General info > Going abroad > Alderney, Channel Islands
With over 50 miles of walks and paths taking you across commons, beaches, along the cliffs and around town, the ideal way to discover Alderney is on foot.
There is very little traffic outside the main town, no traffic lights or road rage, which makes walking, even on the main roads, a pleasure. The south coast is mainly dramatic cliff walks, dotted with Victorian and German fortifications, and the north-west coastline, towards the bird sanctuary island of Burhou, is designated a Ramsar site covering wetlands of international importance.
Along the north and east coast are golden beaches interspersed with picturesque Victorian forts. Two ideal places to watch and enjoy Alderney’s rich wildlife is the Mannez birdhide, erected by the Alderney Wildlife Trust and the Longis birdhide, which is in a fantastically positioned, peaceful environment.
A walk at night time could reveal a number of surprises! Not only are Alderney’s skies ideal for star gazing but under the cover of darkness you may see bats who nest in several places on the island or, if you are lucky, you may also catch sight of Alderney’s more elusive nocturnal residents, the wild black rabbits or the famous blonde hedgehogs which are unique to Alderney.
Acclaimed landscape artist, Andy Goldsworthy, has just completed his latest project on the island, setting up a series of huge artificial boulders around the coastline. The boulders have been made from different materials and are designed to erode at varying rates, depending on their location. There's a guide to the new project on the Guardian website, a website dedicated to the project and a leaflet with a map of the stone's locations.
Upon arrival in Alderney pop into the Alderney Visitor & Wildlife Information Centre in Victoria Street where a team of volunteers will be able to provide you with up-to-date information, advice and a selection of free walking guides and bird lists.
Or if you prefer, you can join one of the many interesting guided walks – ranging from town walks, history, heritage and bird watching tours to nocturnal bat walks - which are organised by the Alderney Wildlife Trust. Foot or bike tours cost £6 for adults and £3 for children. For information contact the Alderney Wildlife Trust on 822935, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and for the latest news visit www.alderneywildlife.org