Guernsey's beaches are simply fantastic. The island is blessed with beaches that are superb for swimming, for sunbathing and for all sorts of activities on the sand and in the water. The biggest and most popular beaches are to be found on the west and northern coastlines, where you will discover golden expanses of sand and clear blue bathing waters. The island's huge 10-metre tidal range means that all of its beaches are cleaned by nature twice a day, and it's not just around Guernsey where you will see great beaches. The smaller islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney also have something very special to give to anyone who loves a day on the beach!
The west is where the biggest beaches are found and Cobo is probably the most popular of the beaches on this stretch. Its wonderfully fine sands and shallow waters make it the perfect spot for a day at the beach for families and visitors alike. Whether you are swimming, sunbathing, building sand castles or in the water kayaking, Cobo caters for all ages - and you are sure to be taken by this stunning beach. Across the road from Cobo is a very fine pub overlooking the bay which fills with friends who get together to watch the most incredible sunsets. Next to the pub is a hotel with an outdoor dining terrace area, again the perfect venue for taking in the magnificent views. A children's favourite is to BBQ on the beach, especially when friends and visitors come to stay. There is also the option to have a take away from the Cobo fish and chip shop - also overlooking the beach. There is plenty of parking and easy access to Cobo Beach as well as toilet facilities and a kiosk for teas, coffees and ice creams.
You will love this beach because it is one of the smaller beaches so you can let the children wander in the rock pools, on the rocks and swim whilst keeping an eye on them. This beach is backed by seafringed dunes which make it the ideal place for children to explore. This is a beach recommended for those with young children. Little ones can paddle safely in the shallow waters or take a fishing net and bucket and compare catches from the rock pools. There is also enough beach left at high tide to allow for a BBQ in the evening, a favourite summer pastime for friends and family over a glass of Pimms whilst watching the sun set. The beaches and what they have to offer really explain why many choose to stay in Guernsey during the summer months as they are hard to beat. There is plenty of nearby parking and toilet facilities as well as a popular kiosk for ice cream and refreshments with beach chairs and parasols available for hire.
This is another great beach for families whether you choose to take an afternoon stroll or take the dog for a run on the beach. Kids love this one too as there is a lovely children's playground at one end of the beach very well equipped with climbing and playground equipment and an ice cream van parked next to it. Also at the playground you'll find ample car parking space and easy access to the beach. At the other end of the beach is a gorgeous tea room offering delicious afternoon teas, lunches and snacks. A kiosk is also found next to the car park, so it's a spot that really caters for all. A ramp leads from the car park to the beach so it's very accessible with toilet facilities in the nearby tea rooms. When the weather permits the waters here are ideal for wind surfing and lessons take place during the summer season. Nearby too is the vast expanse of L'Ancresse Common that is home to an 18-hole golf course, ideal if you fancy exploring or practising your swing.
L'Eree is a beautiful large and popular family beach located opposite a lovely beach hotel. The beautiful sandy bay features many rock pools, a magnet for children and the beach is accessible to Lihou Island via the causeway at low tide. It is a popular spot for swimming, fishing and canoeing. A slipway to the beach make is very accessible and there are toilet facilities and a kiosk serving hot and cold refreshments and snacks. There is a lovely cafe and a restaurant opposite L'Eree both very popular with the locals. There is easy access to the beach, toilet facilities and a beach kiosk serving hot and cold drinks and snacks.
Pembroke Bay is the largest beach to the north of the island and is a very popular choice for walkers and explorers as there are various forts and watch towers dotted around this region built to defend against the French at times of war. It is very popular for water sport enthusiasts. There is a small kiosk as well as a larger one and a lovely beach cafe which serves the most delicious lunches and evening meals can be enjoyed whilst overlooking the magnificent sandy bay. The ice-cream served here is worth a mention as the cafe serves proper Guernsey ice cream, absolutely delicious. Windsurfers, surfers and kayakers use this beach regularly as they have a separate landing area. It's also extremely popular for swimmers and a day out for the family. There is ample parking space, toilet facilities and easy access to the beach.
Vazon beach is a children's favourite as the strong Atlantic waves are often very suitable for surfing, a highly popular activity. When conditions are right, wind and kite surfers, surfers and kayakers pour onto Vazon and the beauty of this beach, as it stretches for 2 miles, is that there is never a feeling of it being too over crowded. During the summer months lessons are available in the nearby surf school where qualified instructors are available to offer individual or group tuition. It is the perfect spot to spend a day with family and friends and finish off the day with a beach BBQ, especially wonderful at high tide whilst taking in the most breathtaking sunsets. By the beach is the Vazon beach cafe offering all day drinks and snacks and a variety of beach toys and souvenirs. There are plenty of toilet facilities, parking and very easy access via the slipway onto the beach. Opposite the beach too is a very popular restaurant, just another super option after a day on the beach with the choice of sitting indoors or on the upper terrace overlooking the bay while watching the sun go down.
Port Soif is a popular sandy U-shaped beach on the west coast. It is perfect for a number of activities. At high tide it is beautiful for swimming and safe for young children. At low tide, the sea can be a bit of a walk to get to, which makes it the ideal venue for crabbing and exploring the rock pools with the children. Nearby is a lovely sheltered tea garden offering a wide range of refreshments and snacks. There is plenty of parking, toilet facilities and access to the beach via steps.
Portelet is a charming sandy beach with a working harbour so you can watch the fishermen and boats coming and going. It is an ideal beach for families with very good access and excellent parking, and toilet facilities and refreshments are available in the nearby beach kiosk. It is located to the south end of Rocquaine Bay which hosts the annual regatta and overlooks the very famous Fort Grey. It is very safe for swimming at all stages of the tide.
Braye beach is one of several great little beaches to be found on the island of Alderney. A popular family spot that is sheltered from the prevailing winds by the amazing Alderney breakwater, Braye is also an extremely well placed beach - just a short walk from the island's main harbour and also a few minutes' walking distance from Alderney's lovely little town of St Anne.
Sark is a very rocky island but if you look hard enough you will find some of the best little bays and beaches in the Channel Islands and the pick of them all is Dixcart on the dramatic east coast. At low tide Dixcart provides two sandy beaches separated by a natural arch in the steep cliffs. Despite its location, Dixcart is surprisingly easy to get to thanks to the paths and steps leading down through the woods of Dixcart Valley. Also, the sea is not too deep at Dixcart, making it a superb spot for children as well as adults.
Shell Beach on Herm Island is unique in the Channel Islands. It takes its name from the billions of fragments of sea shells, washed ashore by the warming waters of the Gulf Stream, that give this beautiful expanse of sand its shimmering white appearance. From Guernsey this beautiful expanse of sand is not visible because it is on the far side of the island but when you first set eyes on this wonderful beach you will see straight away why it is so special. As well as the beach itself, the waters that lap onto Shell are warm and shallow, making it an excellent location for swimming and snorkelling.