Solo Travel in the Channel Islands

Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG) – Active GatG, Birdwatching GatG, Nature GatG, 

Below is our guide to how to travel solo in the Channel Islands including places to visit on Guernsey, things to do in Jersey UK, Sark, Alderney and Herm.

All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. If you're planning a trip to Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark or Herm, then this guide will help. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article to decide which one to explore.

N.b. By booking through this page for your Channel Islands trip you are helping to improve the lives of vulnerable girls about the globe. Thanks for helping.

Contents

solo travel in the Channel Islands

Solo Travel in The Channel Islands

The Channel Islands are a group of British Isles situated off the coast of Britain and near France. This archipelago of Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark and Herm, forms the southernmost point of the British Isles, and being surrounded by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream means that they are milder than the mainland. Each island offers something unique.

Safe, friendly and easy to get around. The islands have a low crime rate and people even leave their front doors unlocked on some of the islands. With a welcoming community and plenty of nature, the Channel Islands are perfect for the active and nature solo looking to get away from it all for a while.

Jersey

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. Situated off the French coast of Normandy, Jersey has a strong Noman-French culture with many of the street names and places written in French. At an area of only 9 miles wide by 5 miles long, it has a varied geography with cliffs in the north, offshore reefs in the East, bays in the south and windswept sand dunes in the west.

The island is bursting with heritage and is home to Neolithic monuments built over 200,000 years ago. There are German bunkers and French fortresses all around the island as well as many museums and heritage sites. It’s an island of flowers, gardens and stunning parks with picturesque coastal paths.

The island has twelve parishes with Saint Helier the capital. St Helier is a bustling capital? With sandy beaches, a promenade and beach cafes, it’s a city for enjoying a spot of leisurely lunch or trying your hand at jet skiing along its coastline.

Causeway to Elizabeth Castle in Jersey

Jersey has more than one castle to explore, and one of the things to do in St Helier includes watching a live demonstration at the 300-year-old Elizabeth Castle, a castle surrounded by sea that you can reach during low tide. Mont Orgueil dates back more than 800 years and rewards you with views of the island and the coastline from the top. You’ll find this medieval castle above the fishing village of Gorey, where you can watch live music along the pier and indulge in a fairground ride or two.

Delve into more of the island’s history at the Jersey Museum where you can explore a merchant’s home and uncover stories from the war times, or head to Liberation Square to see the symbol of freedom named in 1995 to commemorate 50 years since the end of the Occupation.

One of the iconic buildings here is the Jersey Opera House that was built in the late 19th century. The Central Market was also opened around this time and you can see its Grade 1-listed architecture and central fountain centrepiece as you explore the fruit and flower stalls. For racing car fans, you can relive the racing days of former Formula One driver, Nigel Mansell at the Mansell Collection. Or just stroll around Howard Davis Park and take in some nature.

Castle Orgueil

Just ten minutes drive from the capital is one of the world’s oldest buildings. La Hougue Bie Museum is the tenth oldest building in the world. Located in La Route de la Hougue Bie within beautiful surroundings you can be transported 6000 years back in time to Jersey’s Neolithic times and explore its ancient treasures.

Jersey was occupied by the German forces between 1940 and 1945 and you can learn what life was like during this time across the island. See the Jersey War Tunnels, an extensive network of 1,000 metres of tunnels and the Martello towers that were built to keep the French at bay. Take a self-guided walk or follow the Resistance Trail to discover more about the civilian protest and defiance during the war in Occupied Jersey.

For the active GatG, Jersey has so much nature to hike in. From rugged cliff paths to country lanes and valleys, it’s easy to guide yourself around the island on foot. Or tackle the island’s cycle routes and be rewarded with scenic coastal routes, and countryside lanes past fields and farms.

