A picturesque country setting, St Pierre du Bois is a rural parish that is predominantly countryside with a small village at its heart. More commonly known as St Peter’s, St Pierre du Bois sits on Guernsey’s west coast and is a picturesque corner of the island. With breath-taking coastal views, historic forts and charming buildings throughout, St Peter’s is considered one of the island’s most beautiful parishes. Along with the beauty, this Guernsey parish is shrouded in mythology with the island’s legends and folklore centred here. There is so much to see and do in St Pierre du Bois that you will be spoiled for choice with what to fill your day with.
St Pierre du Bois Historic Sites and Attractions
The main attraction in St Pierre du Bois is Fort Grey. This Martello tower, known by locals as Cup and Saucer, is located on a tidal islet in St Pierre du Bois’ Rocquaine Bay. A place of both history and legend, Fort Grey was built during the Middle Ages and used through the ages by the military. The fort was also occupied by the Nazis during the German occupation when it was armed with machine guns and an anti-tank gun. Whilst the rich history of Fort Grey is fascinating and monumental, the mystical side to the fort is also a great attraction. The fort is said to have been a popular haunt for practising witchcraft during the 16th century whilst there were also reports of the fort housing a coven and providing a place for meetings with the devil. Today, Fort Grey is a fascinating shipwreck museum exhibiting salvage from marine wreckages.
In St Peter’s, the L’Eree Battery is another point of interest. Constructed during the German occupation of Guernsey in World War II, the battery sits to the right of L’Eree Beach and is a prominent historic landmark in the area showcasing the island’s rich war history. Nearby, the German fortification Fort Saumarez was built to protect the battery and looks over the coastline connecting to the Lihou causeway.
On the same headland of Fort Saumarez and L’Eree Battery is the neolithic site of Le Creux es Faies. A place in Guernsey folklore, this chamber tomb is said to be an entrance to the world of the fairies. The tomb dates back to between 3000 and 2500 BC and is the place where residents from the fairy kingdom come out to dance in the moonlight at midnight.
St Pierre du Bois Other Points of Interest
St Pierre du Bois occupies two sections of Guernsey’s western coast with both northern and southern coastal views. The most popular beach in the parish is L’Eree Beach, a sheltered cove with golden sands which is particularly attractive to families. The beach’s protected position restricts the wind in this corner of Guernsey resulting in calm waters perfect for swimming and water activity. Snorkelling is a particular popular activity at L’Eree Beach with clear, tranquil waters and a vibrant underwater world to explore. At low tide, the sea retreats to reveal fascinating rock pools to discover whilst crabbing is also a great activity for families with little ones to get involved in. Hanois Lighthouse in Torteval can also be viewed from L’Eree Beach with its rocky island location and imposing design.
This corner of the island is particularly abundant with wildlife and a short walk from L’Eree Beach will take you to the L’Eree Headland Nature Reserve. Not only does this viewpoint offer magnificent scenery it is also where you can witness phenomenal coastal wildlife. Meanwhile, just off the coast of St Pierre du Bois, the small tidal island of Lihou is accessible for two weeks every month. When the tide is low, a tidal causeway appears providing a walkway to this stunning nature reserve. Wildlife is abundant on Lihou with the island an important location for migratory birds.
Not only is St Pierre du Bois a great Guernsey destination for wildlife lovers, it is also exceptional for those fascinated in astronomy. Housed in a unique building constructed as part of a battery during the German Occupation, the Guernsey Astronomy Observatory is an incredible destination for stargazing. The observatory is home to two state-of-the-art telescopes and hosts astronomy club nights as well as public viewing events.
Also in St Pierre du Bois is the Coach House Gallery, one of the island’s most prestigious art houses. Showcasing the talent of both local Guernsey artists and international talent, the Coach House Gallery offers a rotation of fine art exhibits. The converted coach house is home to all genres of art including paintings, sculptures and glasswork. This haven for creatives, Coach House Gallery also boasts an etching studio plus a supplies and materials store.
St Pierre du Bois Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
As a countryside setting, shopping, dining and nightlife is very limited in St Pierre du Bois. The main village features a number of stores including independent retailers and a handful of UK high street retailers. Dining in St Pierre du Bois is predominantly cosy country pubs, the perfect retreat after a day of exploring the parish. Enjoy a wholesome meal and a pint in one of Guernsey’s finest traditional pubs. Nightlife is pretty much non-existent in St Pierre du Bois aside from the odd village pub with live music or a weekly quiz.
St Pierre du Bois Sports and Events
Sport in St Pierre du Bois is predominantly water based with calm waters perfect for snorkelling, kayaking and canoeing. Outdoor Guernsey operates kayak and canoe tours of the St Peter’s coastline in addition to coasteering excursions.
Events in St Peter’s are limited and predominantly church and community related.
St Pierre du Bois Transportation
Parking in St Peter’s is generally free and convenient making it simple for drivers to visit and navigate the parish. For those travelling by public transport, Guernsey’s bus service operated by CT Plus offers four services to St Pierre du Bois. All four services stop at L’Eree Beach whilst three also call at Fort Grey. All services connect to St Peter Port Bus Terminus where further connections across the island can also be made.