Diagnosing fast electrons is important to understand the physics underpinning intense laser-produced plasmas. Here, we demonstrate experimentally that a Cherenkov radiation-based optical fibre can serve as a reliable diagnostic to characterize the fast electrons escaping from solid targets irradiated by ultra-intense laser pulses. Using optical fibre loops, the number and angular distributions of the escaping electrons are obtained. The data agree well with measurements made using image plate stacks. The optical fibre can be operated at high-repetition rates and is insensitive to x-rays and ion beams, which makes it advantageous over other routinely used fast electron diagnostics in some aspects.