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  • Couple cycling

A short guide to cycling in Alderney

Cycling around Alderney is an excellent way to discover the beaches and spectacular views on offer in this beautiful little gem of an island. The landscape is dotted with wartime forts and provides some uphill terrain in its 50 miles of tracks and 10 miles of paved roads but on the whole the topography is gentle. With traffic limited to 35mph and the whole island measuring just 3.5 by 1.5 miles, cycling around can be a leisurely pursuit.

The capital town of St Anne with its cobbled streets lies quite central with Braye Bay and the harbour situated on the northern shores. The white powdery sands of the beaches to the northeast are where to head if you would like to take a cycle break and have a swim. Or follow the road around to the south east at Longis Bay for a spot of sunbathing and rockpooling. The bay is protected by a fortified wall which shelters it from winds and currents. A series of valleys run from north to south of the island but if you love nature and more of a challenge, the southern cliff paths are where to head. Here you will find a concentration of Roman, Victorian and German fortifications leading down from zig zag coastal paths.

The western side of the island is a designated Ramsar wetlands area and full of wildlife. Colonies of puffins and storm petrels make some of the rocky cliffs and islets their breeding grounds. The beaches right around to the northwest are full of rockpools and are rich in marine life. Shingle bays such as Platte Saline are more suitable for fishing as there are strong undercurrents and are not advised for bathing. However on Alderney, whichever cycle route you decide to take, you’ll never be far away from the centre!

 

Alderney cycling – useful information

The Visit Alderney website has a list of places to hire bikes from including:

  • Cycle and Surf (in town) who have short to long term hire rates and offer guided cycle tours and tag along bikes for children. Tel: 01481 822286
  • Top Gear Cycle Hire, Le Banquage Tel: 01481 8222000/824672
  • Auto-Motion at Braye Harbour also offer electric bikes. Tel: 01481 823352

photo of main street in Alderney

On your travels around the island you might spot:

  • Rare species such as green winged orchids
  • Dolphins and seals bobbing further out in the sea
  • Blonde hedgehogs and black rabbits both inhabit the island