From 15 – 30 September 2018, the Guernsey Autumn Walking Festival will offer visitors a choice of 50 morning, afternoon and evening guided walks to explore the islands of Guernsey, Herm and Sark, and learn from local experts about their history and attractions.
Organised by the Bailiwick of Guernsey Guild of Accredited Guides, the walks range from rambles through the island’s interior scenic landscape to exploring the rugged coastal paths. Prices start from £7 per person per walk and are led by Guernsey’s gold and silver accredited guides, each extremely knowledgeable in their area and with a different set of expertise.
The walks vary in difficulty and length (ranging from one to five hours including an all-day Sark option) and are suitable for all ages and abilities, including a short coastal walk, a challenging cliff top ramble or tours of the ancient town of St Peter Port. For more information, see www.visitguernsey.com/event/autumn-walking-festival
An Introduction to Herm
15 September, 11am – 1pm
Herm, just a 20-minute ferry ride from Guernsey’s St Peter Port, is a tiny car-free island with beautiful sandy beaches, spectacular coastal scenery and a population of around 60 people, plus a dozen or so Guernsey cows. Herm-resident, Lesley Bailey, leads a two-hour introduction to Herm, sharing personal insight into living on a beautiful yet remote island. The tour will also look at Herm’s colourful history.
Walking in Renoir’s Footsteps
16 September, 2 – 4pm
French impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir spent over a month in Guernsey in summer 1883, during which time he was so captivated by the beautifully tranquil Moulin Huet Bay on the south coast that he painted no fewer than 15 pictures. The ‘Walking in Renoir’s Footsteps’ walk will circuit the Moulin Huet valley, taking in the scenery, striking rock formations, caves and waterfalls and looking at how Renoir interpreted the views in some of his finest works. There are views of the other islands of Sark, Herm and Jersey on a bright day and the tour will also include local folklore and a visit to the cottage also painted by Renoir.
Evening Secrets of the Mirus Gun Battery
16 September, 5 – 6.30pm
Military history enthusiast Tim Osborne makes the most of the early evening light with a tour of one of Guernsey’s four vast German underground batteries. The Mirus Gun Battery on the west coast of the island is the best preserved and is an illustration of the effort that went into Hitler’s directive in 1941 to make Guernsey and impregnable fortress. Tim’s tour will be brought to life with photographs of its construction and its use.
Secrets of Saumarez Park – Discover the Walled Garden
22 September, 2 – 4pm
Saumarez Park is the largest public park in Guernsey with gardens that have an abundance of camellias and magnolias, a nature trail, large open lawns and a duck pond. This guided tour will start with an introduction to the park’s connection with the de Saumarez family, including finding out about the fourth Baron and a walk to the site of the Japanese Temple. From there, the walk will head to the recently restored Victorian Walled Garden to learn about the volunteer-led restoration project.
Following in Juliet Ashton’s Guernsey footsteps
26 September, 9.45am – 12.45pm
In the wake of the success of the cinema release of ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ – the film adaption of the novel of the same name – the 2018 festival would not be complete without a walk linked to the story. The tour will look at the places on the island that inspired the novel and that were discovered by its protagonist Juliet Ashton, played by Lily James in the film.
Pre-booking is advised to guarantee a place. For more information on accredited guides and individual walks please visit www.guernseyguidedtours.com. Guided tours are available all year around, either scheduled or on request. Please see the website and individual Guides’ profiles for further details.
From 1 April to 31 October, Guernsey Accredited Guides also operate daily guided walks of St. Peter Port leaving from the Guernsey Information Centre at 10:30, and also at 14:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The price is £8 and there’s no need to book. The daily walks discover the fascinating history of the medieval town. Guided coastal walks also take place every Saturday from 31 March – 6 October at 14:30 at £8 per person.
Channel Islands Direct offers five nights in Guernsey during the Autumn Walking Festival from £485pp including B&B at four-star St Pierre Park Hotel, dinner on the first night and return flights from Gatwick. The offer is valid for travel until September 30th and is based on two adults sharing. For more information and to book visit www.channelislandsdirect.co.uk/the_islands/guernsey or call 0800 0294 598.
Getting to Guernsey:
Return flights from London Gatwick to Guernsey with Aurigny in September 2018 are available from £62, hand baggage only, and flight time is one hour.
Return car ferries from Poole or Portsmouth to Guernsey with Condor in September are from £250, carrying two passengers (www.condorferries.com).
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