Guernsey


Guernsey and her neighbouring islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney provide beautiful little cameos. Writers and artists have been inspired by Guernsey: French poet Victor Hugo was exiled here for 15 years where he completed Les Miserables and painter Renoir was mesmerised by the “shimmering light” of Moulin Huet Bay.

A film, simply named “Guernsey”, was released in 2018, and is centered around the occupants of the island in the aftermath of World War II. The island is steeped in history and there are many reminders around the island of the German Occupation (Guernsey was the only part of the British Isles successfully invaded by the Nazis).

Local crab, lobster and prawns regularly feature on restaurant menus, and the food is so good that French visitors often sail over for their dinner! There is no better recommendation than that. A great time to visit Guernsey is during the Tennerfest festival, a six-week slice of foodie heaven in October-November, when many restaurants offer daily two and three course menus starting from just £10.

The island attracts families seeking a traditional holiday with fabulous beaches and a wide range of activities. Couples are discovering that Guernsey is an increasingly fashionable place, boasting romantic hideaways and stylish restaurants – again, a real fusion of French and English styles, tastes and fashions. Groups of friends are regularly choosing the island for a weekend get-together where boat trips, boutique shopping and shore-side bistros provide a fabulous break.

The Regions


St Peter Port and the East Coast
The island’s capital, which showcases a sparkling marina full of yachts and fishing boats, is also the departure point for regular ferries to the beautiful islands of Herm and Sark. Along the waterfront are bars, cafes, restaurants and small smugglers’ passageways that lead to the centre of town, a classic mix of French and British architecture. Tourists love pottering among the galleries and individual boutique shops selling clothes, jewellery, shoes and antiques. Roads are steep and often cobbled, so if walking is an issue please ask for hotel recommendations. Castle Cornet is a must visit – standing proudly on the entrance to the harbour, this 800-year old citadel offers a daily guided tour at 10.30am and the firing of the noon-day gun by scarlet-clad gunners.

Beaches are spectacular in Guernsey and each coast offers uniquely stunning bays. The picturesque Fermain Bay can be reached only by foot, and its café is a popular stop on the coastal walk from the capital. Just inland is Suasmarez Manor – an historic house offering tours, subtropical gardens, a sculpture park and pitch and putt among its attractions.

The South Coast
This coastline offers secluded bays and picturesque harbours. The coast path on this side of the island has a large continuous stretch of semi-natural vegetation, mainly consisting of cliff-top grassland and heathland. Bird watchers will enjoy spotting cormorant, shag, fulmar, kittiwake, oystercatcher, dartford warbler, peregrine falcon and long-eared owls which nest in sheltered spots in the cliffs.

Moulin Huet – tricky to access but well worth the effort – is where Renoir once spent a summer sketching 15 famous pieces. The café, like many others on the island, offers homemade cakes and delicious crab sandwiches. Further inland, and just north of the airport, the charming Little Chapel is possibly the smallest chapel in the world. Originally built by Brother Deodat in 1914, it has been rebuilt three times and is covered in pebbles and broken china. A must see attraction. In the same area is the German Military Underground hospital, the largest remaining structure from World War II, and the Occupation Museum.

The West Coast
If you time it right, take the opportunity to visit Lihou Island just off the west coast. It is accessed for about two weeks a month, across a causeway at low tide, and has a fascinating history and varied wildlife. To the south of Rocquaine Bay is the Fort Grey and Shipwreck Museum, one of Guernsey’s three Martello towers dating back to 1804.

The North Coast
Wide expanses of white sand open up on the north beaches, giving a true wild and rugged feel. Walking the cliff paths here is very popular – why not pick up a copy of the Tasty Walks Guide from the Tourist Office, taking in the delights of beachfront cafes as you go. At low tide, a lunar landscape appears and offers amazing rock pools to explore. Watching the sun set at low tide on Cobo Bay beach is a spectacle in itself. Ideal for families with children of all ages.

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Location

Current Weather Guernsey

How to get there

By Plane – The island of Guernsey can be reached with direct flights from most major regional airports flying with the following airlines Aurigny, Easyjet and FlyBe. Flight time is as little as 45 minutes.

By Ferry – Condor Ferries operate a daily service throughout the year from Poole and Portsmouth to Guernsey. The fast ferry service from Poole takes approximately three hours whereas the conventional ferry from Portsmouth can take up to twelve hours. You can travel as foot passengers or take your vehicle on-board. You can even take your dog with you – they travel free in your vehicle or you will pay a small supplement as foot passengers.

