Peak autumn arrives in Guernsey later than on the British mainland thanks to our island’s southerly location and maritime climate. At this time of year trees across the island are turning and putting on a display of autumnal colours, nowhere more so than in Saumarez Park and the nearby Saumarez Nature Trail with their variety of tree species.
This circular walk starts and finishes on the West Coast at Cobo, taking in the Saumarez Nature Trail and Saumarez Park inland, and Fort Hommet Nature Reserve on the coast. It’s a lovely walk at any time of year, but particularly so in autumn.
Park in any of the car parks on the seafront at Cobo, or alight from the bus at Cobo village centre. You can reach Cobo by bus by catching the number 91 from St Martins village, just a short walk from the Bella Luce. The bus journey take a little over 45 minutes, and you can return from Cobo the way you came on the 92 or continue around the island on the 91.
On the northern edge of the village, accessed through the car park on the inland side of the coast road, is a footpath with playing fields on the left hand side. Take this path, and just after passing the tennis courts take the right turn at a fork in the path and follow it through the woods. This footpath soon meets Route de Carteret. There is a footbridge here that was built by the de Saumarez family over a hundred years ago to allow them to walk to the coast without leaving their land, however it is closed to the public so you must look left and right and cross the road on foot. The footpath is well marked and continues through a wooded cutting before rising to the right. When the path is about to meet Ruette de la Tour it doubles back on itself, passing close to Ozanne Tower before splitting. Turn right here and follow the path as it runs parallel to Ruette de la Tour.
When the path meets Ruette Saumarz, cross the road into the car park, walk diagonally across it and enter Saumarez Park. You can follow various paths around the park depending on how long you want to spend here, but the route that we suggest is to follow the main pedestrian thoroughfare past the large grassy area (where Lé Viaër Marchi is held every July) and turn right to reach the National Trust of Guernsey’s Folk and Costume Museum.
Cross the road and proceed down Ruette de la Generotte, passing the end of Ruette des Fries, and shortly after the road bends to the left there is a footpath on the right side of the road. Follow this path until it reaches a lane called La Percée on a bend. Carry straight on along La Percée to the end, where it reaches Rue de la Lande. Cross the road and pick up the footpath on the other side, zig-zagging around the edge of a field before meeting Route du Tertre. Turn right and follow Route du Tertre, which turns into Rue des Goddards, all the way until it meets the coast at Vazon Bay.
Cross the road and turn right (north) and then take the path (or later road) left towards Fort Hommet on the headland. Follow the path around the headland, taking in Fort Hommet and Fort Hommet Nature Reserve, before rejoining the coast road and following it around to the next bay, which is Cobo. Here you can pause at the tearoom for refreshments, or if it is late in the afternoon then why not order fish and chips and enjoy a famous west coast sunset? Collect your car, or catch the next bus (the number 92 back the way you came, or back on the 91 to continue you circumnavigation of the island), and head back to find your seat beside the fire in the bar at the Bella Luce.