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Guernsey Islands - The View from Down Under

Looking across to Little Sark


Kevin Liddiard, from South Australia, discovered the unique history of the Channel Islands on a self guided walk with Sherpa Expeditions. He wrote an account of his trip for Trailwalker Magazine, and shared his story with us.


I’m of the age where I don't wish to walk in high temperatures, with steep climbs, large backpacks, bugs, sweat and general discomfort. To this end, I walked a year ago in Normandy, ending at the site of the WWII D-Day landings. Motivated by this memorable experience, I decided to walk the nearby Channel Islands Coastal Way, again solo, with Sherpa Expeditions' self-guided walking holidays. 
  

In April I took the new Qantas direct flight from Perth to London, then on to St Peters Port, Guernsey. What a delightful town. The Channel Islands, in the English Channel, have a unique history, going back to the Duchy of Normandy, when William the Conqueror bequeathed the islands to the English crown. Today the islands exist as a collection of 'states' under the allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, but independent in many ways, under a political set-up called a Bailiwick. 

 

St Peter's Port, Guernsey

St Peter's Port, the capital of Guernsey

 

The first three days of the walk covered the Guernsey coast. A main attraction was the many Loophole Towers, erected as a defence from the French during the American Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. I opted out early on the third day of a 29km walk and took the bus around the island, costing only one pound, and visited the magnificent Castle Cornet. Here you can meet young volunteers dressed in the military uniforms of WWII and witness the noon cannon firing. The castle has its own long history, but for me the highlight of the visit was a live rendition by a talented three-women ensemble, singing In the Mood, There’ll be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover and other tearjerkers. 

 

A loophole tower on the Guernsey coast

 

Next day I took the 25-minute ferry trip to the island of Herm - an easy walk and with a stop at the Mermaid Tavern, a good pub for lunch and a place to wait for the return ferry. 

 

The following day, I took the ferry to Sark. What a delight. There are no cars - travel is on earth roads via foot, tractor, cycle or horse (with or without cart). The main attraction is the narrow passage between Sark and Little Sark, the famous La Coupée. On Sark is another Mermaid pub, an excellent restaurant, and great accommodation. 

 

La Coupee

La Coupee, stretching from Sark to Little Sark

 

The next day I took the ferry back to Guernsey and a flight to Alderney. While I loved Sark, here was the most memorable of my walks. The island was evacuated in WWII including, I was told, the cattle. The German occupiers built massive fortifications, adding to the British forts of the 1800s. Alderney is the most remote, and wildest, of the Channel Islands and is also well known for its birdlife, notably one of the largest gannet colonies easily observed from the nearby cliffs. I was also lucky to see the quaint puffins. 

 

A German fortification on Sark

 

I shed a tear when I walked past three posts at the entrance to what was Lager Sylt, a Nazi concentration camp, a dark history that the islanders would rather forget. Suffice to say, the Alderney people were welcoming, helpful and served a good beer at the excellent Georgian House Hotel to celebrate the completion of my walk. 

 

The plaque at the entrance to Lager Sylt

 

Guernsey Islands: Channel Islands Way is an 8-day, self guided walking tour, with departures from 1 April to 25 October 2019. The trip to Alderney that Kevin took at the end of his holiday is an optional, 2-night extension that carries an additional supplement.

The Great British Isles

British Isles walking holidays - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Great Britain, the large island in the North Sea, is surrounded by plenty of smaller isles and islets, which offer unique opportunities to go for a walking or cycling holiday.

 

Just the fact that you are on an island gives an instant and sheer holiday feeling. On top of that, there is the special journey to reach the island; which often includes a short ferry or boat ride to increase the sensation even more. Island life is usually slow-paced and local people seem more relaxed, hospitable and are often in for a chat. Add to that a constant sea breeze, fresh seafood and stunning ocean vistas and you’ve got yourself the perfect great British island holiday.

 

Below, we list five of so called British isles that you can choose to discover on several of our cycling and walking holidays.

