A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
The Guernsey Coastal Walk can be considered part of a larger enterprise – the Channel Islands Way. The latter, which also includes walking on Jersey, Alderney, Herm and Sark, is listed at 110 miles in total – and will involve a lot of movement by boat between these sites. The Guernsey Coastal Walk itself is listed at some 39 miles and we completed this island circuit in 2012 in three and a half days of walking.
As will become evident in the accounts that follow, however, the route in question is only a route and not a continuous waymarked footpath. For this reason I suspect that a good deal of improvisation takes place – do I need to round that peninsula, what happens if I cut off that headland? A good Guernsey map (and there are many on offer) – one that shows paths with dotted lines for instance, would seem essential. The guidebook provided by our tour organizers, Paddy Dillon’s volume published by Cicerone, offered a series of circular walks, most of which had a coastal section – but it was often hard to figure out where we were in the next chapter. Under any circumstance, if you start at St. Peter Port and head south you will only need to keep the sea of your left and you will not go wrong for long.
Our organizers had taxis pick us up at the end of our walk each day and these brought us back to the same spot the next day – with all of our nights spent in the same hotel. I think it would be possible to change accommodation each night but this would require some homework on your part. If you are new to the walking enterprise or looking for advice on how to get started with such bookings you will find appropriate information in my book, A Walker’s Alphabet: Adventures on the Long-distance Footpaths of Great Britain – published in 2010 and available from the publisher at www.authorhouse.co.uk or from www.authorhouse.com or from www.amazon.co.uk or from www.amazon.com.
If you are walking in a clockwise direction from St. Peter Port you will find the first section of the Guernsey Coastal Walk to be the most challenging – but the cliffs and valleys are also extremely beautiful. The long coastline that follows roughly from southwest to northeast is much easier, essentially a walk along beaches and bays, but full of interest to those keen on military history. The east coast is also easy walking, though in far more civilized surroundings. We found that we were welcomed everywhere by the local inhabitants and this certainly added to our pleasure. You can always let me know how you got on by leaving word on the Contact Page.
Our stages were as follows:
Day 1: St. Peter Port to Petit Bot – 10 miles
Day 2: Petit Bot to Vazon Bay – 10 miles
Day 3: Vazon Bay to Beaucette Marina – 11 miles