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  • Couple looking down on bay
  • Herm - boy and dad walking
  • Jersey family walking on dunes

Channel Islands walks

The beauty of the Channel Islands can really be discovered by foot and there are walks of all lengths and abilities as well as plenty of self guided and guided tour operators ready and willing to reveal the secrets of each island.

Jersey walks

Jersey’s 45 square miles offer a network of coastal paths and ‘green lanes’ where cars are limited in speed and priority is given to walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Winding your way on foot through the green valleys and anglo-french style villages is the perfect way to catch Jersey’s essence and visit some of the splendid attractions. The lower lying south to south west coast will tempt you with waterfront and beach vistas, usually filled with colourful floral displays. The long open beach of the west coast hides inland sand dunes and nature reserves, often good for smaller walks. If you’re up for a challenge then you won’t be disappointed by the rugged and dramatic north coast footpath which winds its way up and down to coves and fishing harbours. The south east is an area renown for some of the highest tides in the world where at low tide the seabed uncovers a lunar like landscape and its associated sea creatures. Guided walking is advised here though as tides can come in quickly. Some beautiful shorter woodland walks can be found around St Catherine’s Woods which are particularly suitable for families, especially as there are stepping stones and a rope swing involved!

Jersey walking resources

  • Bestwalks.com offer a resource for walking books, maps, and free walks.
  • Jersey.com has details on maps and guides available for purchase. Listen to a podcast about Jersey on foot by Independent travel writer Simon Calder or download a self guided walk with a variety of themes – anything from ale trails to countryside walks.
  • Jersey heritage holidays offer guided tours around Jersey and the other islands. Contact Beth Lloyd Tel: 01534 862099.
  • The Walking Britain website has printable walks graded by mileage and ease.
  • The National Trust for Jersey have a series of circular, scenic, coastal and heritage walks as well as guided rambles around the island.
  • Jerseywalkadventures.co.uk offer guided walks led by Jersey Tourism trained guides.
  • Walking in Jersey – Remi Couriard offers group and individual walking tours.

Guernsey walks

Guernsey’s walks are as varied as the beautiful scenery and take you from the rugged challenging coastal walks of the south west footpath with its nature reserves and wartime defences, around to the colourful fishing harbours and rocky inlets in the north. Head to the west coast wide golden beaches if a walk and a swim is your goal. Inland Guernsey offers picturesque valleys and smaller walks such as the tranquil woodland of the Millennium walk at St Saviour. Bluebells and exotic flowers will line your way by springtime and it’s always a treat to buy something from the traditional ‘honesty boxes’ dotted by the sides of the roads where the islanders offer home grown produce in return for an honest payment. Many of the roads are deemed ‘ruettes tranquilles’ and are suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding as cars are limited in speed.

Guernsey walking resources

  • Visit Guernsey has produced some excellent walking guides covering the occupation, smuggling tales, secret coves, historic gardens, witch trials, painters and writers on Guernsey.
  • Download the ‘Tasty guides’, a series of 11 self guided walks which can be taken at your own pace and encompass the best walks with fantastic places to eat.
  • ‘Guernsey Walker’ is an online resource for downloading printable walking guides.
  • Oudoor Guernsey offer bespoke walking tours for individuals or groups

Sark walks

Sark is probably best discovered on foot. Offering a surprising 40 miles of walks within its petite 3 by 0.5 miles, the lush flower filled inland valleys lead you through vineyards and gardens whilst the green carpeted headlands can be reached via a series of old island paths, recently reopened. The steep cliff paths are dramatic and none more so than La Coupée, a high narrow pass leading to Little Sark with its old silver mines. Following the maze of pathways towards the west will reveal natural bathing pools and  little inlets. The golden beaches lie to the north and east coasts, with La Grande Grève beach being the most popular.

Sark walking resources

  • Simply Sark website – details about guided rock pool rambles, wildflower walks and garden walks on Sark.
  • Sarkislandhotels website – two good suggestions for walks around the west side of the island and Dixcart Bay.
  • The Isle of Sark website offers insights into walks as well as the flora and fauna on Sark.

Herm walks

With little traffic other than the odd horse and cart, Herm is a gem for walkers. Signposted trails lead you around the coastal roads to white sandy beaches and turquoise waters in the north. Don your walking boots to follow the natural footpaths of the rocky southern coast though as they can be quite steep in places!

Sark and Herm walking resources

  • Visit Guernsey hold twice yearly walking festivals on Herm in May and September.

Alderney walks

Alderney at just 3.5 by 1.5 miles is full of dramatic cliff walks, fortifications and wildlife. Puffins and gannets colonise some of the rocky outcrops as breeding grounds and many can be viewed as you climb up and down the zig zag paths of the southern coast. You may even spot a dolphin playing in the coastal waters! Long sandy beaches tend to lie towards the north and east of the island whereas fishing harbours and rockpools dominate the north west. The terrain is varied, with the cobbled streets in the main town of St Anne climbing upwards towards the centre of the island from the harbour at Braye. Wildflowers fill the quiet inland lanes covering a series of valleys running north to south across the island but in all Alderney offers mostly gentle walks full of wildlife and wonderful views.

Alderney walking resources

  • Visit Alderney have a number of self guided walks available to download.
  • Alderney Wildlife Trust organises guided walks with a specialist interest in the wildlife and natural habitats on Alderney. Contact info@alderneywildlife.org