 

#1 Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight walking holidays - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Queen Victoria, despite ruling a quarter of the Earth and being Empress of India, elected to spend her holidays on the Isle of Wight. Here she had a little holiday cottage build called Osborne House - her little pied-à-terre. She painted and sketched the island’s nature, rode horses and went for long walks and swimming.

The island is relatively quick and easily reached from London on a 2-hour train ride plus a ferry or hovercraft trip.

>> Discover the Isle of Wight on foot with the Isle of Wight Coastal Walking holiday

>> Discover the Isle of Wight by bicycle with the Isle of Wight Cycle holiday

 

#2 Jersey

walking in Jersey - Channel Island Way - British Isles - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Jersey is the biggest island of the Bailiwicks of Guernsey & Jersey who have a separate economic and political life from Great Britain. The island has an ancient history: it was until several thousand years ago attached to mainland France with many Palaeolithic dolmans or burials from that period. It was known about in Roman times and later came under the control of the duke of Brittany during the Viking invasions. All in all, lots of historical and natural interest for the walker or cyclist.

>> Discover Jersey on foot with the Jersey: the Channel Island Way holiday

>> Discover Jersey by bicycle with the Channel Islands Cycle holiday

 

#3 Isle of Man

English Islands walking holidays - Sherpa Expeditions

 

According to legend, this British island was once ruled by Manannán who would draw his misty cloak around the island to protect it from invaders. One of the principal folk theories about the origin of the name Mann is that it is named after Manannán. The ancient Romans knew of the island and called it Insula Manavi, it is uncertain though whether they conquered the island or not. However, the Manx Gaelic for the island is Ellan Vannin, which just means island of Man.

Learn about Manx history and myths in the Manx Museum in Douglas, your port of arrival.  

>> Discover the Isle of Man on foot with the Isle of Man Coastal Path holiday

 

#4 Guernsey

Discover Guernsey one of the British Isles with Sherpa Expeditions

 

Known for scenic cliffs and beaches, small towns oozing old world charm, and coastal defences dating from the Palaeolithic period through to the Second World War, Guernsey has been a favourite holiday destination for active adventurers. After a long and turbulent history, Guernsey, similarly to Jersey and other islands, is now a British crown dependency, albeit not part of the UK or of the European Union.

Another island that is part of the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey. Each of the small islands have their own character and customs and this is very clear when you visit them all.

>> Discover Guernsey on foot with the Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way holiday

>> Discover Guernsey by bicycle with the Channel Islands Cycle holiday

 

#5 Holy Island

Lindisfarne - Holy Island - British Isles for walking - Sherpa Expeditions

 

A causeway leads across the sands to Lindisfarne on Holy Island, just off the area of outstanding natural beauty that is the Northumberland Coast. Correct timing is essential here as the causeway gets covered by water for almost two quarters of each day. With Sherpa Expeditions you can overnight at this tiny British island, allowing you plenty of time to roam around.

When you have made it to Holy Island, the 16th Century Lindisfarne fortress and the priory ruins are a must-visit. The castle has even featured in films such as Macbeth and Cul-de-Sac, both by Roman Polanski.

>> Discover Holy Island on foot during the St Cuthbert’s Way holiday in 8 days 

>> Discover Holy Island on foot during the St Cuthbert's Way holiday in 10 days

 

Curious to learn more about some of these British isles? Or if you would like to make an enquiry to discover one of the above-mentioned islands on a cycling or walking holiday, please contact the team at our London office.

 

 

Picture This! Sub-tropical Guernsey

Sherpa's Nathalie walking in Guernsey

 

Guernsey is a unique place with a stunning coastline. Not legally a part of the UK and in close proximity to Normandy in France, the Channel Island is a mix of both countries and this will show when you leisurely discover the island on foot. Our team member Nathalie visited Guernsey just a couple of weeks ago for a check on the services we deliver and came back with a camera full of stunning images.

 

Of course, we wanted to share these with you as soon as possible and have therefore compiled this elaborate photo album to give you a bit of an idea what walking in this part of the British Isles, south from England, can also be like.

