Tag Archives: Channel Islands

A Bank Holiday Moment on Alderney before I Resume my Virtual Tour

Many people I’ve been in touch with didn’t feel up to writing a piece for my competition but instead they shared with me their favourite spots on Alderney. Here are their interesting and varied answers:

Em’ said that he loves walking his dog along the path from Platte Saline to Clonque because the sea is wild, scenery rugged and you often never see a soul.

M’ said that his favourite spot was Cachaliere Pier.  ‘It was a bit of a scramble but it was there I saw Granville Fritilliaries whilst soaking up the sun. Mind you the cliff top walk along from Longy was lovely too.’

B’ said that she loved coming back to the hotel in the evening and popping up to the terrace at The Harbour Lights and just enjoying the end of the day looking over Braye Beach.

V’ said that the Black Rocks at Saye Bay was one of his best fishing spots and he held wonderful memories of many happy hours there.

J’ described the views from the clifftops over Telegraph Bay, especially when you can look over to the other islands of Guernsey and Sark.

P’ said his place is locally known as the Frying Pan Battery at Longy Bay, part of the Victorian defenses.  With views over the long sweeping bay over to Fort Raz and France in the distance, it’s a wonderful place for a walk, take the dogs for a run or just to sit.

S’ said ‘6 of us went to Alderney from Torquay on a boat called the Devonian ALDERNEY was sweltering and the Steam Train was kind of cute.’

J’ said ‘My wife goes to Spain but why should I want to go away for a holiday? I have all I want right here.’

And my favourite spot? That’s difficult because there are so many, but the top one must be standing on Douglas Quay at Braye looking out across the beach towards Fort Albert and out to sea, imagining all those travellers arriving at this idyllic spot over the centuries. And my favourite bay has to be Corblets and Arch. On a sunny day you can’t beat them anywhere in the world. Magic!

Looking out over  Braye Beach

Looking out over
Braye Beach

I asked another islander E’ and she wrote, ‘everywhere on Alderney, but my most favourite must be sitting in my garden weeds and all!

I’d like to thank everyone for sharing.

And what is your favourite spot on Alderney or memory of a special visit?I’d love to hear from you either as a comment on this blog or an email diana@dianamaryjackson.co.uk.

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Alderney ~ A Pause to Reflect Part 2

Like this morning, last Saturday we woke up on Alderney to blue skies, a drop in wind and a rise in temperature. Going out and climbing to the top of the veranda at the back of the Harbour Lights was one of those, ‘Wow, it’s good to be alive!’ moments.

Looking out over  Braye Beach

Looking out over
Braye Beach

 

We had the day to ourselves and had booked a meal back at the Harbour Lights that evening and so we set off towards our favourite end of the island, to Saye and Corblets at the north eastern end. The first sight, which I never tire of, is looking back over Braye Beach towards the harbour and breakwater. The row of eighteenth century buildings look stunning when the sun shines. John Wesley stayed in one of them on one of his journeys to convert the locals.

We took the railway line to reach the end of the island, walking of course. You couldn’t do this in the summer months because of the schedule of a few trains which run from Braye Road, but at this time of year it’s quite safe.

Within twenty minutes we had reached the campsite, (also not open in April)  and headed for the sand dunes. Finding a path between the tufts of grasses we reached Saye  Bay, (pronounced (Soy) for that magical moment when you might as well have been on a Mediterranean island, but without the people. White sand stretched before us with the sea sheltered between rock crops on either side:

Saye Bay Alderney

Saye Bay Alderney

Here we paused a while, spreading out our rug in a sheltered spot and just soaked up the view, all out senses heightened. Not long after we had settled a lad appeared with a rather complicated looking kite. We were entertained watching him trying to launch it but, unfortunately, he had to give up when two little white dogs thought it was something fun to play with. I do apologise to the lad, but we couldn’t help but laugh at the sight. I hope he will forgive us because we were the only other people on the beach. (the owner of the dog of course too.)