Being an island, you can expect plenty of beaches with the best beaches being in the south of the island. Follow the crescent of St Aubin’s Bay from St Helier to St Aubin and stop in the fishing village to bathe yourself in the Victorian bathing pool. You may need to climb a few steps down to some of the bays so if you’re looking for somewhere easily accessible, St Brelade’s Bay is one of the most popular for safe swimming and any kind of water sport you can think of from stand-u paddleboarding to jumping aboard an inflatable banana. This picturesque bay has the oldest chapel on the island with breathtaking views or you can breathe in the flowers at the nearby Jersey Lavender Farm.

On the North coast, the beaches are wilder and some are sheltered by tall cliffs, such as Plémont, on the northwest of the island. Grève de Lecq is a good choice for sunbathing on golden sand with beachside cafes and a pub to dine at afterwards.

For the wildlife GatG, you can spot Atlantic Grey Seals and dolphins within the waters surrounding Les Ecrehous, a group of islands and rocks off the coast.

There is plenty of evening entertainment too. Things to do in Jersey at night include dining at one of the island’s 200 restaurants, strolling along a marina or enjoying a drink at one of the trendy bars or traditional-style pubs.

Guernsey

Guernsey is the second-largest island of the Channel Islands. It’s an island with a strong community and traditional values, that sits in the 21st century alongside centuries-old traditions.

Guernsey’s rich and varied history dates back to 8000 BC. Rewind the UK decades ago and that’s how Guernsey is today. There are breathtaking cliff paths, tiny hamlets, and plenty of beaches, and it’s the place to dine on fresh seafood in a restaurant whilst overlooking the bay where it was caught.

The island is divided into 10 parishes: Castel, Forest, St Andrew, St Martin, St Peter Port, St Pierre du Bois, St Sampson, St Saviour, Torteval and Vale. Torteval is the most rural parish.

St Peter Port is the capital and is the island’s attractive harbour town. It’s here that you’ll find boutiques and bistros along the cobbled streets and barrier stones that mark the limits of the old Medieval town. Once 19th-century storehouses, the historic buildings in the Old Quarter are now shops, antique dealers, galleries, bars and attractive restaurants.

A number of restaurants have received national recognition for the quality of their gourmet food. Be sure to try the Guernsey Gache (a delicious fruit loaf), the Guernsey-brewed Rocquette Cider and of course, a Guernsey cream tea.

When you’re visiting Guernsey, one of the Guernsey attractions is Castle Cornet that guarded the harbour for 800 years. Built in the 13th century, this large island castle sits at the mouth of the harbour and looks out to the neighbouring islands of Herm and Sark. Victoria Tower is another attraction. This red granite monument in St Peter Port offers great views of St Peter Port.

If you’re lucky whilst you are here you may catch one of the classical recitals in the Town Church and open-air performances at Candie Gardens and Market Square.

Fermain Bay

South Coast

Head to the south coast for clifftop paths, tiny coves and sandy beaches. Where narrow lanes wind their way through peaceful hamlets of traditional cottages and steep granite cliffs are covered in wildflowers. Le Gouffre offers spectacular views or you can visit the BlueBell Wood near Clarence Battery at the start of the south coast cliff paths.

Walk downhill to Fermain Bay, a pebbly bay that doesn’t get too busy, or spend time at Petit Bot, a beautiful cove set between two wooded valleys. Another attraction on the south coast is the fully-restored WW2 naval observation Pleinmont Tower that was built and used by German forces between 1942 to 1945.

Sunset at Cobo Bay

West Coast

If it’s adrenalin sports that you’re after, Vazon on the west coast is a magnet for surfers, windsurfers, kitesurfers and kayakers. The beaches are longer and wider here and have fine sand and grassy dunes and the wind conditions make it perfect for water sports. Cobo Bay is a popular beach with a good English pub. The southernmost beach is Portelet, a quiet, intimate cove with a small working harbour.