 

From a two-celled prison and German WWII bunkers to cosy pubs and the most spectacular trails, scroll down to view some splendid shots.

 

Stunning Scenery of Guernsey

relax on Channel Island Way walk_Sherpa Expeditions

 

bluebell woods and sea at Guernsey_Sherpa Expeditions

 

quiet bay in Guernsey_Sherpa Expeditions

 

>> Show me the Guernsey walking holidays

 

sunshine on Guernsey walks_Sherpa Expeditions

 

Historical Interest in Guernsey

bunker on Guernsey_Sherpa Expeditions

 

German WWII legacy on Guernsey_Sherpa Expeditions

 

2-celled prison on Sark_Sherpa Expeditions

 

Renoir used to holiday on Guernsey_Sherpa Expeditions

 

Where to Eat along the Channel Island Way

food on the Channel Island Way - England

 

quintessential English: cider fish chips_Sherpa Expeditions

 

simple pub lunch on Channel Island Way_Sherpa Expeditions

 

>> Discover Guernsey on foot

 

The Channel Island Way of Life

waiting for the ferry_Sherpa Expeditions

 

car free Sark_Sherpa Expeditions

 

walking in Guernsey_Sherpa Expeditions

 

heading to the beach on Channel Island Way_Sherpa Expeditions

 

steps leading up - Guernsey _Sherpa Expeditions

 

>> Find out how you can organise your Guernsey walking holiday with Sherpa Expeditions

 

Visit Guernsey & Receive a Free Novel

Guernsey holiday deal with Sherpa Expeditions


The long-awaited film adaption of the international bestselling novel ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ will premiere in UK cinemas next week, on the 20th April 2018. To celebrate the occasion, we are giving away free copies of the book by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Schaffer.

 

Book on the Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way  or Jersey: The Channel Island Way walking holiday and receive the novel that the film is based on*

Book before 31 May 2018 on the Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way or Jersey: The Channel Island Way walking holidays and travel before 25 October 2018 and we will send you the novel together with your Final Documentation.

 

Directed by BAFTA-award winning Mike Newell and starring Lily James and Michiel Huisman, the film shines a light on Guernsey’s occupation during World War II. The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles that were under German control during the war and evidence of their stay is still widely visible today.


Guernsey walking holidays with Sherpa Expeditions


Guernsey walking holiday deals

 

Sherpa Expeditions Manager Tali Emdin explains:

 

“The Guernsey Occupation, between June 1940 and May 1945, shaped the islands into what they are today. It left a lasting legacy and, to this day, the coastline still bears testament to this time, dotted with well-preserved fortifications built by German soldiers.

 

History aficionados will find that the island’s heritage, including those five tempestuous years, is depicted in stunning detail through a whole host of museums, which aim to recreate those dark days with gripping exhibits.

 

The German Military Underground Hospital, the largest construction in the Channel Islands, was built by slave workers during the occupation; the German Occupation Museum features a recreation of an occupation-era street; while La Villette Underground Military Museum is set in a series of tunnels used for U-Boat fuel storage during the occupation”.

 

If ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ inspires you to discover the unique history of the Channel Islands, activity holiday specialist Sherpa Expeditions can take you there.

 

>> View all details about Guernsey Islands – The Channel Island Way

>> View all details about Jersey: The Channel Island Way

 

holiday deals for Guernsey - Sherpa Expeditions

 

*Terms & Conditions:

  • Book on the Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way or Jersey: The Channel Island Way walking holidays departing on or before 25 October 2019 and receive a free copy of the international bestselling novel ‘The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Schaffer.
  • Bookings must be received before 31 May 2018.
  • Only valid for departures on the Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way and Jersey: The Channel Island Way trips on or before 25 October 2018.
  • The book will be included in your pre-departure information.
  • Only valid for bookings made with Sherpa Expeditions directly, not valid for bookings made through third parties.
  • Only valid for these specific trips operated by Sherpa Expeditions.
  • Offer applies only once per booking, eg. you will receive one (1) copy of the novel per booking.
  • Trips and book are subject to availability.
  • Booking Terms & Conditions apply.
  • Quote code POTATO at the time of booking.

