After you have arrived and either settled into your hotel or familiarised yourself with your surroundings, you will be invited to meet for a tour of the harbour area.
Taking in the history of the old harbour at Douglas Quay, you will take a leisurely walk past the 19th century railway line as it winds its way past CrabyHarbour and beyond, to the magnificent Breakwater, built as a harbour of refuge and observation.
Guests will be offered a selection of literature, carefully researched and prepared, which can be read at leisure, setting the scene for the next two tours.
FAUNA & FUHRER
The opportunity to take a bus, bicycle or taxi ride around the island, is, considered by many, to be a highlight of the tour.
You will be transported along the wide sandy Braye beach to the eastern shores of Alderney, taking in the history of the quarrying industry, the stone of which provided necessary building material to build the many Victorian forts along the route.
The Hammond War Memorial, Alderney Lighthouse at Quesnard Point, and a chance to stop to take pictures at the picturesque LongisBay, are some of the main features of this tour. Stories of atrocities during the Second World War, including eye witness reports and war trial records, leave the visitor more able to understand how this tiny island suffered during the five long years of Occupation.
Guests will then be transported to the windswept south-west coast to view the dramatic Les Etacs or Gannet’s Rock, home to more than 2,000 pairs of nesting British sea birds, with a wingspan of more than 6ft!
The dramatic 18th century Casquets lighthouse, scene of many a shipwreck, can be seen with the naked eye on a clear day, and the Island of Burhou, lying in the notorious Swinge, is the nearest thing to a desert island, with a small cottage and hut offering shelter to selected visitors.
Your transport will then take the scenic route past Neolithic graves, Victorian forts and German fortifications to the start of the third tour, taking in the history of St Anne’s.
TINKERS, TAILORS, SOLDIERS, SAILORS, RICHMEN, POORMEN, BEGGARMEN, THIEVES
With no time constraints, this leisurely walking tour will take in stories of the people who helped to shape and change Alderney’s history.
Tales of the German Occupation of Alderney are woven around eye witness reports of destruction, despair & devotion as the tour winds its way through the cobbled streets and nucleated settlement of St Anne’s.
Devious characters from Alderney’s past, including the elusive and sometimes reclusive “Man in Black” will be introduced, as well as stories of heroic soldiers who fought for our freedom, in the Wars.
With a distinctly Cornish feel, the quaintness of St Anne’s will reveal itself by proudly displaying its uneven cobbles, back alleyways and roughly plastered 17th century farmhouses. Your guide will allow you to step back in time and understand how the rich became richer through the lucrative Privateering era, but then had to rebuild its community when wars were over and times were hard.
We might stop for a break at a local watering hole, before eventually returning to the hub of the community life within the town centre.
Free time will be wisely spent checking out the unique shops, bakery, or public houses or even hiring bikes or taking a taxi ride to other parts of the island, before the end of the day.
For those guests choosing to spend a night or two in Alderney, just enjoy the relaxed way of life. Speak to the locals, ask questions, glean additional information, visit other places of interest, but above all, just do everything “Alderney Time!”