Taking the path up and over to Arch Bay and Corblets we paused there for a while on a bench at the end of the bays before venturing

Bird Hide in memory  of the Petits, an old Alderney Family

Bird Hide in memory
of the Petits, an old Alderney Family

towards Longis Common to look for the wildlife reserve. Passing the end of the railway track we followed two unobtrusive white painted stones. (no big posts with colourful signs here ~ everything is as understated and as natural as possible.) Within minutes we were following a path through pools of water and undergrowth, where we found one of two bird hides on the islands. This was all the more special to us because  it was put up in memory of friends’ parents and we missed it last time we looked for it. (even better because we found it by chance ~ if anything in life is by chance!) So here you are Vic and Heidi:

Walking up a few steps and we were out on Longis Common, close to the Odeon, which I will write about on another post and we headed towards The Old Barn, an unexpected pleasure for a new visitor to this end of the island but a popular restaurant for the locals, (always a good sign) where we enjoyed home-made soup. It was here we met a couple who had been on the same flight as us. It was such a relief that the weather was good for them because I didn’t want them to be put off by the inclement last couple of days. In fact, they are people like us who just wrapped up well and went out to enjoy the stunning scenery anyway. They’d really enjoyed themselves and I was so pleased, but of course the fine weather did make a huge difference.

That afternoon we walked along Longis Bay, which stretched out towards the causeway to Raz Island, where many folk were enjoying the

Longis Bay and  Raz Island

Longis Bay and
Raz Island

afternoon sunshine. In fact we fell asleep and both of us caught the sun leaning against the long concrete defences!

Back at The Harbour Lights we enjoyed a lovely meal. They have a fantastic French chef there and all the food is excellent, not to mention extremely friendly and helpful staff. In fact, it is a bit like home from home for us. When is our next trip? I hope it won’t be too long. I miss it already!

It’s not surprising that the island of Alderney inspired me to write my first novel ‘Riduna’ allegedly the Roman name for the island.

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Alderney ~ A Pause to Reflect Part 1

Last weekend I returned to Alderney, the island of my original inspiration for The Riduna Series. I’m always excited and rarely sleep well the night before a visit. We arrived alongside another couple for whom the experience was a new one and I couldn’t help but feel a trifle concerned for them as we stepped down from Joey, the Aurigny Trilander, to be greeted by strong gusts of icy wind. In fact, by the time we had reached The Harbour Lights Hotel and ventured out for our first stroll, the air was filled with sleety snow. brrrrrr (Even Alderney has not been spared from this severe and enduring winter)

First we trudged down to Braye Beach and breathed in the sea air, or at least tried to as it rushed through us, but the beauty of the bay surmounted the weather and we were still glad to be back. Next we headed up to the town of St Anne and after browsing along the shop fronts and into the Information Centre we bumped into an old friend, who suggested we acted more sensibly and retreat into The Georgian. Once in the warmth of the pub, a bubbling hub of island life, we relaxed and caught up on all the news and gossip, meeting another friend on her way out, too.

That evening we dined at The Harbour Lights. The duck I had was divine. My husband had onion soup followed by Gnocci, which he enjoyed too, although he was amused by the name. Compliments to the chef!

We slept soundly, but our hopes for better weather were dashed by warnings of gale force winds. Actually the

Fort Tourgis Alderney

se didn’t materialise, but it was certainly very windy. Not being people to be put off by inclement weather  (once we spend a week camping in the Cornish rain in August and on another occasion paddled in Wellington Boots in a February Yorkshire sea) we donned an extra layer under our waterproofs, though it barely rained as it happened, and headed towards the old harbour, walking along Crabby Bay, through to Platte  Saline and up the road beside Fort Tourgis.

It wasn’t hard to imagine ship wrecks on the treacherous rocks  surrounding the island of Burhou, the puffin sanctuary to our left. We had hoped to take a boat trip around the island. Maybe next time. We took the long route, passed the path to Fort Clonque (a place a group can hire as an unusual tidal holiday home) and round by the airport, before pausing for lunch at The Marais Hall, where the fish soup is an institution..a must at some point during our stay. Delicious!

It was Friday and an island friend had booked a meal at The Braye Chippy two weeks in advance, the best fish and chips anywhere in the world and certainly the most ambient atmosphere, served with a smile. Unfortunately this thriving business is now up for sale, a gold mine to the person who snaps it up, because the ladies, who have run it so smoothly in recent years, are moving on to pastures new. Anyone interested?

There’s a video on Diana Jackson’s Author page on Facebook. Why don’t you pop over and say hello:-)

Monday’s post ~ Here Comes the Sun:-)

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