The parish of St Martin is the perfect blend of Guernsey’s best bits. A melting pot of urban and rural, St Martin has a metropolitan side that is vibrant and exciting whilst in contrast, its alter ego is found in its charming country lanes, scenic clifftop trails and breathtaking coastal views. With rugged scenery from the dramatic cliff tops and rugged headland to the unspoilt beaches and quaint coves, St Martin is one of the most picturesque corners of Guernsey. With views stretching to the neighbouring Channel Islands of Alderney and Sark, the coastal landscape from St Martin is one of the island’s finest. Meanwhile, St Martin is abundant with historic monuments and fascinating museums creating one of the island’s major cultural hotspots.
St Martin Historic Sites and Attractions
Sausmarez Manor is somewhat of a landmark in St Martin and is the parish’s most visited site. This grand manor house sits in the centre of the grounds surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens. The grounds are simply breathtaking with a rotating burst of seasonal flowers and are recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society as one of the ‘1001 Gardens To Visit Before You Die’. The Sculpture Park is also found within the grounds of Sausmarez Manor with a collection of diverse artists exhibiting unique and fascinating artwork. Alongside the sculpture park, a miniature railway runs through the woodland area taking passengers on a short, scenic journey. Inside of Sausmarez Manor, the grand house is a treasure trove with fascinating artefacts and captivating artwork throughout. Dating back to the 1700s, the house is one of the best preserved 18th century buildings in the Channel Islands and is bursting with history. The house was used as the inspiration for the house in the best-selling novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Entrance to Sausmarez Manor is included within Guernsey’s Privilege Pass.
When it comes to neolithic sites, Guernsey is abundant with them. Guernsey’s oldest monument sits in the courtyard of the parish church, the intriguing and captivating La Gran’mère du Chimquière. The Grandmother of the Cemetery dates back to 2500 BC, a menhir that is one of the island’s most famous monuments.
Sausmarez Manor, Guernsey
La Gran Mere du Chimquiere, Guernsey
St Martin Point, Guernsey
St Martin Other Points of Interest
The most breathtaking beaches are found in St Martin and the parish has numerous hidden gems to choose from. A particular highlight is Moulin Huet, arguably the parish’s best beach and a firm favourite with the locals. Frequently visited by famous names such as Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables, the French artist Renoir was also captivated by Moulin Huet and created fifteen paintings of the landscape during his stay in Guernsey in 1883. Moulin Huet has a high reputation to live up to and does not disappoint. With calm, shallow waters, Moulin Huet is one of the best places on the island for swimming with kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding attractive activities thanks to the water’s tranquillity. Whilst Moulin Huet is not the perfect beach for sunbathing, the glistening turquoise waters lap against the rugged coastline and create a scene worthy of a Mediterranean postcard.
For a sandy alternative, the nearby Saints Bay Beach offers a pebbled bank with spots of sand for basking under the sun. This idyllic cove captures the sunshine creating a breathtaking sun trap whilst the protection from the surrounding cliffs keep the waters calm and peaceful. A short walk from the bay is the fishermans landing offering the most impressive views over the beach and coastline.
However, for the best coastal views, the rugged headland of Jerbourg Point offers the best panoramic landscape of the Guernsey coastline. On a clear day, views stretch to take in the neighbouring Channel Islands of Sark and Alderney making Jerbourg Point the best viewpoint on the island and a must-visit in Guernsey.
St Martin Shopping, Ddining and Nightlife
St Martin is one of Guernsey’s most exciting parishes for shopping and dining. The parish boasts outstanding independent stores and a collection of UK high street retailers for those in search of a spot of shopping. Meanwhile, St Martin is also home to a number of award-winning restaurants including the Mexican restaurant Buho. For nightlife, the best way to enjoy an evening in St Martin is by dining at one of the many clifftop restaurants and admiring the coastal scenery by nightfall.
St Martin Sports and Events
St Martin is the sporting hub of the island and where you will find a core collection of sports shops and hire facilities. With a number of cycling trails and coastal routes throughout the parish, Adventure Cycles offers cycle hire for the entire family. The hire centre and store provides all the equipment you need for your biking adventure available to hire for a single day or a multi-day rental. Whilst the parish is easy to navigate independently on two wheels, Outdoors Guernsey offers cycle tours with starting points in St Martin.
When it comes to events, St Martin hosts a number of island events throughout the year including the St Martin’s Firework and Bonfire Evening. Every November, the dark sky comes to life with vibrant colour and displays as the island celebrates Bonfire Night with djs, fairground rides and a Guy Fawkes competition.
St Martin Transportation
St Martin is very easy to navigate by car with convenient roads, great signposting and plenty of parking. Parking is often free and centrally located with the exception of the parish beaches. Many of St Martin’s beaches are located at the base of the cliffs, a few of which do have a small parking area but spaces are limited. In most cases, visiting a beach in St Martin requires you to park at the top and walk down.
An alternative way to get to and around St Martin is by the public transportation service provided by CT Plus. Guernsey’s bus service provides frequent connections from St Peter Port Bus Terminus with four coastal routes through St Martin and an additional six routes passing through the north of the parish. Three of the four coastal routes stop at Sausmarez Manor whilst the final coastal route heads to Jerbourg Point. Public transportation to and across St Martin is quick, convenient and frequent providing an affordable and reliable method of exploring the parish.