Guernsey destination guide: what to do, eat and where to sleep
he jewel of the Bailliage and one of the Channel Islands off the coast of France, Guernsey is the perfect destination for couples or families looking to get away from it all without the hassle of a long-haul flight. In fact, you can be there within an hour of London Gatwick and with its Norman architectural heritage, mild weather and narrow cobbled streets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in the Mediterranean. Think Cornish village meets Normandy France. Happiness.
Beautiful beaches and secluded coves are dotted around the perimeter of the island and offer crystal clear turquoise waters ideal for wild swimming or kayaking adventures. Too tiring? Relax on the golden sands and soak up the sun – we won’t judge you.
But there’s more to Guernsey than great coastal views – from exploring historic sites to hopping on neighboring islands, you can create the idyllic holiday itinerary that completely evolves every day taking into account the culture. , heritage, adventure, Guernsey fine dining and gelato. cream.
What to see and do
Coastal walks and forts
The Guernsey coastline offers the most stunning views imaginable – it’s no wonder Renoir painted some of his most famous masterpieces here. Head along the cliff path from St Peters Port to Fermain Bay – one of the best beaches on the island – for the most Instagram-friendly views of the hidden bay. If you have a car, be sure to explore the coastal fortifications that have defended Guernsey from invasion for thousands of years.
The house of Hauteville by Victor Hugo
The famous Parisian poet and author Victor Hugo settled in St Peters Port in 1855. After declaring Guernsey “the rock of hospitality and freedom”, he spent his fifteen years in exile, possibly living his most productive and creative period of writing and went to pen Les Miserables here. His eclectic home is covered in decadent tapestries and carved woodwork that Hugo collected during his time there and is perfectly preserved by the City of Paris. Open for tours and a must for literature buffs or those of us (me!) who like a good snoop around someone’s house. visitguernsey.com
German underground hospital and other war sites
The military ‘occupation’ between 1940 and 1945, when Nazi Germany took control of the island with the aim of capturing England, changed the landscape of Guernsey and their liberation is still heavily celebrated to this day. Make no mistake, Guernsey does not shy away from its past and the remnants of occupation on the island are a reminder of what the islanders endured during the war and the resilience they showed. The German Underground Hospital is meticulously preserved and open for tours. As you walk along the dark, damp hallways covered in German road signs, you can almost feel the soldiers of war marching behind you. Take a tour with Tours of Guernsey for a detailed guide and also be sure to visit the Mirus Battery – the remains of four naval guns with a bizarre underground bunker to explore. toursofguernsey.com
Beaches, coves and vitaminized sea bathing
If you are more of a beach lover, Guernsey offers an embarrassment of hidden coves and sandy beaches with crystal clear waters to relax and soak up the sun. Head to Cobo or Petit Bot for dreamy hidden gems (but don’t tell the locals, I told you). Feeling a little more energetic? Then hire a paddleboard or kayak to explore the coves in style while gliding over the glistening sea. If you’re up for a little more adventure, we highly recommend coasteering trips with Outdoor Guernsey – the ultimate adrenaline-fueled activity that will have you scrambling over rocks and jumping into the blue sea below… 25ft was my limit. I double dare you… outdoorguernsey.gg
The little chapel
If there’s anywhere to visit, this pint-sized labor of love is a must. Completed in 1923 by a French chaplain and covered in shells, glass, pebbles and broken china, it is the most original, charming and adorable miniature building outside of Alice in Wonderland. You will feel compelled to take a moment to reflect or light a candle, whatever your faith. A truly moving experience.
Sark and Herm
A short ferry hop from Guernsey and you’ll step back in time visiting the quieter island of Sark. As there are no cars on the island (you can see a few tractors, horses and carts), the best way to explore Sark is by bike. We recommend a guided tour [Soo Wellfair Tours] by a very knowledgeable local to soak up the history of the island and its famous inhabitants such as the very devoted Sibyl Hathaway. Visit the beautiful gardens of La Seigneurie or watch Caragh chocolates being made by hand before trying some for yourself. If you’re feeling brave, you can walk La Coupee – a narrow, handmade causeway that connects the main island to ‘Little Sark’. The views over the cliffs are stunning and the little beach coves provide the perfect oasis to take time out from it all.
