Frequently Asked Questions
A list of our most commonly asked questions and their answers.
Sadly no fires are allowed on Lihou. This is to reduce the chance of there being a scrub fire that gets out of control. Lihou is an environmentally sensitive island and a fire would be devastating. With the isolated nature of the Island, especially at high water, an open fire has been deemed an unacceptable risk.
As a general rule if you can see available dates then you can book them. However we only release dates for the following calendar year for the general public from the beginning of September of the current year. Subscribed Friends of Lihou will receive advance notice of when they can book before the general public by email. To benefit from this 'head start', please subscribe to the Friends of Lihou.
Venus Pool is situated at the western extreme of Lihou Island. The pool floods twice a day over the high water period. It becomes a pool at approximately half tide down to half tide up. Effectively that means the pool is available for swimming from one and a half hours before the causeway opens to one and a half hours after it closes. The one and a half hours after the causeway closes is the best time for residents of the house to swim as all the day visitors will have gone and the water is at its warmest.
The house is designed to be used by groups and as a result it is not possible to hire a room or bed as you can in a youth hostel or back packers hostel. A couple or small group can hire the house, but there is a minimum charge. Please see prices.
Access to the island is across a causeway. This is often a wet, slippery and uneven surface. The causeway is constructed of different materialism, with a mix of cobbles, shale, gravel and larger bolders. There is often a build-up of seaweed at the Lihou island side which can make traversing the causeway particularly difficult. Anyone with a physical impairment should be aware of these factors and make a decision as to whether they feel is safe and appropriate to attempt to cross to the island. Unfortunately we cannot offer any transportation for people to access Lihou island. All guest will have to arrive on foot.
No unauthorised vehicles are permitted to cross the causeway. Transport for luggage to and from the island is provided by the Lihou tractor.
It is ill advised to use a kayak, stand up paddle board or sit-on-top around Lihou without sufficient knowledge or skill as the entire island is subject to very strong tidal flows even on calm days when they may seem less obvious. The isolated nature of Lihou means assistance in the event of an emergency is some time arriving. Do not plan to use a kayak or similar to access the island from Guernsey during your stay.
No. We used to have barbecues but they were abused and expensive to replace as well as problematic to store. If you bring a disposable or portable barbecue with you, please adhere to the following;
- Keep the barbecue off the ground so as to avoid burning the grass or decking etc.
- Barbecue within the boundaries of the garden
- Ensure that all coals are cold before leaving the barbecue unattended
- Remove ALL coals from the island when you leave with your waste and DO NOT dispose of them on the beach or bushes
- DO NOT feed the gulls or throw bones etc anywhere other than in your normal waste stream
Sadly no. As the house makes its own power there is a limited supply. The only electrical items that may be brought with you are low power items such as mp3 chargers, phone and camera chargers and laptops. Small mp3 style speakers are also OK but not large systems with amplifiers. Failure to observe these guidelines will result in power failure throughout the house and its systems.
Lihou House is classed as a public building and like the rest of Guernsey, smoking within a public building is not allowed. We ask that if you must smoke, please do so outside the house and its grounds and ensure that you pick-up your cigarette ends. Cigarette ends are litter and should be dealt with as such and in a responsible manner.
The use of e-cigarettes is also not permitted within Lihou House.
Lihou House is primarily used for school and youth groups. With this in mind it is undesirable for the garden and grounds surrounding the house to be littered with cigarette ends.
Any groups found to have been smoking within the house will be charged a cleaning fee of £400.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
No dogs or cats are allowed onto the island at any time. We ask that if you see visitors crossing to the island with a dog that you ask them to return. The restriction of dogs and cats is due to the year round importance of Lihou as a bird reserve.
Yes. There is a wood burning stove in the lounge. Wood can either be scavenge from the beaches (outside of the bird breeding season) or brought with you to the island. It is not permitted to burn coal or coal substitutes on the fire. Please also avoid burning painted wood, plywood or MDF. We also as that you refrain from burning plastics and other general waste on the fire. The fire must be cleaned after use and before departure.
If you are planning to use the fire it is advisable to bring a saw, kindling and matches with you.
- Clothing and wash kit including towel
- Toilet paper, tea towels and so on
- Food for the duration of your stay (bearing in mind that there are no freezer facilities)
- Bedding: pillowcase, sheet, sleeping bag or quilt (single beds are 3 foot wide, doubles are 4 foot 6 inches)
- A torch is always a good idea
- Indoor footwear or bare feet will be fine but chilly in winter
- Entertainment and games for your group
- During the winter month a saw for cutting wood for the fire and matches for lighting it
- Recycling bags and rubbish bags
- All waste food must be removed from Lihou and placed in your own bins at home on Guernsey.
