Things to do in Guernsey
The Bailiwick of Guernsey consists of the Island of Guernsey and other smaller Islands. All are part of The Channel Islands, the most southerly point of the British Isles. Guernsey is smaller than Jersey, covering an area of some 25 square miles / 63km. Guernsey's landscape is breathtaking, with high cliffs in the south, splendid beaches in the north and gentle inland scenery. The Island is an artist's dream, likewise for botanists and nature lovers. The sunny, mild climate and high light level enable plants to flower here most of the year. Records show that there can be 449 species of plant in flower each January. The Island is home to spectacular gardens, parks and many nature reserves. Guernsey is a great place to enjoy outdoor pursuits, such as walking cycling, diving, angling. There's sailing too, and surfing and wind surfing to be found on the west coast. Guernsey has a variety of archaeological sites, many of which have survived in remarkably good condition.
Guernsey Tourist Information can be accessed on the North Esplanade, St. Peter Port - the Island's capital. St. Peter Port is situated on the east coast of Guernsey and has been a safe haven and harbour for hundreds of years. St. Peter Port is considered by many to be the Channel Islands' most beautiful town, set on a hillside as it is, overlooking the harbour with fine views to Alderney. The town retains a delightful atmosphere with Georgian and Regency buildings, cobbled streets, terraces and tiered gardens. Shopping in St. Peter Port is a pleasure with a wide variety of shops and boutiques offering everything from antiques to the famous traditional Guernsey knitwear.
St. Peter Port's attractions include the elegant Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery in Candie Gardens. Here you can learn the Guernsey story from Neolithic times to the present day. Embroiders will enjoy a visit to the Dorey Centre at St. James to see the Bailiwick of Guernsey Millennium Tapestry, illustrating 1000 years of local history in ten unique embroidered panels. Castle Cornet, whose history covers eight centuries, now houses several museums including the story of Castle Cornet, the Maritime Museum and 201 Squadron Museum. The Castle also has four 'period'gardens.
The author Victor Hugo - exiled from France for nineteen years (due to his opposition to Louis Bonaparte) - spent a short time in Jersey before purchasing Hauteville House on Guernsey in 1856. Hugo was captivated by Guernsey and lived and worked here until his return to France in 1870. Hauteville House is open to the public and is well preserved in its original splendour. Guernsey Tourist Information centre has details of the Victor Hugo trail, encompassing many of the author's favourite haunts, along side locations featured in his writings.
On the south of the Island at Forest is the German Occupation Museum. Its exhibits include an audiovisual experience looking at life in Guernsey from 1940-1945, during the German Occupation.
St Peters (St Pierre du Bois), lies on the west coast of Guernsey. Here you can visit Fort Grey, a Martello Tower overlooking the bays along the west coast. The tower houses the Shipwreck Museum, with information relating to ships wrecked on the treacherous west coast of the Island.
Guernsey Folk Museum is to be found in Castel, Castel being at Saumarez Park in the north of the Island. Run by the National Trust of Guernsey, it houses an interesting collection from Victorian times.
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands, approximately 3miles/5km long and 2miles/3km wide. Tourist Information is available at the Alderney Information and Wildlife Trust Centre in Victoria Street. The Island is surrounded by golden sandy bays and a variety of beaches. Most are suitable for families with small children, while a few are more suited to the angler and naturalist. The Island is quite unspoiled, with an abundance of flora and fauna. One of the island's native species is the Blond Hedgehog. Shopping in the pretty town of St Anne's is a pleasant experience and there is a good selection of restaurants, cafes and pubs. Alderney has a golf course and tennis courts.
Herm is the smallest of the Channel Islands. Lying three miles off the coast of Guernsey, Herm is only one and a half miles long by a mile wide. Cars and bicycles are not allowed on the Island ensuring that Herm is a haven of peace and tranquillity, where walking is a pleasure. The northern coast has beautiful sandy beaches, in particular Shell Beach where tiny colourful shells are washed up by the Gulf Stream and cover the golden sand. The south of the Island is more rugged with good cliff walks. Herm is popular with birdwatchers all year round and botanists can find a great variety of plants of interest.
The Island of Sark is some three miles long by one and a half miles wide. It is in fact two parts - Greater Sark to the north and Little Sark to the south. These are joined by a 150-yard isthmus named La Coupee. La Coupee is just nine feet wide yet has a road and protective railings. The railings are a welcome feature as there's a 300 foot drop either side. Sark is another of the islands which is free of cars, although bicycles are permitted. Dolphins and Porpoises can often be seen in the waters around the coast, which are particularly clear and ideal for diving, they also offer anglers a good variety of fish. Wild flowers bloom on the coastal cliffs and abound in the sheltered valleys inland. The old harbour is used by local fisherman and visiting yachtsmen. It hosts the popular Sark Water Carnival each summer. One of Sark's most popular attractions are the gardens at La Seigneurie, the home of the Seigneurs of Sark since 1730 (the house is not open to the public). The gardens are open daily and are one of the finest formal gardens in the Channel Islands.
Days out in Guernsey
Castle Cornet's amazing history spans more than eight hundred years. Today visitors will see several fascinating museums within the castle walls.
Fort Grey, which is known locally as 'the Cup and Saucer', overlooks the magical west coast bays. The Martello Tower now houses a Shipwreck Museum.
German Occupation Museum
The museum gives a picture of life in Guernsey during the German Occupation, 1940 -1945.
Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum
Discover old Guernsey at Saumarez Park Folk Museum.
Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery
Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery is an award winning museum whose design is based on the original Victorian bandstand. It is positioned on an elevated site in the magnificent Victorian Candie Gardens.