Herm day trip provides a walking paradise
Just a 20-minute boat ride from Guernsey, a Herm day trip is a great choice for anyone keen to up their walking fitness while they’re away.
As one of the Channel Islands, Herm sits north-west of France, south of England. And it was where I chose to spend a sunny Sunday in mid-May.
The 2002 census gave the population of Herm as just 60. My guidebook of 2015 says 66. So in that sense I must’ve encountered nearly 50% of the entire local people during my Herm day trip.
Travel Trident are the boat providers, sailing daily from St Peter Port. Day trippers can either head for the open-air deck or hunker down below. A tip would be to batten down the hatches for the return journey. When the sun goes down and you’re on the water, things can get very cold, very quickly!
Pulling away from Guernsey’s busy hub, it felt good to make a swift getaway.
Herm is unique, laidback and peaceful. There’s no cars for a start. The only transport I encountered aside from boats, were a tractor and a few trailers.
It is blessed with stunning natural landscapes. A short walk from the boat’s mooring point (which can be the Rosaire Steps or Herm Harbour depending on tides) is Shell Beach. This is on the east side of Herm Island.
A little walk on from here, you’ll come to Belvoir Bay. Both spots have a refreshment kiosk and small seating areas where you can drift away in your thoughts as you look out across the English Channel with the sun on your back.
If you have the time, there’s four other beaches dotted across Herm Island. You can make a beeline for Fisherman’s Beach, Hotel Beach, Bears’ Beach or Oyster Point. A beach stop-off proves an ideal break in between healthy fresh air and plenty of walking.
During my Herm day trip I wasn’t able to reach Puffin Bay. But for those that can make it, it’s where those cute-faced seabirds do their thing. Puffin Patrol run kayaks to it the bay if you fancy bobbing along on the water.
The only puffins I saw were the furry kind in the souvenir shop. It’s sorely tempting to just buy one and get it over with. I could’ve done that two minutes in straight off the boat, but stayed cool and snaffled one prior to hopping back over to Guernsey.
The whole island is a boon for walkers to explore. Even a general level of fitness will allow you to cover plenty of ground in no time.
Travellers have a choice of return trips. If you head over for lunch in one of the nearby pubs such as the Mermaid Tavern, it’s probably best to get the latest boat back at 5.35pm. Then you’ll see some of the island and not just the inside of the pub.
There are two other sister islands to Guernsey. Sark and Alderney can also be reached via boat. A 50-minute trip, Sark will set you back a little over £29 return with Sark Shipping Company, again sailing out of St Peter Port.
But for a nearer and cheaper (£13.50) taste of tranquil paradise, Herm is a trip just waiting to be taken.