Holiday reference: GYLDW
62 miles (100km). 4 to 14 miles (6.5 to 22.5km) and up to 1,400ft (420m) of ascent per day.
Sat: Arrival day
Sun: Guernsey Coastal Walk - Today we leave St Peter Port on foot and enjoy views of the harbour and the imposing Castle Cornet. After ascending to Clarence Battery and Fort George we join a much more rural path to Fermain Bay, with its loop-holed tower. Crossing into St Martin’s parish we continue with stunning coastal views to Jerbourg Point. On a clear day this corner of the island offers fine views of the other Channel Islands and France. From Jerbourg, we join the south cliff path passing high above Moulin Huet Bay and Saint’s Bay en route to Icart Point and the incredibly pretty beach at Petit Bôt, before completing our walk close to Le Gouffre Nature Reserve. 10 miles (16km) with 1,250ft (375m) of ascent.
Mon: Isle of Sark - Our boat journey from St Peter Port takes us to Sark in less than an hour and we can begin our walk directly from the Maseline Harbour tunnel. Pretty country paths and car-free lanes quickly reach the south coast and our path meets extensive views over Derrible Bay. We soon reach Dixcart Bay and follow the rising cliff path, which offers wonderful views out to sea before crossing La Coupée – a narrow isthmus leading to Little Sark. Little Sark offers quiet lanes, cliff views, charming houses and the remains of silver mines. Back on Sark, we follow the Rue du Sermon into the village and pass La Seignurie before looping the island’s rocky northern headland. Returning to the village initially, our route then drops back to the harbour for our return boat journey. 10 miles (16km) with 850ft (225m) of ascent.
Tues: West coast of Guernsey - Our second walk on Guernsey continues from Le Gouffre and rejoins the rugged south coast. The cliff path here has some fairly steep ups and downs but the Pleinmont Headland rewards us with wonderful views out towards Hanois Lighthouse, nature reserves and commanding historic towers. After the mysterious-looking Fairy Ring, we rejoin civilisation at Portelet Harbour. From here we can enjoy the contrast of walking on Guernsey’s west coast, which features a succession of wide sweeping bays with views of defences like the iconic Fort Grey and Lihou Island, the most westerly point in the Channel Islands. Our final destination for the day is pretty Vazon Bay, which is protected by the imposing Fort Hommet. 12 miles (19km) with 850ft (225m) of ascent.
Wed: Completing the Guernsey Coastal Path - Continuing from Vazon Bay, our final walk on Guernsey completes our circuit of the island. We carry on along the islander’s playground, past sandy beaches and seagrass dunes dotted with rocky granite outcrops. At Le Grand Havre we reach Vale, which, before human intervention, was once separated by water from the rest of Guernsey. Now at the north of the island, we pass the Megalithic passage grave of La Varde and the beautiful L’Ancresse Bay en route to Fort Doyle. From here the pretty harbours of Bordeaux and St Sampson lead us back to the Esplanade in St Peter Port and our starting point. 14 miles (22.5km) with 650ft (195m) of ascent.
Thurs: Isle of Herm - A morning sailing takes us over to the tiny island of Herm in just 15 minutes. Despite being so close to Guernsey, the smallest island on the Channel Island Way is a world away from bustling St Peter Port. Whether the boat lands at the harbour or Rosaire Steps we progress south with views to Jethou Island (privately leased by philanthropist Sir Peter Ogden). The undulating cliff path winds around to the island’s east coast and the views are often inundated with seabirds. From Belvoir Bay the walk levels out and we pass pretty Shell Beach and loop across the green common in the shadow of Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Time’ statue. With our circuit complete, the quaint harbour village offers a souvenir shop and refreshments at the Mermaid Tavern. 4 miles (6.5km) with 350ft (105m) of ascent.
In the afternoon, we fly from Guernsey to Alderney for the final leg of our Island Hopping adventure.
Fri: Isle of Alderney - Closest to France geographically, and set apart from the rest of the Channel Islands, Alderney’s isolation offers a completely different feel to its visitors. Walking around the island can be done in one day and this route offers spectacular cliff paths brimming with military history and an abundance of wildlife at every turn. From St Anne (Alderney’s town), we soon reach the undulating cliff path alongside the airport and the site of a prisoner of war camp from the Occupation. Shortly afterwards, we reach the noisy and stunning gannet colony at Les Etacs and progress around the island’s wild west coast. The romantically situated Fort Clonque marks the start of our progression along the north coast to the harbour, with its enormous breakwater. Sweeping Braye Bay leads us up to Fort Albert and a succession of pretty bays culminates at the sweeping horseshoe of Longis Bay. Rejoining the cliff path we soon reach our start point and return to the town. 12 miles (19km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent.
Sat: Departure day - We will transfer to Alderney airport for our short flight back to Guernsey, where we can connect to our UK return flight.
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