- All rubbish should also be dealt with by taking it home with you. Rubbish should preferably be separated and recycled where possible. It's a good idea to double bag black bag waste to avoid leakage in your car.
- Do not put scraps outside for the birds as this not only encourages the gulls to start pestering residents but also attracts rats.
- Do not put full rubbish bags outside as the rats and gulls will tear them open.
- It is your responsibility to deal with your rubbish so removal of excess packaging before your arrival in Lihou is a good and helpful idea.
- Do not burn rubbish on the fire in the lounge.
Yes. The water in Lihou comes from a 230 foot deep borehole. The water is then passed trough a filter and UV light unit before being pumped to thd house. Please do not waste water.
- Keep showers short
- Do not wash wetsuits or bathers in the showers
- Wash up in batches at meal times and not under a running tap.
- Do not brush teeth under a running tap also.
There are four bathrooms in the house. Two upstairs and two downstairs. Lihou deals with its sewage and waste water by utilising a sceptic tank system. To that end please do not place anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. Sanitary products must go in the bin. Groups must supply their own toilet paper. Attempting to flush sanitary products, cotton buds, make-up wipes or your hopes and dreams will result in potentially serious damage to the system and disruption to your stay.
No. There is also no radio, CD player or DVD player. If you require a music system, you must supply it yourself and ensure that is small as the power system of the house cannot support high amperage equipment.
It is a large stainless steel kitchen with a six-ring gas hob and big oven. The oven and hob run from bottled gas so please do no waste it. There is also a four-slice toaster and a large fridge. There is no freezer. There is no dishwasher or microwave. We are keeping the electrical appliances to a minimum as the house runs from batteries and a generator. Lots of appliances equal lots of cost. There are two large catering-style sinks for washing up. All crockery and cutlery as well as utensils are provided. There are plenty of pots and pans. Groups will need to provide their own t-towels, matches and washing up liquid.
Most, if not everything, you need for cooking is provided. There is adequate crockery, cups, mugs and cutlery for 30 but there are no glasses provided as a matter of course. There are chopping boards and knives as well as serving spoons and so on. There are baking trays and a poaching pan.
No linen, towels or tea towels are provided. Most groups stay for short periods and as such the levels of laundry after a group’s stay would be enormous. To help lower the use of the island’s resources and costs involved in running the house, we ask you to supply all your own linen and towels.
It is normal for groups to meet in the car park on the Guernsey side of the causeway to load their luggage into the tractor half and hour after the causeway opens. Groups are collected from the house immediately the causeway clears. Only in exceptional circumstances and subject to arrangements with the warden can this be altered.
The Lihou Charitable Trust cannot guarantee a facility to transport luggage and food to the island. However it is very rare that this cannot be done. Luggage is transferred by tractor and trailer. One transfer is free of charge but subsequent loads are charged at £20 per trailer. This is to take account of the extra time for the warden and wear and tear on the tractor in the salt-water environment. A maximum of three loads is permissible but on occasions time and tides may only allow time for one to be transferred. Every effort will be made to accommodate luggage transfer but we would encourage you to pack only the essential and carry as much as possible.
Access to the island is across a causeway. This is often a wet, slippery and uneven surface. The causeway is constructed of different materialism, with a mix of cobbles, shale, gravel and larger bolders. There is often a build-up of seaweed at the Lihou island side which can make traversing the causeway particularly difficult. Anyone with a physical impairment should be aware of these factors and make a decision as to whether they feel is safe and appropriate to attempt to cross to the island. Unfortunately we cannot offer any vehicle assistance to access the island.
The beds are a mix of bunks, single beds and double beds. The bunk beds have secure sides on the upper bunk and a ladder to access the upper bunk. The beds are currently configured as:
1 x 10 bed dorm (5 x bunk beds)
1 x 7 bed dorm (2 x bunk beds and 3 x singles)
1 x 6 bed dorm (2 x bunk beds and 2 x singles)
2 x Triple room (1 x bunk bed and 1 x single)
3 x Double rooms (each have one double bed only)
1 x 6 bed rooms (3 x bunk beds)
The beds are provided with a mattress and mattress cover as well as a pillow. You must bring a sheet to cover the bed, a pillowcase and either a sleeping bag or quilt. Please use a sheet even if you are using a sleeping bag. This is for basic hygiene reasons. The single beds are a standard 3 foot mattress and the doubles are 4 foot 6 inches wide.