Channel Island Way travel deal with Sherpa Expeditions

New! Active UK Holidays for 2018

New walking holidays for 2018 - Sherpa Expeditions UK

 

From spring next year (2018), you will have even more choice to go on an active holiday in the UK as we will be launching several brand-new trips again.

Next year, we will be adding three new walking programmes spread out over England and the isles, plus a completely renewed cycling holiday that will follow one of the UK’s most popular walking trails.

 

New walking holidays - Sherpa Expeditions UK

 

New walking holidays in the UK with Sherpa Expeditions

 

Isle of Man Coastal Path >> new walking holiday

  • Beautiful Coastal scenery on quiet trails
  • Cultural heritage towns such as Castletown, Peel, Ramsey and Laxey
  • Wildlife spotting opportunities
  • Seascapes embracing views to England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Bathing opportunities
  • A network of steam, electric, mountain and horse drawn railways
  • Interesting histories to discover

>> View this new self guided walking trip in England now

 

The Richmond Way >> new walking holiday

  • Magnificent Lancaster, Bolton and Richmond castles and the 'motte' (remains) of several others
  • Ingleton Village and waterfalls
  • Walking on ancient Roman roads
  • Beautiful 'Green' villages such as Bainbridge and Reeth
  • High limestone walking with views over the Yorkshire fells
  • Beautiful valleys of Wensleydale and Swaledale
  • Ribblehead Viaduct – a mecca for railway enthusiasts

 

The Cyclist’s Coast to Coast >> new cycling holiday

  • Ride across England from Irish to the North Sea, crossing the Lake District and Pennines
  • Biking through the hills & dales of northern England
  • Attractive hamlets and traditional villages
  • Industrial heritage, lead mines and the River Tyne
  • A satisfying and very challenging ride

>> View this new self guided cycling trip in England now

 

Jersey Island – Channel Island Way >> new walking holiday

  • Discover legacy of wars, occupations & pirates
  • Second part of the Channel Island Way
  • Magnificent rock pools & sweeping dunes
  • Follow rugged cliff paths sprinkled with wildflowers
  • Charming seaside pubs & fishing villages

>> View this new self guided cycling trip in England now

 

We are currently finalising the details for these new trips, so stay tuned on this page (perhaps you like to bookmark it) for updates and to find out when the trips are available next year. 

 

New Coast to Coast cycle holiday - Sherpa Expeditions UK

 

If you like to enquire or like us to send you a message as soon as the trips are available online, please contact our team of travel experts in London.

 

A Guernsey Event: Food & Views

Guernsey is well known for its beautiful scenery and fantastic food, so why not join the two together on your next trip to the island?

Walking in Guernsey events - Food Festival

 

Since 2015, Guernsey Island hosts the 2-week long Guernsey Food Festival in September. The event aims to support local food and drink producers as well as showcase the island’s wide variety of fresh produce, fabulous restaurants, well-known chefs and local delicacies. A visit to the island at this time of year is the perfect chance to taste all that Guernsey has to offer.

 

The festival includes plenty of events around the island for all to enjoy, ranging from beer-and-cheese-pairing to chilli-eating competitions. As different events are dotted around the island, it’s the perfect excuse to try Sherpa's great walking itinerary and burn off some of the delicious food.

 

Food demonstration event in Guernsey - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Guernsey walking holidays - Food Festival Guernsey - Sherpa Expeditions

 

The first weekend of the festival usually focuses around the Big Guernsey Market, where more than 40 food and drink stalls display the best of Guernsey cuisine along Crown Pier. There are also opportunities to join a boat trip around the oyster beds of Herm to see the island’s delicious delicacy of the Herm and Rocquaine oysters, or if you prefer to stay on solid ground, visit one of the live food shows along the pier and watch top chefs prepare their favourite dishes live on stage.

