Portelet Harbour is a small working fishing harbour where you can relax and watch the fishing boats or enjoy the sea and sand on this west-facing, safe and sheltered beach.
Table des Pions
Naturalised garden with panoramic views over Rocquaine Bay on Guernsey's west coast. Good paths for walking and good seating.
Magnificent views from this south/south west coast spot
Five-story naval observation tower was built and used by German forces from 1942 to 1945
La Prevôté Tower, where a watchtower once stood in Napoleonic times to defend the Island against the French
Situated in the rural parish of St. Pierre du Bois, Rocquaine Bay is one of Guernsey’s shingle beaches.
Easy riding after a steep climb to gain the summit of the island
The coastal road to Pleinmont point has many interesting features the first of which is the Trinity House building, resplendent with its coat of arms, where the lighthouse keepers and their families used to live when the Hanois lighthouse was manned. Fort Pezeries, commanding the southern approaches to Rocquaine Bay, retains its original star-shaped plan and evokes sympathies for those troops stationed at this windswept outpost.
Nearby is a circle of stones round an open ditch known by some as the “Fairy Ring”, but more correctly the “Table des Pions”, a relic of La Chevauchée de St Michel – a procession made round the island annually until 1837 by officers of the Court to inspect roads and sea defences. The footmen, or Pions, who accompanied the officers, were permitted to take refreshment at the table, while the officers were entertained in the nearby Fort Pezeries.
A walk up the “No Entry” road will pass through Guernsey National Trust woodlands with delightful views on every hand, gaining the high part of the island where the countryside is much more open with easy cycling terrain. The spire of Torteval Church
stands out as a very clear landmark from many points of the route. The spire is unusual in that it is a round tower.
The route winds between small fields and old Guernsey buildings with their arched doorways, small windows and a tower which houses the “tourelle” spiral stairway, and then crosses to the cliff edge of the south coast with its startling jagged beauty.
Access to the continual cliff path can be gained at Le Prevote and La Corbiere but note that the path is kept by law for walkers only. Return to the west coast is via easy quiet riding that visits the parish church of St Pierre du Bois – so named when Guernsey was more widely covered in woodland – which features a sloping nave which rises nearly five feet from east to west.
The route plunges down a twisty valley (torte val) to regain the coast near Fort Grey. The “Cup and Saucer” as the fort is fondly known by locals, started its career as a defensive point as the Chateau de Rocquaine in 1680 and, after the usual alterations by a succession of occupants became the site of Guernsey’s third Martello Tower. It houses a fine shipwreck museum that does not attempt to conceal the sturdy strength that is revealed on the inside, but provides a peaceful point of interest on many counts.