Along the coast road at the end of the island there is a prehistoric passage grave, guarded by the Guernsey National Trust, called Le Creux ès Faïes. According to folklore this is the entrance to the fairy world. I’m not sure that any fairies were home when we knocked. The earth around the monument has a grounding vibration, very much feeling like a dead end. Although, we didn’t linger too long just in case the Goblin King was in town and looking for company!
“Folklore says every Friday night the fairies would leave the tomb to join the witches’ revels at Le Catioroc and every full moon would see them dance until daybreak at the Mont Saint.“
It is a good smuggling hidey cove and could have been the fairy equivalent of the Alexandra Palace as the views from the mound are outstanding and the acoustics are pretty divine! All night fairy raves can probably continue in Guernsey like no where else in the world because the island’s border remains closed. We left some miniature whistles and tiny glow sticks as offerings and repeated three Calvin Harris anthem lyrics as we toddler bopped in the space and waving our hands up in the air feeling like we were at a Tomorrow Land headlining set.
A good tractor is always a bonus too. And these posts are helping me to feel more confident about exploring the world of G-Land (with a small ‘g’) with mini me, my toddler.
“Find Dehus Dolmen by travelling east from L’Ancresse turn left into the road just in front of Sarnia Controls. Or, travel north from Bordeaux Harbour for about a quarter of a mile and look out for the sign on the lamp post on the right at the first corner. The site is about 150m on the left. There is parking for one car to the right of the mound. Open 9am until sunset. Free admission. Perry’s Guide Ref: 7 H4” http://www.megalithicguernsey.co.uk/le_dehus_dolmen/
Dehus Dolmen is a prehistoric passage grave approximately 10 metres in length. One of the capstones has a remarkable carving of a man featuring a bearded face, arms and hands, with what appears to be a strung bow, and a series of symbolic designs, known as ‘The Guardian of the Tomb’. Large quantities of finds dating from 3,500-20,00BC have been found at the site, including lots and lots of limpet shells. And body bones. It is a magical place. We didn’t stay too long (the hand in the photo of the front door to the dolmen is my son’s… once you see it!). We had parked the car near to Beaucette Marina and stumbled upon this during our walk – what a lovely surprise! Many moons ago I took a daytrip to the standing stones at Rollrite, Long Compton, Oxfordshire. Back then we had a lie down in the centre of the stones for a while and could tune into the ancient whooshing whirls around the circle. Today, at Dehus Dolmen, we clambered onto the top of the mound and just enjoyed the view.
There is a nature trail around the perimeter of Les Vardes quarry, it’s steep, and uneven terrain and we struggled with our off-roading Mountain Buggy but we made it all the way around! We went on a gloriously sunny Friday afternoon and enjoyed the route. Thank you Ronez! Next time we will bring a picnic and enjoy the view looking out to Port Grat and Rousse.
This ‘island wiki’ gives you an overview of quarrying on the rock:
This is a quaint, and saintly place. A very small church has been fashioned out of broken Wedgwood, pebbles and ormer shells, all tended to with a whole lotta love over the years. The Guernsey tourist board will tell you that this site is “renowned around the world!” I had never heard of it. The chapel is nestled in Les Vauxbelets Valley (pronounced ‘Vo-blays’). It would be a perfect wedding venue in these covid times as you can fit a maximum of eight people inside. It was built by Brother Déodat, who put two versions of the chapel into the f*ck it bucket because you couldn’t swing a kitten in them. Version three exists today and it could be a wonderful place to host ‘Barbie Bestival’ or toy Pride (they won’t have to wear masks and could sweat against each other freely without fear of putting their elders at risk). The love that has pieced every morsel of Wedgwood, pebble and shell together over the years beams out from the grout with whimsical alacrity. I wish my barbies could have got married here, having been given away by a distant, slim, descendant of Brother Déodat. Like most steps on the island, they are erratic in size, therefore toddlers may require ‘up-ups’ for some of the time around the place. There is also a large collection box for donations – a great place to stash any one pound notes you don’t want to take back to the Isle of Man!
Amidst a global pandemic, Guernsey, a very small obscure island in the English Channel, has been carrying on as normal. Yes, we did a lockdown. And now we force all arrivals to quarantine, throwing the book right in the face of anybody that dares to pop to the shops for ice cream or sweets to go with their 9087 hour netflix binge, or a bottle of water. Leaving your cell/hotel room for cigarettes and milk, if you are in quarantine town, is the same as doing a big fraud or buying yourself drugs off the dark web. You will get pinched for breaking quarantine, which is ironic because that’s like breaking a prison sentence in itself? If you have bottomless bags of cash and can afford somewhere with an infinity pool, and stables, you might not be so tempted to nip out before your seven or fourteen* days are up (*depending on where you came from). This new way of life has been challenging. As a new mother I have enough guilt to start my own religion. Living comfortably during a global pandemic adds an entirely brand new dimension to guilt, and what religion may come of this will be mostly of the bread and wine kind (with cheese and dark chocolate used as symbolic ways to give blessings and thanks to our Sir Lord and Hero St Pier of Gavin, and the Dr Brink). They will be revered at the May lockdown-lift Festival of Drinking in Pubs, where cocktails named after Sir Lord St Pier of Gavin, and the Dr Brink, will be sunken by many, many people.
In light of being trapped on a small island with nowhere else to go (is the Isle of Man a “destination?” and you can’t ever really get to Alderney when it isn’t hoolie-season) I will put together a daily ‘one hundred things to do‘ like notches on a bedpost.
I am being flippant as a coping mechanism as my family live across the shores, in England. Flippancy defends me from feeling savagely sad about not being able to have a mummy cuddle anytime soon. I will offer a ‘guide’ for what people want to do after there quarantine is up, or if they choose to come here freely once the pandemic has f*cked off (#upyourscorona!!)
Number – One – Things to do in Guernsey when the Rest of the World has Gone to Sh*t
#001 Go for a walk, run or truffle shuffle around the reservoir at St Saviour’s. The Millennium Nature Trail is a thing of beauty. True, it’s not an orgy, or a bath of gin. But in these colder and rainier months it is a glorious mud fest of autumnal mulch that is the colour of the rare and ubiquitous pumpkin latte that will absolutely blow your cockles off. Your may even spy some fairy toadstools. If it is sh*tting it down, you will be in safe hands around the trail. You can take a journey into yourself. Let the rain wash away anxieties and the wind blow off some hot air from your ego. Let the earth mulch beneath your feet and ground you, and let the rosiness in your cheeks warm your fiery heart. Take new eyes with you if you have been around the reservoir before – you will always discover something new here.