 

The Grape, Apple and Grain Festival traditionally takes place over the second weekend of the festival and is when you can enjoy a variety of craft beers, real ales & ciders, and sample a variety of street foods from all over Guernsey, whilst enjoying the live music and entertainment.

 

Capital St Peter Port offers a range of restaurants where you can have a bite to eat before venturing to one of Guernsey’s treasures: Castle Cornet, guarding Guernsey harbour and with fabulous views of the island and neighbouring Herm and Sark.

 

Visit Guernsey Food Festival in September - walking in Guernsey with Sherpa Expeditions

 

On day 3 of our Guernsey walking trip, you hike along more rugged terrain and get close to the coastline to see the largest cave in Guernsey, Le Creux Mahié. Then go up to Les Tielles, a beautiful part of the cliffs with fantastic views, and a great place for a picnic.

 

Sherpa Expeditions’ walking holiday further takes you around the Bailiwick of Guernsey, following the Channel Island Way. The 110-mile route circles the island in daily stages, usually around 5-6 hours per day. The route takes you from the Guernsey capital, St Peter Port, to Petit Bot Bay, onwards to Perelle Bay and back to St Peter Port where you can then catch a ferry to explore Sark and Herm. There’s also the option of continuing to Alderney to explore the third-largest Channel Island.

 

Visit Guernsey

  • The Guernsey Food Festival is organised by Visit Guernsey and is ‘the greatest food festival ever to arrive on Guernsey’s shores’. It celebrates the island’s culinary side and, as it takes place in September when average temperatures range around 18°C/64°F, is a fantastic time to visit the island.
  • Another big Guernsey event takes place annually, which is the Guernsey Heritage Festival - in 2018 from 30 March-10 May. This popular Festival returns for its fifth year and 2018 shines a spotlight on life in the Bailiwick of Guernsey under German rule and the islands’ subsequent liberation from the Occupying forces after WWII.

 

Text & images courtesy of Visit Guernsey.

 

On Track – Q&A on Guernsey Holidays on Foot

Guernsey Holidays FAQ answered by Sherpa Expeditions

 

To give you a deeper understanding of our cycling and walking holidays in Europe, we like to introduce you to our On Track feature. This is a series of quick Q&A’s on a specific trip from the Sherpa Expeditions offer.

Today’s frequently asked questions are answered by resident guide John, who was in Guernsey last year to see what there is to do on the Channel Island and to select the best trails for our new Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way trip.

"Guernsey: An active holiday filled with quiet island hopping and coastal bliss!"

#1 Doesn’t the English weather on the Guernsey Islands prevent good walking possibilities?

The Guernsey climate is amongst the mildest and sunniest in the whole of the British Isles, being warmed by the adjacent Gulf Stream and so much further south. Every year, the Island of Guernsey enjoys up to 2,000 hours of sunny weather. During the summer months, the weather is not only sunny, with average daytime temperatures of anywhere between 20°C / 68°F and 25°C / 77°F, but also extremely dry.

April, May and June tend to be the driest months on Guernsey, when precipitation levels rarely top 120 mm / 4.7 inches for this entire period.

 

#2 What is special about Guernsey walks?

Guernsey and her islands have extensive white sandy beaches and medium-high cliffs with beautiful views. In, at least spring and early summer, this is being topped by some lovely flowers. It is all a little old-fashioned and each of the islands has a unique pace of life and history. Alderney Island seems wilder and has some great bird watching opportunities, Sark Island is a bucolic beauty, and Herm Island has lovely grass backed beaches. Guernsey Island has the most variety and is of course bigger.

 

Sark - Channel Island Way, Sherpa Expeditions walking holidays

 

St Peter Port on walks in Guernsey - Sherpa Expeditions

 

#3 What language do people speak on the Guernsey Islands?

The Channel Islands were possessions of the Dukes of Normandy and when after 1066 they took over England, the islands were attached to the English crown. Although most place names and streets are in French, the Guernsey language ‘Guernésiais’, is a Norman French tongue, and you won’t hear much being spoken. People sound English generally and most who speak French are French tourists.