Nearby at Rocquaine Bay is Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum, a Martello tower built for defence that offers views of Rocquaine Bay and the lighthouse. Be sure to see Lihou Island when you’re here. This rocky outlet separated from Guernsey at high tide has an abundance of bird and marine life and ruins of a Benedictine monk priory. Le Trepied Megalithic Burial chamber is another must-see. Once used in the 17th century for witch trials, it offers fantastic views over Perelle Bay.

North Coast

As you explore the north coast, the sweeping west coast beaches become smaller, more intimate bays and inlets. This is a historical heartland with artefacts from bygone eras. St Sampson’s is said to have the island’s oldest Parish church that dates all the way back to the 6th century.

Visit the 15th century Vale Castle that overlooks this end of the island or the picturesque Bordeaux Harbour (used for anchorage since the middle ages) with uninterrupted views towards the islands of Herm and Sark. Le Grand Harve is a wide bay that was once separated from the rest of Guernsey. Here you can swim at Rousse beach, or see the small harbour of Les Amarreurs.

See Vale Church, a parish church with traces of monastic work. It is said that the church was built on a pagan site once used for worship for more than 1000 years. Vale Church is visible across the bay at le Grand Havre. Another historical site here is Dehus Dolmen, a chambered Neolithic passage and tomb, edged by a circle of stones; the island’s most impressive passage grave.

Rural Interior

Turn inland from one of Guernsey’s coastal routes and discover a completely different side of the island with tiny roads, cottages and rural idyllic granite farmhouses. Priority is given to walkers, cyclists and those horse riding within this patchwork landscape past Guernsey cows.

Things to see here include the German Occupation Museum, Saumarez Park for exotic plants and a folk and costume museum, and the Little Chapel one of the island’s most loved landmarks due to its tiny size.

Guernsey

Herm

Just a short crossing from Guernsey is the traffic-free paradise of Herm. This small island has limited shops, restaurants and pubs but what it does have is pristine beaches and scenic coastal paths that wrap around the island. There are no cars here and not much to do here except walk the cliffs (the whole island will take 2 hours to walk around), explore the Herm Island coastal gardens, lay on the sandy beaches, or stand up paddleboard on the clear waters.

If you visit between April to July one of the things to do in Herm is join a kayak Puffin patrol to spot puffins. Then enjoy freshly cooked food at the Ship Brasserie or the Conservatory Restaurant for dinner. You can stay on the island at a campsite, self-catering cottage or hotel. With a distance of only 3 miles from Guernsey, it’s definitely worth a day trip. 

Channel Islands

Alderney landscape

Alderney

The closest of the Channel Islands to France is Alderney. Wild with a rugged charm, Alderney has a unique character and is free from mainstream tourism and referred to as the Island’s ’hidden gem.’ It is known for its rich and varied wildlife and boasts over 50 miles of walks around cliffs and coves and golden bays.

Amongst its Victorian fortresses, WWII batteries and a gold course, the island has the only working railway in the Channel Islands where you can do the touristy thing and ride in a London Underground carriage (the old train wagons were replaced) from Braye Road Station to the lighthouse. There’s also an ancient burial site that dates back to the Neolithic times.

If you love birdwatching, this is one of the things to do in Alderney as the island is one of the best places in the British Isles to do it with buzzards and kestrels amongst the birdlife. If it’s beaches that you’re after, it is said that the sandy and uncrowded beaches of Braye beach and Longis beach are some of the finest in the Channel Islands.

St Anne is the capital, and is a community of colour-washed houses, cobbled streets, pubs, restaurants and shops and a church known as ‘the cathedral of the Channel Islands.’ If you’re looking for an island with a strong sense of community spirit and friendly locals, Alderney is your Channel Island.

The Channel Islands

Sark

Sark

If you’re looking for somewhere even less touristy, taking the 8-mile boat ride from Guernsey to Sark is genuinely like taking a step back in time. With a population of only 500 people, Sark is an island where cars are forbidden and only horse-drawn carriages and cyclists roam its unspoilt landscape.

