Guernsey: Beaches, Bikes and Gache

After a very delightful time at the Sark Folk Festival it was time to explore Guernsey. Somewhat larger but no less charming Guernsey has all the ingredients for a great holiday. As you may be able to tell from my blog title I love to be outdoors and active and that certainly doesn’t stop when I’m on holiday. If anything holidays are the ideal opportunity to throw myself headfirst into the outdoor lifestyle, which is almost a necessity given my commitment to trying all the local delicacies (more on those later).

Our home for the week was La Bailloterie campsite. Located in the flatlands in the north of the island it made an ideal base for us to potter around the island by bike. It had lovely secluded wooded pitches and most importantly unlimited hot water in its clean and modern showers. Coming in at £9 pppn it suited us down to a T.

Bike hire was courtesy of Guernsey Cycle Hire who will drop off and pick up bikes anywhere on the island. Really handy if you haven’t got a car. Distances on Guernsey are very manageable on two wheels but it’s not quite walkable if you want to see as much as possible. Cycling around the island was a real pleasure. Cars were courteous and patient and the country lanes away from the main coast road were a pure delight to cycle down.

Our first activity after a bus ride on possibly Britains best value bus (£1 for a tour of the whole island) was a cliff walk down to Petit Bot bay where we met our guide from Outdoor Guernsey for a spot of coasteering. The cliff top walk from Saints Bay to Petit Bot Bay was spectacular.


I had never coasteered before and soon found myself in a very unflattering outfit ready to get up close and personal with the coastline. I really enjoyed the variety that coasteering bought; scrambling, swimming and jumping. It was lovely to see the cliffs we had just walked along in detail and interact with them in an unexpected way. The clarity of the water and the beauty of the rockpools was matched by the adrenaline rush of jumping from some pretty high rocks down into deep tidal channels.


Fresh from our coasteering success our bikes arrived and we headed back on the cycle north. The sun was shining and it would have been rude not to stop for some sundowners and dinner at Vazon and then Cobo Bay.We really enjoyed the view and cool ciders at Vistas Beach Cafe and then headed on to The Rockmount at Cobo Bay for dinner.

The next day saw us take on an early morning swim at Pembroke Bay, the closest bay to our campsite it was a lovely long sandy bay, moderately sheltered and with an excellent sandy gently sloping bottom. Ideal for a a good bay swim. The temperature, I would have to argue, was less than ideal and I probably spent more time running along the beach to warm up again than I did swimming. The benefit of an early morning swim is surely the justification of a second breakfast which was gratefully provided by The Beach House, a delightful cappuccino and a fried egg bap later and we were on our way.


Sadly this was a day of departures, our party of 5 soon became 2 but not before we’d had a chance to check out yet another bay and beach cafe. This time our excess eating was justified by the large hill we had cycled up to get from St Peter Port to Fermain Bay. The view across the perfect horseshoe shaped bay towards Sark was complimented perfectly by the quality of the food on offer from Fermain Beach Cafe.

Silly me almost forgot the gache… Well as you may have gathered we did quite a lot of eating and one of the most delightful local delicacies we found was a thick slab of brioche type loaf studded with gorgeous fruit and slathered in local butter aka gache. A true delight and a treat not to be missed! Sadly no photo as it was consumed far too quickly.

A sign about gache is the best I could do…

Despite our dwindling numbers the adventure continued…

If you enjoyed this post you might also want to click through to my thoughts on Sark and its folk festival and our final few days in Guernsey – exploring Herm, Lihou and German lookout towers



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