The beautiful thing about the Bailiwick of Guernsey is that there are several islands to enjoy, and you can easily pick one-a-day and have an island hopping holiday whilst staying at the Bella Luce.
Herm is one of our sister islands to the east, just a twenty minute ferry journey from St Peter Port. At a mile-and-a-half long and less than half a mile wide it is the perfect destination for a day trip and visitors can easily walk a circuit around Herm, which has a lovely variety of landscapes for such a small island. There are no cars or bicycles on Herm (just a few tractors and quad-bikes used by farmers or for transporting luggage to the hotel or holiday cottages), and the result is that Herm has the sort of timeless atmosphere that makes it feel as though it has been lifted straight from the pages an Enid Blyton story.
The ferry docks and departs at either the main harbour (high tide) next to the Whitehouse Hotel and Mermaid Tavern, or at Rosaire Steps (low tide) just eight minutes walk south; From either landing point you can either turn right and walk a counter-clockwise circuit of the island tackling the steeper south coast cliffs first, or walk clockwise and leave those until later in the day.
If you choose to walk a clockwise circuit, you’ll set off from the island’s hub around the harbour and walk north past Fisherman’s Beach along a flat gravel path. In a short time you will arrive on The Common; a large expanse of wildflower covered grassland (over 500 species of wildflower have been recorded here) criss-crossed with paths where several Neolithic settlements have been found. From here you can keep the sea on your left and walk around the top of the island and down the length of Shell Beach (to do a full circuit of Herm), or cut diagonally across The Common to the kiosk at the southern end of Shell Beach.
Pause here for an ice cream or a bite to eat, and we’d heartily suggest renting a deckchair for £2 and sinking your toes into the beautiful sand for an hour or two before continuing on.
Heading south from Shell Beach down the east coast of Herm the coastline changes from low-lying grassland and sand dunes to cliffs punctuated by beaches and rocky coves. Belvoir Bay, the next beach to the south, also has a lovely kiosk and is a great place to pause if you haven’t already at Shell Beach, particularly as it’s protected from the wind and is a lovely spot for a swim.
The cliff path that follows the coast south is relatively easy going for the most part, with just a few short, steep sections to negotiate. Along the east and south coasts you can keep an eye out for puffins from the cliff tops, so it is worth bringing a pair of binoculars with you, and you can also enjoy views of Sark, Jersey , and maybe even the coast of France on a clear day. As the coast path rounds the southern tip of Herm, giving you a great view of the small neighbouring island of Jethou and across back to Guernsey, there are some steps to descend that bring you back to Rosaire Steps and the path back to the harbour, completing your circuit of this idyllic island.
The centre of Herm, which you will have missed if walking around the coast, is where you will find the small settlement of Manor Village (where many of the island’s holiday cottages are located) and St Tugual’s Chapel, which dates from the 11th century. The appropriately named Spine Lane runs the length of the centre of the island, and various paths and lanes cross the island so it is possible to truncate a circular walk and taking a faster route back to the harbour if needs be.
Ferries to and from Herm are operated by Travel Trident, who run an hourly service during the summer months with the first sailing to Herm at 8.30am and the last return ferry leaving Herm at 5.35pm. Ferries run 364 days of the year, with a return adult ticket costing £13 and a child ticket costing £6.50. Please ask a member of our reception team if you’d like any help organising a day trip to Herm from the Bella Luce.