Only three miles in length and 1.5 miles wide, the island is surrounded by high cliffs and is made up of Great Sark and Little Sark, connected by a pathway called La Coupee. There’s no airport here so the only way to reach Sark is by boat.

It’s the place for stargazers due to its absence of light pollution, and you can learn about the constellations at the Sark Observatory in the middle of the island. Discover the history of Sark at the Sark museum where you can gain an understanding of the German occupation on the island and the impact it had on the islanders.

One of the things to do in Sark is to hire a bike and explore the island on two wheels, stopping at La Seigneurie in the north of the island to get lost in the garden maze before entering the chapel and discovering the history of Sark’s Seigneurs.

Spot the wildlife at the popular sandy beach at Dixcart Bay or take one of the Sark boat trips to see the coastline instead. Sark also has a natural rock pool which you need to plan to visit at low tide to enter via steep cliff paths but it’s worth it for the views of the south coast.

Try one of the real ales at the Isle of Sark Brewing Co, or if you’re a chocolate lover (and who isn’t!) you can learn how to make your very own chocolate bar at a chocolate workshop at Caragh. It really does feel as though you are in a different world. Sark’s currency is the Guernsey Pound but the Euro is accepted in some places.

The Channel Islands

Guernsey coastline

Channel Islands Tours

Get Your Guide Tours – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day tours in worldwide destinations including the Channel Islands. Choose from a half-day coastal highlights tour of Guernsey, or a self-guided interactive city tour of Saint Helier in Jersey. It’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online.

* Check all tours, prices and availability: Get Your Guide Tours

Viator Tours – Viator offers day tours to the Channel Islands. Choose from a Guernsey city tour, an Ecrehous wildlife seafari on a RIB boat trip around Jersey spotting dolphins, seals and birdlife, a jet ski tour or a discovery walk in historic St Helier. 

* Check all tours, prices and availability: Viator Tours

Channel Islands Accommodation

Throughout the Channel Islands, you’ll find a variety of accommodation. From hotels to guest houses, B&Bs and Inns, you’ll also find self-catering cottages as well as boutique hotels and 5-star spa hotels.

Plus there’s Airbnb which offers rental accommodation on a short-term basis and rooms with a local. You can stay in a private room in a local's house or rent their whole property. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link

All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. For all other accommodation, click on the link below.

* To book, check prices or availability for all accommodation in the Channel Islands

Guernsey – The Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant

Located in St Saviour in Guernsey, this 4-star hotel and restaurant is a renovated 15th-century farmhouse. Elegantly decorated with a swimming pool and gardens, the hotel has a warm and cosy atmosphere. Rooms come with air conditioning, a mini bar and a bathrobe and have black out blinds to ensure that you have a good night’s sleep. The restaurant serves local produce and a good breakfast is included. Choose from a small boutique double or twin, a boutique or superior room or a junior suite.

Guernsey – Bella Luce Hotel

Situated in St. Martins, close to Guernsey Airport, the Bella Luce Hotel is a multi-award-winning 4-star hotel. This boutique hotel is a great place for a relaxing stay with small, cosy rooms and a spa onsite offering massages and body treatments. Enjoy a glass of wine at the Bella Bar, European cuisine at the Garden Restaurant, and the nearby coastline. A full English breakfast is included in the price. Choose from a standard double room, a premier double room, a garden luxury room or a loft suite.

Jersey – Merlin House

On the island of Jersey, this 4-star property offers spacious modern apartments in the capital of Saint Helier. Located a short walk from the waterfront and marina, the apartments have everything you need for your stay including a fully equipped kitchen with a washing machine, oven and fridge, and a living area. The staff are welcoming and friendly plus there’s a bus stop, shops and restaurants nearby too. Choose from a studio apartment or a one-bedroom apartment.

