The second largest parish on the island, Vale is a non-contiguous parish split by St Sampson. Vale is one of the most elegant corners of Guernsey home to the island’s leading golf clubs, lavish resorts and some of Guernsey’s most breath-taking beaches. In addition to the modern luxury that the parish boasts, Vale is also home to an abundance of historic sites, a rich war history and features a wealth of neolithic sites. Vale is arguably the most diverse of Guernsey’s parishes offering the perfect blend of culture, heritage, exciting attractions and exquisite nature.
Vale Historic Sites and Attractions
Overlooking the northeast coastline, Vale Castle is a staggering and well-preserved fort that has stood guard over this corner of the island for over 1000 years. During the German Occupation of the Channel Islands throughout World War II, the fortress was enhanced and modified to meet Nazi needs and requirements. This included the addition of trenches, personnel shelters and a gun emplacement which provides the castle with a fascinatingly unique history and architecture. The impressive castle can be explored on a daily basis and offers phenomenal coastal views taking in the neighbouring Channel Islands of Herm and Jethou.
Standing watch over Guernsey’s northern parish, Vale Mill is the parish’s most iconic landmark. With a prominent place in the Guernsey skyline since the 1800’s, Vale Mill operated as a flour mill before the German occupation when it was expanded with an additional three stories to feature an anti-aircraft position and a rangefinder. Following the war, the process began to remove the extra stories and restore the mill to its former glory, however, the cost of this meant it was never completed and two occupation-era stories remain. The additional stories take in the views of the entire northern parishes of Guernsey and the neighbouring islands of Herm and Sark.
The parish also features multiple prehistoric burial sites including La Varde, Les Fouaillages and Dehus Dolmen, incredible examples of the Channel Islands’ megalithic sites. Dehus Dolmen is particularly captivating at 10 metres in length and featuring remarkable carvings. The burial chamber dates back to 3,500-20,00BC and is regarded as Guernsey’s oldest attraction.
Vale Other Points of Interest
At the most northern part of the island, the bays of L’Ancresse and Pembroke are renowned for their turquoise waters and golden sands. The beaches are separated by a rock line and offer long stretches of sand with gentle slopes ideal for families with children who wish to swim or paddle in shallow water. At low tide, the waves retreat to reveal spectacular rock pools whilst watersports are also popular in the area, particularly kayaking and paddle boarding.
Also occupying the coastline, Bordeaux Harbour is a picturesque marina with the most romantic scenery. The idyllic landscape features charming fishing boats bobbing on the turquoise waters whilst the stretches of fine, golden sand provide the perfect base for admiring the view.
Vale is known for the following attractions – L’Ancresse Common (public open grassland area with beautiful flowers, dune-side plants and racecourse), Royal Guernsey Golf Course (18 hole), Le Dolmen de Déhus, Vale Castle (annual music festival ‘Vale Earth Fair’), Bordeaux Harbour (with dog friendly beach and annual Guernsey winkle-picking contest) and Fort le Marchant shooting range.
L’Ancresse Bay, Vale, Guernsey
Loop Holed Towers
Vale Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
Vale is the parish with the island’s second-largest population and as such, shopping is abundant throughout. The parish is home to a wealth of high street shops, grocery stores and well-known retailers. Vale also boasts a great collection of local stores and farm shops selling exceptional local produce, ingredients and goods.
With an outstanding coastal location, seafood is a highlight within the restaurants of Vale. The coastline is peppered with iconic dining locations including the renowned Saltwater Restaurant, The Beach House and Roc Salt. All three offer a menu of impressive seafood creations best enjoyed on the terrace with spectacular sea views.
Whilst Vale is one of Guernsey’s busiest parishes, the nightlife scene remains relatively tame. Evenings are best enjoyed in the western territory of the parish admiring the sunset or alternatively, getting cosy in a traditional pub with an evening of live music for entertainment.
Vale Sports and Events
The prestigious L’Ancresse Golf Club is nestled on Vale’s coastline featuring a challenging 18-hole championship golf course whilst the Royal Guernsey Golf Club can also be found in the parish. Situated on the cliff top overlooking L’Ancresse, the golf clubs are positioned in spectacular settings with unrivalled views of the Guernsey coastline.
Vale is also home to one of the island’s best-loved sports clubs, the Vale Recreation Football Club. The family-run club was founded in 1932 and has deep roots in Guernsey’s sporting heritage. Playing at the 3000 seater homeground of The Corbet Field, the atmosphere throughout a Vale Recreation FC game is one of the most electric experiences.
Vale Castle hosts a number of events throughout the year providing a unique and captivating venue for concerts, fairs and festivals. The castle is also frequently utilised as a performance venue theatre companies providing a diverse and dramatic outdoor stage. The largest event held at the castle is the Vale Earth Fair, the longest running music festival in the Channel Islands. Vale Earth Fair hosts a diverse selection of acts across six stages to raise money for humanitarian organisations. In addition to the eclectic music, Vale Earth Fair offers something for everyone’s taste including little ones with live entertainers and children’s activity corners.
As the second-most populous parish, Vale is home to a great percentage of Guernsey residents and as such boasts some of the island’s best roads and parking facilities. The parish is extremely easy to navigate with a vehicle with direct access and car parks at many of Vale’s top attractions.
For those using public transport to get around Guernsey, Vale is well connected to the rest of the island via the bus service provided by CT Plus. All services that pass through the parish connect to the St Peter Port Bus Terminus in the parish, the island’s main transportation hub. Multiple routes run through the parish including three routes directly stopping at L’Ancresse whilst Pembroke Bay is serviced by two. Meanwhile, the western territory of the parish is also serviced by three routes.