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Herm Article

 

The tiny Channel Island of Herm is a real gem. Just a short 20 minute boat ride from bustling St Peter Port it is popular with both Guernsey residents and those looking for a peaceful and relaxing holiday. With no cars and no crowds other than the odd tractor and day trippers it is the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy the outdoors. The island is only 2.5 km long and nearly 1 km wide but has a variety of walks. Depending on the tide the boat will drop you either at Rosière Steps or the harbour. From here you can take an easy stroll northwards over the Common to Shell Beach and if you are feeling energetic continue your walk on to Belvoir Bay and then join the east coast cliff path thus completing the 2 hour trip around the island. You can then reward yourself with lunch at the Mermaid Tavern! Herm also has one hotel called the White House with a choice of 3 restaurants, a few self-catering cottages and apartments and two campsites. Children will enjoy the gift shops which are full of inexpensive souvenirs. There is also a post office, a working farm with a large Guernsey dairy herd, a small junior school and a Manor house which opens its gardens to the public occasionally. The tiny restored 11th century chapel of St Tugual’s is used for morning service every Sunday at 10.30am.
 
Herm is renowned for the natural beauty of its beaches. Shell Beach is a must for beach combers. Here the sand is made up from millions of tiny broken shells but there are still thousands to collect washed up daily by the tide. Belvoir Bay slopes gently down to the sea and is ideal for swimming. Yachts often moor in the calm turquoise waters. Sunbathers however need to be aware and apply sun cream liberally as the rays are very strong. Both beaches have the added bonus of excellent cafes run to a high standard.
 
Birdwatchers will find Herm true heaven bustling with visiting birdlife. Sadly the puffin colony has declined in recent years but with over 90 other species recorded you won’t be disappointed. The natural prettiness of the flowers is also stunning. Wild flowers and tropical plants grow like weeds here in the mild climate but visitors are respectfully asked not to pick them. Thousands of trees have been planted in recent years to replace those lost by age or weather damage.
 
Up until recently Herm had been managed by descendents of the Wood family who originally bought the lease back in 1949 and made the island what it is today along with plenty of hard work and investment.  Herms future was temporarily at stake when the lease came up for sale again in May 2008. Fortunately the 40 year lease has since been purchased by a couple from Guernsey. Luckily for us they have promised to preserve the island for everyone to enjoy.