Let’s Go to … Herm, the Channel Islands

Rachel Dixon, The Guardian, April 29, 2015

Why go now?
It’s puffin season. Outdoor Guernsey’s kayak puffin patrols run from Shell beach on Herm, a gorgeous stretch of white sand, past secluded Belvoir Bay to Puffin Bay, where you can see the birds up close (until June). Bumblebee Cruises has a similar patrol by boat.

Anything else happening?
Great walks: the Channel Islands heritage festival (until 11 May) includes guided strolls around Herm; the Guernsey walking festival (2-17 May) has tours of secret and historical Herm; or you can visit the island’s colourful coastal gardens with head gardener Brett Moore (£7.50pp, every Tuesday at 11am until mid-September).

Any must-dos?
Snorkelling in the clear water and lazing on the sandy beaches – as well as Shell and Belvoir, try tranquil Oyster beach and sheltered Bears’ beach. Visit neolithic tombs, the 11th-century St Tugual’s chapel and the minuscule prison (capacity: one).

Where shall I go for dinner?
The Ship Inn brasserie serves dishes such as Guernsey mushrooms on toast and locally-caught, beer-battered whiting. The Conservatory restaurant at the White House hotel is more refined – sea bass with chorizo and butter bean stew, for example. Sample Herm ice-cream at a beach cafe.

 

The 1½ mile-long island is car-free and ideal for a stroll.

The 1½ mile-long island is car-free and ideal for a stroll. Photograph: Alamy

How about a drink?
Old fishermen’s pub the Mermaid Tavern runs twice-yearly beer festivals (next one, 9-14 June), and serves coffee from beans grown and roasted in Guernsey. It also does pub lunches and barbecues, and its Grill Room specialises in steaks.

Anywhere to stay for under £100 a night?
The White House, the island’s only hotel, is way over budget (doubles from £244), although that includes a four-course dinner. It is cheaper to rent a cottage, converted barn, log cabin or even a tower (from £301 a week for two). The best budget option is the Seagull campsite, which has fantastic views of Sark and France (from £8.50pp).

Do I need a car?
Cars are banned on the island and because it is only 1½ miles long by half a-mile wide, you won’t need one anyway. The only way to get there is via Guernsey: the Trident Ferries catamaran from St Peter’s Port to Herm’s old jetty takes 20 minutes (£11.50 return).

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

 

This article was written by Rachel Dixon from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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