Backpacking in Herm, Channel Islands: Top 15 Things to See and Do

Backpacking on Herm Island - raw and remote.

Backpacking on Herm Island – raw and remote.

Herm is yet another magical island from my journeys on this planet. It is easily “do-able” in a day. The only method of transport on the island is a tractor and the only official way to get there is by using the Herm Travel Trident Service from St Peter Port in Guernsey – Guernsey to Herm ferry.

Backpacking across to Herm on my lonesome to chill out...

Backpacking across to Herm on my lonesome to chill out…

Herm is the smallest of the Channel Islands which is open to the public (there are other small islands like Crevichon and Jethou by the way but not really open to the public). The current population of Herm is 55, which rises a wee bit in summer months. Bicycles are banned on the island! Playing radio in public is also illegal. They even have their own flag.

flag of herm

Herm Island Flag

The unit of currency is Guernsey and Jersey pounds. The local pub is the Mermaid and you can walk for hours on your own on this little island of mystery. A magical place which I explored all on my own back in 2009 when I was feeling down. There won’t be many photos of me in this post for a change – a few selfies maybe and ones I got others to take – but there really was NOBODY about!

All alone on Shell Beach, Herm Island

All alone on Shell Beach, Herm Island

It was a good place to be for a day on my own to chill away from busy cities and people. I needed to visit a place like Herm after the bad times and thanks to my job working on the ferries to Guernsey and France, it was a lot cheaper to do at the time.

herm backpacker

Backpacking in Herm, one of the Channel Islands with a population of 55.

How to get to Herm Island
Use the Travel Trident Service from St. Peter Port in Guernsey as linked on a post I wrote in the first paragraph. There are a few sailings each day, but none at night. Herm has no airport.

herm ferry

Getting to Herm – use the Travel Trident from St. Peter Port in Guernsey.

Best 15 Things to Do and See on Herm Island

I only had a day in Herm, and I’ve included almost everything I did so this is a top 15. It’s a small island and can be walked easily. I didn’t stay overnight, but I managed to squeeze all of these in, and relax on the beach and have some lunch and a beer:

1. Mermaid Tavern
A cool bar with a beer garden, this is one of the first things you see on your clockwise walk round the island from the arrival point.

Mermaid Tavern - the local pub in Herm.

Mermaid Tavern – the local pub in Herm.

Friendly bar staff and if you go just after lunch you might even have the pub to yourself! Would be a nice retreat at night, the sort of pub the word “local” was invented for!

The Mermaid Tavern - local pub in Herm

The Mermaid Tavern – local pub in Herm

2. Shell Beach
I loved it – the walk along the paths to the marvellous, almost hidden Shell Beach was inspiring – there was nobody else about.

herm shell beach

Shell Beach, Herm Island – you can feel the magic of this lonely place.

herm island shell beach

Chilling on Shell Beach on Herm Island – nobody else in sights – the girl working in the kiosk took the photo.

3. The Peak of Herm
It’s a short walk to the very top of the island and well worth it. I made the short climb up to the Peak of Herm to admire the views. Again, nobody else in sight and very rewarding.

Views from the peak of Herm Island

Views from the peak of Herm Island

Walking up to the highest point on the island.

Walking up to the highest point on the island.

4. Argosy Souvenir Shop
When you’re on an island this remote and random you’ll want a souvenir to take away. I bought a fridge magnet, Herm stamps, a map and a postcard.

herm postcard

Postcards from Herm Island

5. Manor Village
The “capital city” (village) of Herm is known as Manor Village and is a country style path way of a few houses, the Church and Power Station. A complete must visit!

manor village herm

Manor Village – the “capital” of Herm Island!

Downtown Herm Island!

Downtown Herm Island!

6. Herm Island Power Station
A small island like this needs electricity and therefore I checked out the Herm Island Power Station which is in Manor Village.

Some sign posts on Herm, and the Power Station!

Some sign posts on Herm, and the Power Station!

7. Harbour Village
This is just the place that you dock at – there’s a mini village here including the maps, a tourist information hut, the Mermaid Tavern and a few other buildings. Though dockings also sometimes take place at Rosaire Steps.

Arrival on Herm at the harbour "village"

Arrival on Herm at the harbour “village”

8. St. Tugual’s Chapel
St. Tugual’s is a very typical English style Chapel (yes I know theoretically Herm is not in England), worth a look inside! It dates back to the 11th century. It’s a protected building!

St. Tugual's Chapel on Herm Island

St. Tugual’s Chapel on Herm Island

St. Tugual's Chapel on Herm Island

St. Tugual’s Chapel on Herm Island

9. The Bailiff’s House
The Bailiff’s House is in Manor Village and has a few rooms where you can stay. It’s a converted Granite House offering sea views.

The Bailiff's House on Herm

The Bailiff’s House on Herm

10. The White House Hotel
The White House is a truly old school Hotel – I didn’t stay overnight but this hotel is something of a novelty these days – no clocks, TVs or phones!!

 

white house hotel herm

The Old School White House Hotel in Herm

11. Fisherman’s Cottage
There are a few old style country cottages on Herm, the most notable was Fisherman’s Cottage – I didn’t go inside though. I took the below photos but due to losing a lot of my photos from that trip, I can’t be 100% sure this one is of the actual Fisherman’s Cottage or not.

Fisherman's Cottage on Herm

Fisherman’s Cottage on Herm

12. Herm Prison
I mentioned on my backpacking in Sark post that Sark has the world’s smallest prison – it contains two cells. Well if it’s possible, which it is – Herm has a smaller one – a one man prison!! The difference is this one isn’t used.

Herm actually beats Sark to the world's smallest prison - this one man prison isn't actually in use though.

Herm actually beats Sark to the world’s smallest prison – this one man prison isn’t actually in use though.

13. Herm Obelisk
The fact that this stone Obelisk is one of the “major sights” on the island makes the place so fascinating for me!

The Obelisk on Herm

The Obelisk on Herm

14. Graves of Jenny and Peter Wood 
Jenny and Peter Woods are Herm’s 2 most influential tenants down the years and you can check out their gravestones and read up on a bit of history.

Graves of Jenny and Peter Wood on Herm Island

Graves of Jenny and Peter Wood on Herm Island

15. Belvoir Bay
Having studied at Belvoir Tech in Belfast, Northern Ireland from 1997-1998, a visit to Belvoir Bay on Herm was on the cards. It’s on the East side of the island.

herm backpacker

Backpacking in Herm, the smallest of the public Channel Islands – walking round to Belvoir Bay.

So there you go folks – a small and yet amazing remote island for you to check out. I hope my post hasn’t dated too much as it was 5 years since I backpacked my way there. Hopefully all those sights are still there and the key things to do when backpacking in Herm. If I have missed some key sights off this list, please let me know – I needed to get this one typed up while the information was still kind of in my head.

On the Travel Trident heading from Guernsey to Herm

On the Travel Trident heading from Guernsey to Herm

Here are my videos from backpacking in Herm:

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