I haven’t spent a lot of time in Alderney in the past few years but I used to come here all the time when I was younger. As I went recently to spend some time with my lovely Nan before I head off to the other side of the world, I thought I’d give any future visitors some recommendations for a trip to this wonderful little island.
There are loads of lovely beaches here but they vary quite a lot…if you want soft white sands but no waves, head to Braye, Longis or Saye (pronounced “Soy”)
For waves, try Corblets.
If you don’t want to swim but fancy a good rummage around some rockpools, there is Platte Saline (in front of my Nan’s house) or Crabby – you aren’t allowed to swim at either of these…
My childhood favourite: Corblets
My adult favourite: Braye (potentially due to its proximity to pubs and a shop that sells ice cream)
The restaurant scene has changed quite a lot in the years I’ve been visiting Alderney but there are some fantastic places to eat.
Up at the top of the town, there is a brilliant new French restaurant called Le Pesked and we actually went twice on this trip. The lunch menu is £12 for two courses on a weekday and my goodness, what a bargain! I had French Onion soup and my Nan went for Crab Ravioli to start – delicious! My main was a grilled pork steak with apple sauce, potato croquettes and a sun-dried tomato (ish) relish, and my Nan went for Fish & Chips – which also looked delicious. Highly recommend!
Another reliable restaurant is The Georgian, situated near the bottom of the high street, I’ve heard good things about their fish & chips and also their main menu looked great! A nice spot for a quiet drink or a coffee too.
You could also try Jack’s at the bottom of Victoria Street (the main shopping street), I had fish & chips there and it was absolutely delicious! The batter was really light and the fish was so fresh! It’s a lovely little restaurant and although it wasn’t there when I last visited properly, it has been there for a while now and I think it’s great!
The next recommendation is actually a pub but they serve great food. The Divers is a family favourite destination on Alderney. We’ve got so many stories from this pub…my Grandparents used to go there regularly, there’s even a photo of them behind the bar! It’s good pub grub and they’ve got a small outside decking area with beautiful views over Braye Beach.
There are various car hire companies, though the best is Braye Cars. You can book them beforehand and pick them up from the airport – easy peasy! If you’ve got plenty of time and the weather is fine, I’d hire a bike. It’s really easy to get around and a lot of people choose to cycle or walk around the island. It’s only small after all! There are stunning views all over and you can enjoy them better on foot. There are loads of coastal walks and you can explore the fortresses if they’re safe.
The main shopping street is called Victoria Street and you’ll find cafes, pubs, a bakery, souvenir shops, a butchers, even a pound shop now! There are also supermarkets (quite small ones) down by the harbour and one at the top of town.
Other things to do
Visit the museum or ride the train (yes, there’s a train! I think it’s actually a 1950s Northern line carriage!), it goes to the quarry and back and only takes about 10 minutes but it’s an experience. You could also go sailing, go on a boat trip, paddle boarding, go for a tour of the Light House and probably more that I’ve forgotten about!
There are £1 notes – don’t be alarmed. You might also get Guernsey/Jersey notes and coins in your change, don’t panic! The Channel Island fudge is delicious. Channel Jumper make lovely knitwear. The sunsets are epic (I assume the sunrises are too…let me know!). On a clear day, you can see France. Alderney is home to the rare blonde hedgehog. You don’t have to wear seatbelts.
So, that concludes my recommendations for Alderney. I got home yesterday and am already pining for the view of the sea…
I’ll be seeing you, Alderney!