Guernsey is a small island nestled within the Channel Islands, between England and France and is an island well known for its stunning beaches and rugged cliffs. Come rain or shine in Guernsey the walking routes in Guernsey are extremely popular for both locals and visitors to the island.
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The cliff walks in Guernsey are perfect on a warm sunny day. You will see some fantastic views across to the neighbouring islands as well as being able to stop off at some of Guernsey’s most beautiful beaches. In this post we will go into more detail in the following.
- When is the best time for cliff walking in Guernsey?
- What to pack for cliff walking in Guernsey?
- Clarence Battery?
- Bluebell woods?
- When Should I go to Lihou Island?
- Preparing for your trip to Guernsey
When is the Best Time for Cliff Walking in Guernsey?
The best time to go cliff walking in Guernsey is during the spring and summer months. You will be guaranteed drier weather and the kiosks will be more likely to be open during these months. You will also have more daylight hours during the day if you are planning to walk the whole route.
That being said, if you are only wanting to walk a section of the cliff walk, you can do this throughout the year.
What Should you Pack for Cliff Walking in Guernsey?
When you are heading out on a cliff walk, there are a few things you should make sure you have with you. First things first is to make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes as your feet will be the first things to get sore. You will also want to pack a light waterproof, just in case. It is also important to pack some snacks and a bottle of water, just in case you can’t access any on route.
Last but not least, make sure you don’t forget your phone and a camera, you will be unable to help yourself from getting snap happy.
Where to Start Your Cliff Walk?
Usually , we would start our cliff walk at La Vallette bathing pools and follow the path up behind the old aquarium, however due to landslides, this is not currently possible.
Instead, start to climb La Val de Terres and turn off left onto the cliff path. Follow the sea round until you reach Clarence battery.
The other option is to go anti-clockwise and start at the fairy ring and walk towards town.
In this post we will be walking clockwise.
Clarence Battery is located just above the La Vallette Bathing Pools in St Peter Port. It was originally built in 1708 as an outer defence for Fort George, Guernsey’s major military headquarters. Clarence Battery was the main fort on the island during French Revolution and home of the German Luftwaffe early warning system during the Second World War.
This is a great spot to sit and watch the aeroplanes coming in overhead or look over to St Peter Port and Castle Cornet, the view is cracking.
Clarence Battery was renamed in 1805 in honour of George III’s son, as it was previously named Terres Point Battery.
Follow the coast round and soon you will reach Bluebell woods. During the spring months, this woodland area is beautiful to visit. The ground turns into a carpet of bluebells underneath the tree tops and there are a number of benches to sit on and take in the beautiful nature around you.
On the walk round the southern side of the island, you will be able to look out towards Herm and Sark and on a clear day you may even be able to see Jersey. There are a couple of options for you to come off the path and head down towards the sea and also plenty of benches for a rest and to take in the beautiful view.
This is probably one of the most popular hidden beaches in Guernsey, mainly because of its easy access to the sea and onsite cafe. The Fermain Beach is not as affected by the tide as some of the other beaches in Guernsey, meaning it is accessible all day long. At high tide, the water is almost directly beneath the wall and at low tide, it can be reached by a short walk along the sandy shore.
Accessing Fermain Bay is best done via the cliff walk route. This is due to no parking being allowed at the beach.
At Fermain Bay, you will find a small cafe that serves cold drinks and delicious food from 10am till 6pm, 7 days a week from April to September, and then weekends only the rest of the year. There is also a toilet block and a water fountain at the bottom of the hill, which are both free to use.
There are a lot of picnic benches and open space for a blanket on the grass or the beach if you fancy bringing your own packed lunch to Fermain Bay.
After you have topped up your tank at Fermain beach cafe, you are looking for a small bridge that will lead you back onto the cliff path. There are many hidden beaches off the path on this part of the route and on a hot day it is tempting to go down for a dip.
Keep an eye out for the small stone signposts along your route and you will eventually find one pointing downhill towards Marble Bay (with a view rather like the one below). Follow the staircase all the way to the bottom and you will eventually reach the soft, sandy shore at the bottom.
Marble Bay is one of our favourite beaches in Guernsey due to its remote location and the resulting solitude, as well as how beautiful the beach looks at low tide. It has received its name due to the “marble-like” rocks that decorate the beach at low tide.
The next main stop you will arrive at is Jerbourg Point, there are toilets here as well as a kiosk and hotel.
At this point, you will find yourself off the cliff path and you will start to follow the road. Make sure you still keep the sea on your left otherwise you will start to head inland. After a couple of hundred metres you will see the cliff path starting again, just before the road bends inland. Join the path and follow it round, keeping the sea on your left.