 

#4 What is a Guernsey holiday and exploring the island on foot like?

Guernsey is certainly getting busier. In the height of summer there are lots of holidaymakers on the beaches, in the capital St Peter Port and on the sister islands. At the same time, there is a surprising amount of countryside and this results in the coastal footpaths, except for perhaps on Herm, not being very busy. When approaching popular beaches, old Nazis fort sites, or when walking through towns it can be a little busier though. There is a surprising lack of development by a lot of the beaches and there are few kiosks or cafes on the Guernsey walks. Out of the high season, there are generally few people around.

 

Sunset on Guernsey holidays, Sherpa walking holidays

 

#5 What 3 items should we pack for a walk in Guernsey?

  • Binoculars... to spot the birdlife, such as puffins on Herm and a large Gannet colony on L’Etacs rocks of Alderney, and woodland birds Guernsey and Sark. You can even use them to spot seals on Herm Island and binoculars are useful for viewing the islands and Normandy from the varying islands,
  • Swimming costume... if it is warm enough, and
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen.

 

#6 What extra costs will we make on this trip?

Walkers on this Guernsey holiday must set aside extra budget for ferries to Herm and Sark and the flight to Alderney. Other expenses will be for airport taxis or bus transfers and dinners, lunches and coffees & other drinks. Generally, things are slightly more expensive than much of the UK and the British pound is accepted. Guernsey does have its own currency however, the Guernsey pound, which has been used on the Channel Islands since 1921 and Guernsey still has its own £1 note, as well as a £50, £20, £10 and £5 note like mainland Britain. Some shops also accept Euros and major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the islands. The other way around, Channel Islands notes and coins are not accepted in the UK.

There is no VAT in Guernsey but it is not a duty-free island. ATM machines are available at most high street banks in St Peter Port, the airport and selected sites, including supermarkets, garages and some out of town banks throughout the island.

 

 

We hope this information has indeed answered some of the questions you may have had on Guernsey holidays. If you have other queries, please get in touch with John and the Sherpa team via phone or email.

 

Did you like this Q&A and would you like to get similar details of one of our other active Europe holidays? We’d be happy for you to tell us about your suggestions.

Or if you like to be among the firsts to hear about the latest On Track Q&A destination, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here.  


 

Europe’s Most Charming Coastal Towns

If you're looking to settle yourself down for a few days to get that true experience of a small place that seems to have stood still in time, there's no need to look any further. Here are 10 charming coastal villages that offer exactly that.

 

best coastal villages of europe _Sherpa Expeditions

 

Often a small market square where the local delicatessen shop is your go-to point for the best cheeses, the olives served are as fresh as you've ever had and shaded terraces serve wines directly from the vineyard… all this in close proximity to our friendly guest houses and family-run hotels. These types of villages along the coastlines of Europe form a great base for a few days of exploring on foot or by bike as they are a pleasant distance to rugged cliffs, quiet beaches, inland woods and pastures, groves, and mountain foothills.

 

Breathe in Europe through 10 of its most charming coastal villages.

 

Agios Georgios tis Pegeias – Cyprus

seaside places Cyprus-Agios Georgios tis Pegeias_Sherpa Expeditions (c)senza senso

©senza senso

 

Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is situated about 400m from the coast and has a small fishing harbour and beach area. The surrounding area is mainly agricultural with bananas and citrus fruit, a few tavernas, two churches and the ruins of an early Christian basilica.

 

It is locally claimed that the sunset from Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is the most beautiful on the island of Cyprus. Perhaps the best place to be to view this spectacle is above the cliff next to the St. Georges Restaurant, above the fishing harbour or on the coast itself. 

 

 

Flam – Norway

coastal village of Flam, Norway - Sherpa Expeditions

 

When you walk down to Flam, you’ll experience a beautiful trail that follows the lush valley route through woods and pastures in Norway. There’s always the sounds of rushing waters and when you eventually drop down to the Aurlandsfjord, a branch off Sognefjord, you’ll enter Flam.