With very little air pollution and no streetlights, the night sky is lit up with stars and in some places you can even see the Milky Way in all its glory (head to the Observatory for the best view ).
Herm is the smaller of the two and Island Rib Voyage boat trips from Guernsey are a great way to see this stunning island – you may even spot a seal or guillemot on your way if you’re lucky.
Pride of the Channel Islands, September 3
Celebrating 50e Year since the UK held its first Pride parade in 1972, the 70s-themed Guernsey Pride promises to be bigger and prouder than ever. The main event will take place on September 3 at Candie Gardens and will be filled with unicorn races, stalls, music and entertainment before the Pride parade moves through town towards Market Square, led by a tall 50-meter rainbow flag, floats and samba bands for more live music (tribute act P!nk, local band Element 6 and headliners The Freemasons all line up). Guest appearances from Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK’s Tia Kofi and winner Lawrence Chaney, plus the performance of Liberate’s LGBTQ+ choir ‘Rainbow Chorus’ will add to the colorful celebrations. There will be something for everyone – young and old and with a mission to be as inclusive as ever. And the whole day is free so no one misses out.
Dean McCollough and Radio One DJ Lawrence Chaney will ensure that the official Pride after-party goes off with a bang, so be sure to book your ticket. The official Pride pool party is guaranteed to be the perfect excuse to continue the celebrations the next day.
For more information and tickets to Guernsey Pride, visit social media at facebook or Instagram.
Where to stay
Hotel Bella Luce
This picturesque Norman mansion is located in the heart of Guernsey and offers one of the most enjoyable stays on the island. Surrounded by narrow roads and tranquility, you will soon forget your daily grind and relax into a stress-free pace of life. Each room is uniquely designed and every care is taken to ensure you have the most enchanting stay – from breakfast in the morning to a visit to the award-winning on-site gin distillery in the evening, you can relax and unwind. Plus, you can also take a dip in the pool or enroll in the luxurious Bella Spa & Boutique for a truly amazing wellness experience. Rooms from £186; bellalucehotel.com
Where to eat and drink
Nineteen Bar & Grill
From the freshest seafood to the most succulent steaks, Nineteen Bar & Grill is located on one of Guernsey’s best golf courses and offers a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. Open to the public, there’s no need to bother with the 18 holes beforehand – just take a swing for the 19e hole, as they say. The Pirates Crazy Golf course is the perfect appetizer or, if you’re feeling a bit more energetic, then go through a bucket of balls at the driving range.nineteen.gg
Stocks Sark Island Hotel & Restaurant
‘Dip & Dine’ is a *thing* on the island and there’s no better destination than Stocks to relax by the pool and enjoy the most delicious of meals. Nestled in a wooded valley in the heart of Sark, food is sourced from local fishermen and farmers and from the hotel’s vegetable gardens. You don’t want to leave? Just book yourself into one of their rustic-chic rooms and use their horse and carriage. It really doesn’t get any better than that. stockhotel.com
Moulin Huet tea rooms
As you descend towards Baie du Moulin Huet (part of the Renoir Trail) you will come across a quaint tea room with stunning views (if they were good enough for Renoir…). Enjoy a locally-caught crab sandwich and cream tea as you plan to whip up the watercolor paints. visitguernsey.com
This newly opened vibrant dining destination serves light snacks, breakfast, brunch and lunch in the heart of Admiral Park, just north of St Peters Port and offers a laid back atmosphere and funky interior design. Discover the cocktail menu organized to accompany your brunch (well, you’re on vacation). goodrebel.gg
How to get there
Daily Alderney Airline flights from Guernsey from London Gatwick will get you there in 40 minutes or you may want to take the Condor Ferries from Poole or Portsmouth with the added benefit of car driving, perfect for explore the length and breadth of Guernsey. Be warned though, even though they drive on the left (phew!), the roads are quite narrow, so take your time and obey the local rules. Parking is free on the island but you will need a parking timer with you.
For more information, visit visitguernsey.com