The Pea Stacks
Look out to your left and you will see 3 sea stacks known locally as the peastacks. There is little known about these incredible rock formations, however they are a great place to chill out and watch the waves crash off of them.
There are many beautiful viewing spots around this side of the island and plenty of benches to sit down and soak them up.
This beach is accessed by a steep staircase that winds its way down the side of the cliffs to the beach below.
As you follow the cliff round, you will see a path on your left that will be heading towards the sea. Keep following the path downhill until you see the Petit Port Beach below and notice the beginning of the staircase. From here, it will be another 5-minute descent to the bottom of the stairs.
The best feature of Petit Port is the unique cave that can be found in the rock face to the side of the beach. If you visit here at low tide, it is possible to climb up on the rocks to enter the small cave and appreciate the beautiful beach from a whole new perspective.
There are no facilities at the bottom of Petit Port, with the only toilets in the area being those beside the Doyle Column or at the Jerbourg Kiosk. The staircase down to the beach and the rocks at the front of the beach are very slippery and require appropriate footwear to ensure safe access.
Continue round the coast, admiring those beautiful sea views to your left. The next beach you will come across is Moulin Huet.
Hidden on the south coast of Guernsey, nestled at the bottom of the lanes in St Martins is Moulin Huet Bay.
Before you reach Moulin Huet, you will pass the Moulin Huet tearooms, the perfect place to stop off for refreshments. The view from the tea room looks right across the sea.
The beach is unrecognisable at different tides. At high tide, there is not much beach left and the water comes right up to the stairs that lead down onto the sand. At low tide, however, the beach stretches way out to sea and is the perfect place to come and relax, with spectacular views of the southern tip of Guernsey.
As you can see, there are plenty of beaches on this part of the island, Saints Bay is a beach that is easy enough to access at the quieter times of the day. Saints Bay is also accessible at both high and low tides, meaning you are able to enjoy the beauty of the bay throughout the day if you fancy to stop off here.
Le Jaonnet Bay
One of our favourite beaches is coming up next so if you are finding it tough to choose which beaches to visit, this one needs to be on your list. You will pass Icart car park where you will find toilet facilities. Follow the path round and when you reach a small bridge, if you want to continue on the cliff path, follow the path right. If you want to see the spectacular Le Jaonnet Bay, turn left.
Possibly one of our favourite hidden beaches in Guernsey, Le Jaonnet Bay is definitely the most dramatic and difficult bays to access along the southern coast. Only accessible at low tide, this bay is completely hidden by the sea when the tide comes in. This, of course, means timing is everything when it comes to visiting Le Jaonnet Bay.
This is not the most easily accessed beach as it requires climbing a steep hill and down a ladder to get onto the beach but in our opinion, it’s well worth it.
After you have enjoyed the beauty of this incredible beach, follow the path round and you will soon see Petit Bot on your left.
Petit Bot is the furthest west beach on the southern coast of Guernsey and features parking, a cafe, a stony beach (no sandy feet!), and a multitude of caves to explore,
Here you will find a cafe, kiosk and toilet block if you need them. There is also the option to hire kayaks at Petit Bot.
Continue on the path round and you will reach another beautiful spot in Guernsey, Le Gouffre.
This is a beautiful rugged part of the island that we love to visit for a walk. There is quite a bit of up and down and stairs around this area but it all makes for the beautiful scenery right? We have heard that a colony of seals live in this area so worth keeping your eyes out for them!
As you come to the car park, you will see there is also a cafe to stop off at before you head off on the next path towards Pleinmont.
Bunkers and Observation Towers
Continue to follow the path round with the sea on your left. You will pass more bunkers and observation Towers that were built by the occupying German’s during World War II
Soon you will reach the South Western side of the island, Pleinmont. This is one of our favourite places for cliff views at sunset in Guernsey.
Located at Pleinmont headland, the Batterie Dollman Gun Pit is a restored battery gun pit that houses the last of its type in Europe. The French gun weighs 10 tonnes and is 22cm was restored by Guernsey Armouries in 1997. There are 3 of these German Coastal Artillery Batteries and Batterie Dollman sit in pit number 3.
Watching the sunset over the cliffs at Pleinmoint Point is a spectacular experience. The rugged coastline around the west side of the island is one that makes any visitor stop in awe at how beautiful the little island of Guernsey really is.