 

The small coastal village of Flam has several restaurants serving local & traditional Norwegian meals (think of berries and salmon) and one of Norway’s most popular craft beer breweries can be found here. Out of town, enjoy a panoramic view of the Aurlandsfjord, take one of the most scenic bicycle rides in Norway, and hop on the famous Flam Railway.

 

 

Collioure – Vermillion Coast, France

collioure, Vermillion Coast, France - SHerpa Expeditions

 

Flower-decked Collioure is a very pretty little town set against the foothills of the Alberes Range near France’s Vermillion Coast. It has an idyllic setting with sun, sea and sky attracting lots of travellers each year. The seaside town consists of two little fishing ports separated by the mediaeval castle on a spur.

 

Did you know? This former fishing port was the birthplace of the Fauve movement of painters in the early 20th century, led by Matisse, and today still is a colourful place attracting painters and photographers alike.  

 

 

St Peter Port – Guernsey

coastal village of St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands - Sherpa Expeditions

 

St. Peter Port, Guernsey Island’s capital, is a bustling, friendly place with a row of attractive harbours and marinas set under a steeply terraced townscape, with some remarkably well-preserved buildings from the 1700s and 1800s. Visit Castle Cornet, the 800-year old fortress, the restored Victorian Gardens, the house where Victor Hugo stayed, or just relax along the promenade with its array of pubs and restaurants.

 

At certain high points in the coastal town you can see the other Channel Islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney - and the coast of Normandy in France. 

 

 

Riomaggiore – Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore seaside town on Cinque Terre - Sherpa Expeditions walking in Italy

 

Riomaggiore, perhaps the most interesting town of the five Cinque Terre villages, is occupied by little fishing and day trip boats. The Italian seaside town has mediaeval tower blocks that are crammed together overlooking an inlet of intense aquamarine colour. The buildings are all painted in bright pastel shades, complementing the natural Mediterranean light. 

 

 

Bowness-on-Solway – Scotland

Scotland's border town Solway Firth - Sherpa Expeditions

 

The views from Bowness-on-Solway on the border between Scotland and England are special for several reasons. This is the western end of the Hadrian’s Wall tour - behind are rolling hills and country lanes while in front is the beautiful expanse of the Solway Firth.  

 

The coastal village of Bowness-on-Solway has less than 100 houses and is the site of the Roman fort of Maia.

 

 

Ajaccio – Corsica, France

Near Ajaccio, Corsica_Sherpa Expeditions walking in France

 

Ajaccio, the capital town of Corsica, lies on the island’s rugged west coast. Although a busy cosmopolitan Mediterranean coastal town, it is a pleasant place to spend a few days. Enjoy the impressive harbour and old winding streets where you’ll have plenty of choice of little restaurants and boutique shops. 

 

Did you know that it was on this seaside town that Napoleon Bonaparte was born? You can visit his home, which is now a museum.

 

 

St Ives – Cornwall, England

charming town of St Ives in Cornwall, England - Sherpa Walking Holidays

 

In England, magical St Ives is a town of art, ice creams and fish ‘n’ chips. Protected from Atlantic storms, St Ives was once the most important fishing port in Cornwall, but like elsewhere on the surrounding coast, by the beginning of the 20th century, the fish stocks became depleted and the fishing fleet largely disappeared.

 

However as early as 1811 Turner visited to paint the seascapes and by the late 1880s there were several artists installed, and the town became famous for its vibrant artists’ colony. This perhaps reached its peak during the late 1940s and the 1950s. Today their work can be seen in the St Ives Tate Gallery, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Bernard Leach Gallery. We offer several holidays that include a stay in St Ives.

