Sunday, 5 September 2021

St Peter Port, Fermain Point, Sausmarez Manor and Fort George


Castle Cornet, seen from our hotel balcony

We arrived last night in Guernsey and settled into our hotel in St Peter Port, the largest town in Guernsey. Our main plan today is to to walk some of the Guernsey Coast Path and at some later point explore the town of St Peter Port.

We head down to the harbour side and walk south, passing the Parish Church with the wonderful former market behind it (these will feature in the town walk at some point). The surprising factor this morning is that an unexpected sea mist has blown in and everything is very hazy. We walk past the entrance to Castle Pier and we are unable to see Castle Cornet at the end of it. The entrance to the underground Military Museum is less hazy.

The next section overlooks Havelet Bay (not that we can see it). We pass an area of bathing pools which some hardy people are enjoying only to discover that the route we are following has been closed. We retreat and find an alternative, higher, route. They might have warned us!

We soon pass the handsome rear entrance to Fort George (of which more later).

We are now into proper walking, lots of ups and downs, largely in woodland. We reach Clarence Battery which was built as a defence against the French and was one of the outliers of Fort George. It was known originally as Terres Point Battery, but was renamed in honour of George III's son 1815. The basic idea was for this battery to be able to provide cross-fire with the guns as Castle Cornet.

As we approached Fermain Point we emerged into a street with houses on the right and an incredible display of Buddleia on the seaward side. There were an incredible number of Red Admirals in flight, and a lone Painted Lady. I suppose I should have taken a photo, but I have loads already, so I didn't.

We continued through more woodland and emerged overlooking Fermain Bay. The pretty Bay couldn't be seen clearly, but the Pepperpot Tower stood proud through the murk and surrounding sun umbrellas. 

It is one of a series of 15 towers built between 1778 and 1780 (12 of which remain). The loopholes provided a defence against any possible approach while cannon could be fired from the roof. The primary purpose was to defend against the French.

We enjoyed a light lunch from the beach cafe and headed inland to find our way to  Sausmarez Manor, inland without the sea mist. This is Guernsey's only stately home and now offers all sorts of amusements for its visitors. It is however a very attractive building.

We then set out to walk back to St Peter Port.We passed this fantastic Victorian building, now a care home ...

... and admired a church conversion into four houses.


We soon reached Fort George and went through the imposing gateway.

Sadly, inside the walls there is almost no trace of the former military establishment, just this impressive enclosure with a modern house inside. 


The rest of the site is housing.

We walked around the outside of the walls and then rejoined the original path out.    

1 comment:

Sally Johnson said...

That's the trouble with being by the sea ... pesky sea mists! Hope it improves for you.