As for the exact location of the Pleinmont sunset spot, you are spoiled for choice of stunning cliff views. There is a cliff walk path that leads all the way along the coast, which if you follow for long enough will take you to St Peter Port. Ay spot along this cliff edge is a beautiful experience, and with Pleinment being a less popular sunset spot in Guernsey, you will most likely have it to yourself.
The Fairy Ring
Continue to follow the path round and you will find yourself back at sea level and arriving at a circle of stones in the grass. This is the Fairy Ring.
It is believed locally that this site is linked to fairies and witchcraft however in reality it is far from that. The Fairy Ring was built as a dugout picnic area for those inspecting roads and coastal defences on the island until 1837. It is now enjoyed by many who walk in the area.
On your walk back round to the car park you will pass Fort Pezeries. Located at on the south-west coast of the island, Fort Pezeries sits proudly looking over Rocquaine Bay. Since 1680 there has been some sort of fortification built on this part of the island. The fort was abandoned by the British in 1842, surrendering itself to overpowering growth of nature before being restored over 150 years later. There are now has three 18 pounder cannons.
The Finish Line
24km later and your feet are most likely aching and I am sure you are ready for a seat. The cliff paths around Guernsey are simply stunning and not to be missed. The best part is, it doesn’t have to be done all in one go. There are many routes leading down to the cliffs along the route.
Before You Leave for Guernsey
Before you leave on your trip to the beautiful island of Guernsey, there are a number of things you will need to organise to ensure a smooth and stress-free trip. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best travel insurance for Guernsey.
What to Pack for Guernsey
What you need to pack for Guernsey will rely highly on when you make your trip to the Channel Islands. During the Spring and Autumn months, temperatures and weather patterns vary wildly between beautiful sunny skies and storming gales.
The temperatures generally vary from 10 oC to 25 oC during these months, with a mixture between cold, northerly winds and warmer southerlies. There is a small amount of rain, with maybe 1 in 7 days receiving rainfall, which makes it perfect for days out exploring the beautiful island.
During the Summer months in Guernsey, temperatures tend to range from 20oC to 30oC, with some days topping 35oC. Summer days in Guernsey are perfect for the beach, with many locals and travellers alike sending their day soaking up the sun and playing in the sea. When it comes to toiletries, we recommend that you don’t forget to pack sunscreen. The sun in Guernsey can be strong, especially in the summer months.
If you need more inspiration on what to pack for your trip, check out our full packing guides for all-weather conditions over here.
Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you will see in Guernsey, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.
What is the Best Travel Insurance for Guernsey?
If you are simply planning on heading to Guernsey for a holiday, one thing that is essential for everybody is good travel insurance. Accidents can happen anywhere and at anytime and unexpected hospital bills will ruin a holiday. Remove the stress from your next adventure and get covered for the worst.
World Nomads Travel Insurance provides budget reliable travel insurance that will keep you covered for any level of adventure.
Where to Stay in Guernsey?
When it comes to accommodation on Guernsey, you are simply spoiled for choice with a huge range of hotels, B&Bs and even campsites to choose from. No matter what your preferred level of luxury is, there is the perfect place for you.
Luxury – Spend your time on Guernsey in true luxury at the Old Government House Spa and Hotel in St Peter Port. This hotel has beautiful views over the harbour of Guernsey’s capital, as well as access to a luxurious spa, an outdoor terrace and a heated, outdoor pool.
Mid-range – If you would like a taste of luxury at an affordable price, then the Auberge du Val Hotel is perfect for you. This 19th-century farmhouse sits on the west coast of the island and offers cosy, ensuite rooms, complete with tea, coffee and tv. The hotel is just a short walk from the beautiful nature reserves in St Saviour, perfect for a romantic trip away for the weekend.
Budget – Situated just 2-miles from Guernsey airport in the heart of St Martins, the Carlton Inn is the best value hotel in Guernsey. With free parking and wifi, as well as access to the Wicked Wolf pub that sits in the same building.
Camping – If you are up for a more adventurous stay on Guernsey, Fauxquets Valley Campsite offer a range of glamping safari tents, glamping pods and sites for your own tent if you bring one. Visit their website for a full price list of tents and campsites.
So there you have it, your complete guide walking around the cliffs in Guernsey! This is just some of the many great things to do in Guernsey, and we would recommend that you give it a go.
If you found this guide to the cliff walks in Guernsey useful, please let us know in the comments section below. We love chatting you guys about this kind of thing, and sharing our top experiences with everyone else! What part was your favourite? Do you have any places to add that we missed out?
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If you are planning a trip to Guernsey soon then check out our other Channel Islands content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from Guernsey and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers on our social channels!
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