 

 

Porto – Portugal

In the town of Porto, Douro Valley - Sherpa Expeditions

 

In Porto, famous for its port and wine, there are lots of traditional tascas (taverns) that serve marine cuisine. Explore for example vibrant Ribeira district down by the quays. The city is located right between the Green (Costa Verde) and Silver (Costa de Prata) coasts of Portugal and forms part of the Douro Valley

 

To get the best idea of this Portuguese coastal city with a small-town feel, we suggest a walking itinerary taking in the famous sites such as the Cathedral and churches of 'Igreja de sto Ildefonso' and the 'Igreja Clerigos' with its monumental tower. Maybe walk along the upper and lower spans of the famous Luis I Road Bridge and admire the riverside districts of the old towns on both river banks. For those with extra time in Porto, why not take a trip across the river to the other town, 'Vila Nova de Gaia'. 

 

 

Santa Caterina – Sardinia, Italy

Santa Caterina on Sardinia, Sherpa walking holidays (c)Club Hotel

©Club Hotel

 

When you descend from the Montiferru Mountains on a walking holiday in Sardinia, you’ll walk into Santa Caterina di Pittinuri, located on the coast. Santa Caterina is a quiet bay surrounded by oak forests, olive groves and quiet pastures. This is a small coastal village, with just one small shop and a couple of bars. There’s also a nice 4-star hotel located right on the coast on a cliff at the edge of the beach with an excellent restaurant overlooking the sea. What more do you need besides a good glass of local wine, fresh produce from the island and the charming village life passing by?

 

Sherpa Shows: Sandy Beaches & More of Guernsey

On day 4 of our Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way, you’ll undertake a relatively flat and long walk. The route follows the bays of the west coast of the island and allows you to complete a full walk around Guernsey before you arrive back in St Peter Port.

 

 

Visit Guernsey created this fantastic video of the stretch between Grandes Rocques and Port Soif, passing sandy beaches and historical fortifications. Watch the video to get an idea what a walking holiday in Guernsey may be like.

 

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of travel experts or find more on our 7-day Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way walking trip. 

Lace Up Your Boots: New in Walking Holidays

Scotland’s take on the Coast to Coast and the French flair of the Channel Islands

New UK walking holidays_Sherpa Expeditions


New in our walking holidays offer are the John Muir Way in Scotland and part of the Channel Island Way in Guernsey.


If you are planning a trip to Scotland this summer and wasn’t sure yet what part to cover, consider the new John Muir Way that links the east and west coasts of the country. As such, it is also affectionately known as the Scottish Coast to Coast. Visit historical features including the Antonine Wall and Roman Forts, follow in the footsteps of a Scottish legend and walk past lochs and bens of the Scottish Lowlands.  


Much further south, close to the French coast of Normandy, is the island of Guernsey. You already have the possibility to go on a three-centre cycling trip in the Channel Islands, but the offer is now complemented by a week-long walking option on the islands of Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney. The islands brim with character and are a walker’s paradise.

 

John Muir Way

new UK walking holidays_John Muir Way_Sherpa Expeditions


on the John Muir Way_Sherpa UK walking Holidays


John Muir was born in 1838 in Dunbar, on the southeast coast of Scotland, and as a child developed a deep love of the natural world around his home. Best known for encouraging the establishment of the Yosemite National Park, Scotland has been rather slow to recognise its famous son – it was not until 2014 that he was honoured with a trail in his native land. The John Muir Way is a path that symbolically links Dunbar with Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and the seaside town of Helensburgh in the west, forming a Scottish coast-to-coast route.

The John Muir Way 12-day self guided walking holiday launches in April >> View trip

 

The Channel Island Way

walking in Guernsey _ Sherpa Expeditions


Sunset in Guernsey - Sherpa Expeditions walking holidays


This week-long walking tour around the islands of Guernsey is the longer half of the Channel Island Way. Originally part of the Duchy of Normandy but bequeathed to the English Crown by William the Conqueror, today they are independent in many ways yet maintaining a special relationship with the UK. Expect long sandy beaches and beautiful undulating cliff paths leading to tiny coves with sparkling rock pools, with forts of various sizes, some dating back to the 1600s while others, more recent, were created by the Nazis during their occupation of the islands in World War II.

Guernsey Islands – The Channel Island Way 7-day self guided walking holiday launches in April >> View trip

 

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Contact our team of travel experts for more information on these new UK walking holidays and for booking details.