Starting at Hotel Jerbourg, you’ll be immediately greeted with far-reaching views over Guernsey’s south coast right from the get-go. For a pick-me-up before you start, Jerbourg Kiosk serves some quick food options or The Cliff Top Coffee Shop in Jerbourg Hotel has a larger variety of meals - and a dessert bar you can’t miss.

This walk is 3-3.5km long. However, due to the nature of the cliff paths, it will take around an hour to complete. For a slightly shorter hike that will loop you back to Jerbourg Hotel, head right before you get to Petit Port and follow the road from Ruette des Moies back to the hotel, passing the public toilets and a large car park on your way.

Insider tip: For a slight diversion before you start your main hike, one of our most beautiful hidden bays, Marble Bay, is close by. It is in the opposite direction to the main walk, but well worth it.

From the car park, follow the road, keeping the coast on your left, until you find the cliff paths just a couple hundred metres up the road. Please note that this is slightly tricky terrain, so make sure you’re careful as you hike along the cliff paths.

As you hike, you’ll come across the Pea Stacks, three sea stacks that protrude from the sea, offering the perfect vista if you want to take a rest.

Petit Port is the next stop on your walk. It’s a beautiful, small bay - if you want to fully explore this beautiful swimming spot, just be prepared for the 270 steps to get down onto the bay (and back up!). 

Moulin Huet is also en route, another beautiful beach. The Renoir Tea Garden can be found here, serving delicious cakes and hot drinks, as can the Renoir Walk, a trail documenting the real-life locations that Renoir painted during his stay in Guernsey. There are five decorative frames on the trail - keep a look out for them as you walk.

Keep following the cliff paths, appreciating the stunning views until you reach Saints Bay. Stop at Saints Bay Kiosk, particularly popular for their cakes and crab sandwiches, for a well-deserved rest after hiking the cliffs before hopping on the number 81 bus back to where you began.

For a clifftop hike on one of our other Islands, take the ferry to Sark for this walk along their clifftops and La Coupee, the isthmus between Sark and Little Sark.

For even more walks, download our VisitGuernsey app.

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