Best of Alderney
Here are our top ten suggestions of things to do whilst visiting the island…
1. Alderney Week
If you have a young family or are simply in a fun mood and looking for a silly and brilliant time then make sure to head to Alderney for Alderney Week, the island’s biggest annual carnival suitable for every age! 8 days of non-stop entertainment, events and competitions, concluding with a dramatic torchlight procession and quarry party… not to be missed!
For more information visit Alderney Week www.alderneyweek.net
2. Beautiful Beaches
Every Alderney lover will have a preference but ours is… Saye (pronounced Soy) a stunning white sand beach on the doorstep of the campsite and popular with families. Arch is small and secluded with similar white, soft sand - good for children and beach barbecues. Corblets is also a family favourite especially for children and is perfect for keen swimmers, even surfers weather permitting! If it is a particularly windy day then Longis Bay is a sensible option facing south and protected from winds by an impressive wall built by the Germans during WWII. Braye Bay is the closest to town, sheltered by the harbour’s breakwater and the best sandcastle beach.
3. The Sea
For accomplished sailors and people interested in sailing the Alderney Sailing Club caters for dinghy sailing to cruisers with an active junior section. Angling here is some of the finest in the British Isles, so either cast a line off the island shores and harbour wall, or charter out a fishing boat to take you to the best spots. Our water is crystal clear and perfect for snorkelling, swimming, windsurfing, and body boarding.
The best way to discover Alderney is on foot and the island offers over 50 miles of walks and paths across commons, beaches, cliffs and around St Anne town. Guided walks are available ranging from history, heritage and bird watching to nocturnal bat walks, which are organised by the Alderney Wildlife Trust in cooperation with the Alderney Society.
Whilst out walking or generally travelling around Alderney you cannot resist exploring the impressive Victorian and German fortifications dotted around the island. There is a spectacular 360’ view of the island from the top of Fort Albert and on a sunny day you are able to see the other Channel Islands from The Guns.
5. Gannet Rock
Standing at the top of The Guns you will also be able to see the famous Gannet Rock with hundreds of birds circling but far enough away not to smell them! A spectacle not to be missed.
If walking is not a favourite or priority this holiday then you can hire bikes, take a taxi or even travel on the Channel Islands’ only running train (an old London carriage) starting at the harbour and whizzing out to the lighthouse.
After a fun packed day doing all of the above then there is nothing better than unwinding with a fish and chip take away, from the outstanding Braye Chippy, and sitting by Fort Torgis or on the harbour wall to watch the sun set over the water and adjacent island, Burhou.
8. Star gazing
Later on as you take a slow walk home you will be amazed at the night sky with the most incredible stars we have seen anywhere in the world (limited light pollution!). Take a rug and cosy up to watch nature’s light show. The Milky Way and shooting stars are visible almost every night. Heaven!
Burhou is home to a beloved Puffin colony and occasional seals. It is only a short boat ride from Alderney and hosts a single hut with bunk beds, gas cooked and BBQ facilities for a truly ‘Famous Five’ experience. You can hire the island for the night for a mere £10, but do book in advance. Be warned though, it is in some of the most powerful waters and you will need someone experienced to get you there. Please note that Burhou is closed from the 15th March - 1st August for puffin breeding season.
10. Day trips to other islands and France
Of course last but not least are the other Channel Islands – Guernsey, Jersey, Sark and Herm - and also France only 9 miles away. With some wind behind you set off for a great day sail or alternatively take the Lady Maris boat or fly on the little yellow Trislander planes for yet another unique experience!