Walk R4. Moulin Huet to Icart and back
Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
A map of the walk can be found here.
This is a pleasantly varied walk, with some scenic cliff paths, and a return along some interesting lanes and paths.
Park in the public car park above Moulin Huet Bay, at the end of Rue du Moulin Huet, where there are public toilets (open 1st March to 31st October). Parking may be difficult here on fine summer week-ends. Moulin Huet is shown in Perry's as "Le Vier Port". However the locals never call this bay anything other than Moulin Huet (pronounced "Mool-in wet").
There is no bus to here, and to arrive by bus you will need to take the bus (routes 81 or 91) to the Old Mill and then walk down Ville Amphrey and the Water Lanes. Alternatively you could take the route 81 bus to Icart Corner and start the walk at my fourth from the end paragraph below).
Leave the car park heading downhill down the metalled lane. At the end of the wide part of the lane a path forks off on the left, but keep going straight down a narrower, but still metalled, path. Pass Moulin Huet Tea Rooms (open in season) and then turn right by the information board about Renoir in Guernsey, signed on a granite block: Saints Bay - Icart Point. (The Renoir board is currently missing - maybe removed while some Japanese Knotweed is dealt with).
The path alternatively ascends steps then makes zigzags, and you get views down into Moulin Huet on your left. At a junction turn left. The steps arrive at a T junction where you turn left along a now flat path. [If you prefer, you can get to either of these junctions with fewer steps to climb by starting the walk from a path that leaves from the valley road just above the car park (signed on a granite block: Saints Bay - Icart Point). At a fork you can take the path to the lower junction, or the right hand fork ascends to the upper junction. The lower path passes a seat where you get a good view over Moulin Huet and across to the Pea Stacks].
The path reaches the end of the headland and continues along near the top of the cliffs. You can see the fisherman's harbour at Saints ahead. After a while you can look back left and see the "Dog and Lion" rocks below.
As you arrive above Saints Bay, the path curves around to contour up the side of the valley. In winter my wife and I sometimes refer to this as the "Valley of Upturned Roots" because the bare branches of many of the trees are so spindly and twisted, it almost looks as though the trees are standing on their heads.
You arrive at a seat where you can look down into Saints Bay. It is possible to shorten the walk at this point by taking the path continuing up on the right. This joins with the main walk at the junction with Rue Tonnelle on the way back to Bon Port Hotel. (The path reaches a short stretch of tarmac. Continue straight ahead to regain a path which bends left, then quite soon, and before the wooden barriers, turn off right to descend to cross a little stream - then see my last but one paragraph below, second sentence).
However we are going to continue straight ahead along the path which descends to the valley road. Turn left here, then almost immediately right (Signed on a granite block to Saints Harbour). Or you can make an optional detour here to Saints Bay by continuing straight down the road. In season there is a refreshment kiosk and public toilets at the bay. Then you will need to retrace your steps back to this point.
Part way along the road to Saints Harbour, before passing the Martello tower, you can if you wish take a path that ascends on the right, signed to Icart Point. However we are going to go as far as Saints Harbour. Some 45 years ago, a courting couple were strolling here in the evening dusk when a huge freighter loomed out of the dark, and crashed onto the rocks and beach in front of the harbour. She was the President Garcia carrying a cargo of copra, and was clearly somewhat lost. After a period attracting sightseers, she was rather surprisingly re-floated. Some images, with a brief account of the salvage, can be found here.
From the harbour take the ascending steps (signed to Icart) that curve around, passing Saints Bay Battery, to climb up the nose of the headland. You get good views back to Saints, and over the Dog and Lion Rocks across to Petit Port and the Pea Stacks. There are though 304 steps to climb here. If you prefer a somewhat gentler, more oblique ascent take the earlier right hand path mentioned in my previous paragraph.
At the top of the steps, arrive at a level path and turn left along the top of the cliff. As you round a corner, Petit Bot and La Moye Point come into view. Soon after this you reach the car part at Icart (1 hour). There are public toilets here (open all year) and (in season) a tea room / refreshment kiosk.
Leave the car park along the road. Pass Saints Bay Hotel. After about ten minutes pass Saints farm on your right, then arrive at a road junction and bus stop on a bend (Icart Corner. Bus route 81). Keep straight, then after a few paces take the grassy lane on your right (Runs between two houses that are side on to the road. Shows signs of having been metalled once).
At the end of the lane turn right onto a road then reach a T junction where you turn left (Saints Bay Road). Pass an Abreuveur et Fontaine then, immediately after La Barbarie Hotel, turn right (La Motte Road). You pass Les Douvres Hotel, then turn sharp right (signed to Bon Port Hotel). You can if you wish merely follow this road as far as Bon Port (take a right turn soon after the first bend, then later on keep left at a fork). However we are going to take a path that comes off straight ahead almost immediately at the first left hand bend (Rue Tonnelle - Signed "Public Path to Cliffs").
Continue down the path, and when you reach a junction turn down sharp left (the other branch comes up from the seat above Saints Bay). The path dips down to cross a little stream, then ascends gently to reach a metalled road. Turn left along the road, which bends left, right and left again. Then you take the right hand turning to reach Bon Port Hotel. At Bon Port the public path comes off on the right just before your reach the hotel car park, and runs down the right hand (south west) side of the hotel to reach your outward path at a T junction.
At this T junction turn left, but this time keep straight ahead on the path (do not turn right back down the steps of your outward route). At a fork go right to head gently downhill back to the car park. The left fork, named on a granite block (in Guernsey Patois) 'Lé Chmin dé Haout á La Fosse', would if you wish, normally take you at a higher level to reach the valley road at Moulin Huet Pottery, where you can turn right on the tarmac to walk gently down to the parking. At the moment the far end of this path is closed due to problems with a retaining wall, and you are diverted down to the valley road before reaching the Pottery. (1 hr. 45 mins.).
(Revised December 2012)