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Experience the very best of the Channel Islands via public transport and in the company of knowledgeable local guides.
Travelling by rail, ferry and air lets you forget about the stresses of the road on this relaxing nine-night trip.
Having specialised in car-free holidays for a number of years, we’re pleased to add this brand-new trip to our collection of public-transport holidays. Travelling by train, ferry, small boat and air, could there be a more relaxing way to experience the bewitching Channel Islands of Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney? We don’t think so.
Fly direct from London Gatwick, or a selection of other airports. Transfer on arrival to your hotel.
In the port’s knot of streets which twist upwards away from the water, this family owned townhouse hotel provides a stylish start to your holiday. Nothing is too much trouble for the genial owners and staff, always on-hand and eager to impart their love of their island home. Rooms are modern and beautifully presented, while the restaurant majors on the best local seafood and enjoys superb uninterrupted views of the harbour and beyond.
The island of Guernsey, just nine miles long by three miles wide, is packed with a vast array of attractions to keep even the most demanding visitor amused. Prehistoric burial chambers, medieval castles and towers, and the extensively documented World War Two Nazi occupation could consume many days, while the ever changing coastline of cliffs, rocky coves and wide open beaches are waiting to be explored and lazed upon.
After breakfast while enjoying the commanding view, you’ll be met by a friendly and knowledgeable local guide, a resident of the island, who’ll whisk you away for a day of exploration in a well equipped and comfortable vehicle. There’s often no better way to get your bearings and to uncover those corners off the beaten track you’d be unlikely to find on your own. Should you have any areas of particular interest, your guide will be only too happy to incorporate this.
A day to pick off one or two activities at your own pace. Guernsey has an efficient and frequent bus service, encircling the island and covering its interior too. It’s a great way to get around. Or perhaps you’d like to spend the day clambering Castle Cornet or exploring Victor Hugo’s house, each within a short stroll of your hotel. We’ll provide all the information you need to help you get the most from your free time.
Stroll to the harbour after breakfast and board the ferry for the twenty minute crossing to the peaceful island of Herm. Stepping off the boat here, there’s an immediate winding down, with no motorised transport and no roads, just a well defined footpath around the island’s circumference. The more intrepid visitor can walk the route in a little over an hour non-stop, though you’ll certainly want to take in a paddle on gorgeous Shell Beach and stop to admire the views of Sark, Jethou and the Normandy coast. Back towards the quayside, perhaps enjoy a seafood lunch and cold beer in the island hotel’s garden bar before the return crossing to St. Peter Port.
A distinct holiday highlight commences today. Wave goodbye to your Guernsey hosts and return to the harbour at St. Peter Port for the fifty minute crossing to the island of Sark. And what a magical island this is. Unpaved roads and pathways, a small fleet of tractors the only obvious nod to modern machinery – and a way of life far removed from anything on mainland UK – Sark couldn’t be more enchanting.
Once off the boat, transfer up the hill by tractor bus then enjoy a short stroll to your base for the next two nights. This centuries-old country house has long been welcoming visitors to the island, with its unfussy, soothing accommodation, superb menu and exquisite garden and pool.
Whether you’re a serious hiker or more inclined towards a dawner, Sark is a wonderful place to don the boots. Take a packed lunch from the hotel and set off along the clifftop paths to La Coupée and Little Sark; seek out Sarkhenge and the Window on the Rock, while drinking in the views towards Brecqhou, Herm, Guernsey and France. And here, on the world’s first Dark Sky Island, do wish for a clear night as there’s few more stunning sights than the star filled Sark night sky.
A day with no plans is to be savoured, in our view. Wander along The Avenue to pick up a gift or two; stop by the pub for a pint of local cider and a crab sandwich, or rent a bike and lose yourself on the pathways that cross the island. Better still, if the weather is on your side, why not spend some time simply lazing by the pool with a book, interspersed with lunch and a dip or two?
Enjoy a short stroll back to the quayside and wave goodbye to Sark as you take the boat to St. Peter Port. Once here, you’ll be transferred to Guernsey Airport to catch the exhilarating flight to Alderney. Arriving at Alderney, you’ll be met by a local driver and transferred the short distance to your accommodation.
Something of a classic island atmosphere pervades your accommodation in St. Anne (or ‘Town’ as it’s known) on Alderney – an engaging, family-owned small hotel. Clapboard walls and stripped floorboards keep it simple in the lively bar and inviting restaurant, while rooms are as appealing as they come with big, comfortable beds and well kept en-suites, perfect for flopping out in after a long day’s exploration.
The locals here love their island and it’s not hard to see why. The main settlement of St. Anne (Town) is a disarmingly cute mash of cobbled streets, with colourful houses, shops and cafes, terraces and townhouses standing proudly alongside. Perhaps rent a bike to explore Town and further afield; take yourself off to the beach and harbour at Braye, or to Fort Doyle, one of many on this, the world’s most fortified island. At weekends take a trip on what has to be the most surprising railway we’ve come across, whose rolling stock is composed of old London Underground carriages.
After breakfast head out for a guided walk with one of the Wildlife Trust’s friendly rangers. You’ll get to know a little of the island’s unique wildlife – including its very own species of blonde hedgehog – as you follow the clifftop paths, and get off the beaten track into corners you may otherwise have missed.
Take to the water today on a thrilling boat trip alongside a skipper from the Wildlife Trust. There’s no better perspective from which to view Alderney’s sometimes menacing coastline. The offshore island of Burhou sees breeding puffins visit in spring, while dramatic Les Etacs and Ortacs inlets are home to around two percent of the world’s population of gannets.
This morning, return to Alderney Airport to catch your flight back to London.
This holiday includes stays on the main Channel Islands of Guernsey and Alderney, as well as the smaller island of Sark and a visit to Herm.
£2295 per person for March & November, £2395 per person for April & October, £2495 per person for May, June & September and £2525 for July & August.
Prices are based on two adults sharing a double/twin room en-suite for nine nights on a bed and breakfast basis in one of our hand-picked selection of small hotels and guest houses. Included in the price are:
Should you prefer to return home to another UK airport, do let us know and ask for a quotation. Options include Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Southampton
You can also avoid flying altogether using the ferry services between the islands and from Poole or Portsmouth to and from from Guernsey
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to ensure you get the most from your holiday.
All holidays and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
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This holiday can be arranged from March to November
Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.
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All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.