Jersey – Somerville Hotel 

Stay at the picturesque harbour of St. Aubin in this 4-star hotel that sits on a hillside overlooking the harbour. Not only are there fantastic views but there’s also an outdoor swimming pool and terrace. It is within walking distance to St. Aubin’s Bay and Belcroute where you can relax at the cove and close enough to pubs and restaurants. But with friendly staff and the hotel chefs cooking local produce at the hotel’s restaurants you may not want to leave. Choose from a twin or double inland room, a superior double with a sea or garden view or an executive single room. 

Sark – Pourquoi Pas B&B  

If you're unsure where to stay in Sark, Pouquoi Pas is set in a beautiful peaceful location just a short walk to the village and to Little Sark. There’s a large garden and swimming pool and some of the best views of Sark and for watching west coast sunsets. The Scandinavian style cabins have a homely feel with parquet floors and include a TV and tea and coffee maker. And for chocolate lovers you’re going to be staying in the grounds of the home of Caragh Chocolates! Choose from a standard twin room, a double room with a balcony and seaview or a deluxe double room. 

Getting Around The Channel Islands

There is an extensive bus service on Guernsey and Jersey. Bus fares in Guernsey are from £1 and you can buy a day pass for £5 or two days for £8.50. If you’re staying for a week you can purchase a 7 day ticket too. Either buy your ticket on the bus or at The Town Terminus Shop. Night buses also run in Guernsey. Check buses here. You can also take taxis. In Guernsey, taxi ranks are at St Peter Port, St Sampson and at the airport.

In Jersey, buses stop around the island and close to the hotels. Look for the ‘BUS’ sign and you can text the number on each bus stop to 07797798888 to find out when it will arrive. Find timetables here

For complete freedom you may prefer to hire a car. The maximum speed is 40 mph and the roads are narrow. The minimum age for renting a car is 20 years-old and you need to buy a ‘parking clock’ from either the information centres or the airport to be able to use the island’s car parks. In Jersey, be aware that the road signs are in French. Find out more about hiring a car in Jersey. 

In Alderney, you can either walk, hire a bike or electric bike or car or take one of the island’s taxis. The small island of Herm is definitely walkable, and in Sark, either walk or hire a bike to get around the island.

Jersey to Saint Malo – 2.5 hours by ferry

Jersey to Guernsey – 2 hours by ferry

Guernsey to Sark – 45 minutes by ferry

Guernsey to Herm – 20 minutes by ferry

Guernsey/Jersey – Alderney – Approx 20 mins by plane 

Guernsey/Jersey – Alderney – 1 hour by boat

How To Get To The Channel Islands

Travelling to the Channel Islands from the UK is either from Portsmouth or Poole. Travel as a foot passenger or take your own car or motorcycle across to the islands. 

Condor ferries sail from Poole to Jersey in 3.5 hours. To reach Guernsey is quicker and takes just 2 hours 10 minutes from Weymouth. Click here for their high-speed services

Channel Island Ferries operate from Portsmouth and takes 7 hours to reach Guernsey and 13 hours to return from Guernsey to Portsmouth as it stops in Jersey before heading back to the UK. Check Portsmouth ferries here 

To travel to France from the Channel Islands, you can reach St Malo on a ferry in just 2 hours or fly to Dinard. A passenger-only ferry runs between Guernsey and the Normandy Coast with Manche Iles Express.

Channel Islands Map

Plan a Channel Islands Trip

Budget – £120 a day

Capital –  Saint Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey, Saint Helier is the capital of Jersey.

Population of Channel Islands – 173,863

Language spoken – English

Local Currency –  The Guernsey pound and Jersey pound, but pound Sterling is also accepted.

Do I need a visa? Not on a British visa

Vaccinations Required 

 

Did you know? DYK – The islanders main language used to be Norman French.

 

Lingo – They speak English!

 

Useful Info

Airlines to the Channel Islands 

The Best Time to Go – July and August 

Which Plug Do I Need? 

Events and Festivals in the Channel Islands

Local Cost Guide (for Jersey) 

Local History & Culture

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