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Top of the Island

Cycle Tour 1

8.7 miles
111 m
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1) Les Fouaillages

Les Fouaillages is a Neolithic burial mound, which could possibly be the oldest man-made structure in Europe.

2) Fort Le Marchant

Located on the northern coast of Guernsey, Fort Le Marchant has had a fort of some description on this site since around 1680.

3) Fort Doyle

Fort Doyle was part of the island wide fortification network designed to protect the island against a French invasion.

4) Beaucette Marina

A granite wall once enclosed this former quarry

5) Beaucette Marina Restaurant

6) Le Dehus Burial Chamber

Dehus Dolmen is a prehistoric passage grave approximately 10 metres in length.

7) Bordeaux Harbour

A small harbour with fishing boats. Ideal for snorkelling.

8) Woodies - Bordeaux

9) Vale Castle

Vale Castle is a fortification that sits atop a hill and which, evidence suggests, has a history stretching back to the Iron Age

10) Le Grande Pré

Le Grande Pre provides important habitat for breeding reed birds.

11) Vale Pond

The Vale Pond provides a breeding habitat for a variety of bird-life, including snipe, heron and little egrets, and has a public viewing hide.

Flat terrain, coastal and inland route with some main road

This ride takes in a mixture of fine coastal views and twisty narrow lanes as it tours the part of Guernsey that used to be a separate island known as the Clos du Valle.

The reclamation of the water channel between the two islands was masterminded by General Sir John Doyle, Governor of Guernsey between 1803 & 1816, as a defensive move against possible invasion by the French during troubled times.

Consequently many fortifications are in evidence in this area of Guernsey in the form of forts and loopholed towers, some of which were in place before the draining of the Braye du Valle, which was guarded at its eastern end by the Vale Castle occupying the elevated site of an Iron Age hill fort. Many of these fortifications have additions dating from the German Occupation of Guernsey. The several forts bordering the way, Pembroke, Le Marchant and Doyle are well worth a visit for a flavour of history and a view of the aspect they command.

The Neolithic period is also well represented with the spectacular passage graves of La Varde Dolmen and Le Dehus Passage Tomb. To enter these tombs is to take a step back in time, especially when viewing the “Guardian of the Tomb” in Le Dehus. The many lanes wind their way through an area of Guernsey that was once the heartland of the quarrying industry. Several disused quarries are noticeable with the miners’ cottages gracing the roadside.

The views out over the sea are forever different and will yield to the distant north a sighting of Alderney and Les Casquets lighthouse, and to the east our near neighbours of Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou and Sark.

This is a short, easy ride that would be suitable for a summer evening.

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