As one of the lesser known of the Channel Islands, remote Alderney (the “true” English Channel Island) is a tranquil, relaxed and a popular alternative to the more bustling Jersey or Guernsey. Nature enthusiasts, cyclists and marine lovers are happiest here spotting puffins and enjoying the coast. The area is also noted for having the Channel Islands’ only railroad.
The island sits off the coast of Normandy and is strewn with walking trails and cute beaches. Visitors can enjoy wildlife spotting and water sports most of the year thanks to consistently mild weather. The main town of St Anne is small and consists of cobblestone streets and is within easy walking distance of the airport, port and beaches. Along with good food and shopping, Alderney also contains a few sights, including an old church, mill and museum.
Nearby is Braye Harbor, which presides over the attractive Braye Bay and its golden sands. Swimming and water sports can be enjoyed or you can take a train out to the northeast coast where Alderney Lighthouse, one of the main landmarks is located.
With just 2,500 residents, the locals are super-friendly and love visitors. There are comfortable hotels and B&Bs right along the coast and in town. Pubs provide the bulk of the nightly entertainment and eats, which is predominantly British and of the seafood variety. Alderney is a value for your money as it is duty-free and you can get around mainly on foot.
Boat trips around the island are a popular alternative for sightseers and birdwatchers, with Burhou Island being a prime station to spot unique feathered friends (from August). Trips out to Longis Nature Reserve in the northeast are also recommended for picturesque landscapes, while the south coast is rugged and good for cliff walks.
Getting to Alderney can be done by plane from Southampton or Guernsey or from Guernsey by ferry. Public transportation is available with buses running during summer and taxis at all times, although the entire Island can easily be traversed on foot. Bicycle rental is another popular and safe option that allows for quick exploration.
- Explore the cobblestone lanes of St Anne and go shopping along High Street
- Spend a lazy day at Braye Bay, just a few minutes’ walk from St Anne
- Go bird watching in the summer at Longis Nature Reserve or Burhou Island
- Enjoy a peaceful nature walks with the Alderney Wildlife Trust
- Celebrate Alderney Week with the locals in August
- Take a picturesque ride on the Alderney Railway in summer
- Surf or windsurf at Saye Beach
- Visit Fort Albert and Fort Clonque