30 Guernsey Essentials: Explore Herm

HermDuring 2014, we are celebrating 30 years of bringing customers from the UK to the Channel Islands. As part of this celebration, we will be writing about 30 Guernsey essentials, from attractions and outdoor activities to special local food and some lesser-known island treats.

Part 8: Explore Herm

Herm is so small that you can walk around it in less than an hour! It has a school, a hotel, a pub, a harbour, a chapel, a tiny shop, no cars, no bicycles, and only quad bikes and tractors to carry tourists, bags and supplies. The 60-strong permanent population is passionate about their island and works hard at maintaining it as a place of ultimate beauty and peace. Having been inhabited for approximately 12,000 years, Herm’s history is mainly linked to Guernsey’s which is only 3 miles away to the west.

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Quaint and beautiful

Of course the only way to come to Herm is by boat and a regular service runs between St. Peter Port and the island, meaning that you will be cut off but not abandoned!

Up to 100,000 tourists come and visit during a busy summer season. Apart from the only hotel, The White House, there are a few self-catering cottages and a campsite. The White House is proud not to provide clocks, televisions or telephones, and the cottages do not have dishwashers nor microwaves. This is not an attempt to be eccentric but to preserve the island as a place of tranquility and to minimise the human impact on the environment.

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What to do on Herm

Herm is a place in which you come to relax. The north of the island is mainly lined with sandy beaches and turquoise water, absolutely perfect to enjoy a good book in between swimming sessions. The coast can also be explored by kayak, rentable from Shell Beach or by boat charters run from Guernsey. A tour of the island by RIB (rigid inflatable boat) could be an alternative if you are short on time and fancy some thrills. Herm is also a paradise for simple activities such as fishing, walking, bird watching or just castle building.

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Herm has been awarded several prizes by the RHS Britain in Bloom in recent years, highlighting the island’s strong pride in its natural beauty. Magnificent gardens have been created around the coast by keen local gardeners who have taken advantage of the mild climate and of the rich local flora. Take a Herm Garden Tour to admire it all, they are run every Tuesday by the island’s Head Gardener, Brett Moore.

Herm-in-bloom

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