For ease of travel, there really is no better way to get there. No luggage restrictions, easy check in and you sit back, relax and start your holiday as soon as you board. Seat upgrades are available.

Connecting to Sark and Herm – Guernsey also serves as a hub to get to its neighbouring islands of Sark and Herm and regular ferries operate from Guernsey Quay to both islands. The ferry to Sark operates up to five times daily and takes approximately 40 minutes. The ferry to Herm operates up to six times daily and takes approximately 45 minutes.

Top tips

  • For those looking for authentic and local dining why not enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at the Octopus Restaurant, overlooking St Peter Port.
  • Car parking is free in Guernsey but the majority of public car parks operate “Disc Zones” which define the amount of time you can park there. You will need to purchase a parking clock for a few pounds when you arrive to park in these car parks. Most garages and a number of retail outlets sell these.
  • Guernsey has a frequent bus network covering the whole island and connecting most visitor attractions via the most popular routes. A single fare of £1 applies to all journeys, including the around the island tour.

When To Go


Summer (June-August) – the island boasts some of the UK’s warmest weather and temperatures can reach a comfortable 21 degrees Celsius. This period is peak season and although the weather is favourable, costs and availability can be an issue.

Autumn (September-November) – September to mid-October can still attract some decent weather and it means you can enjoy the island when the tourists have all gone home. The sea temperatures tend to be at their warmest in September.

Winter (December-February) – Low Season. A season with unpredictable weather and very few tourists. Some properties, attractions and shops close during this period. That being said winter on Guernsey can still be enjoyable, with dramatic coastlines and cosy atmospheric pubs whilst taking advantage of the much lower prices at this time of year. However please bear in mind that travel to Guernsey at this time of the year can often be disrupted due to weather. This is also the best time for deserted beaches, coastal foraging, stormy photography and wild walks without another soul in sight.

Spring (March-May) – A lovely time to visit the island with spring flowers in bloom everywhere and the summer hoards of visitors have not yet arrived. Temperatures are starting to get balmy and a great time for walking the miles of nature trails on offer.

Properties


Old Government House Hotel

Old Government House Hotel

5

GUERNSEY – The Old Government House Hotel and Spa has a unique and rich heritage and is the most historic hotel in the Channel Islands and part of the Red...

Duke of Richmond

Duke of Richmond

4

GUERNSEY – The Duke of Richmond is part of the boutique Red Carnation Hotel collection, the hotel prides itself on its unparalleled service and attention to detail. Superb dining with...

La Fregate

La Fregate

4

GUERNSEY – La Fregate is located on a hill overlooking St Peter Port, this 18th century manor house hotel boasts a modern boutique feel.

St Pierre Park Hotel

St Pierre Park Hotel

4

GUERNSEY – The St Pierre Park Hotel is set in 35 acres of parkland, this luxury hotel, spa and golf resort offers a truly relaxing stay.

Bella Luce Hotel

Bella Luce Hotel

4

GUERNSEY – The Bella Luce Hotel is a boutique hotel, full of charm and character, set in an historic 16th century manor house, just minutes from Guernsey’s coastline.

Fermain Valley

Fermain Valley

4

GUERNSEY – Fermain Valley is located in a glorious wooded valley above Fermain Bay, the hotel is a short drive to St Peter Port and has a complimentary shuttle.

Le Friquet Country Hotel

Le Friquet Country Hotel

3

GUERNSEY – Le Friquet Country Hotel lies in the heart of the beautiful island of Guernsey boasting superb accommodation in attractive surrounds.

Cobo Bay Hotel

Cobo Bay Hotel

3

GUERNSEY – Cobo Bay boutique hotel is situated on the west coast, overlooking the beautiful pearly sands of Cobo Bay. Spectacular sunsets and breath taking views.

La Barbarie Hotel

La Barbarie Hotel

3

GUERNSEY – The La Barbarie Hotel is situated in the country parish of St Martin, a former farmhouse with an old traditional charm and outdoor swimming pool.

Les Piques Country Cottages

Les Piques Country Cottages

4

GUERNSEY – Les Piques is a rural retreat, these self-catering cottages are adjacent to a listed farmhouse and are traditional in design.

Les Rocquettes

Les Rocquettes

3

GUERNSEY – Les Rocquettes is a beautiful town-house hotel located on the outskirts of St Peter Port and a member of the Sarnia group of hotels.

Hotel De Havelet

Hotel De Havelet

3

GUERNSEY – Hotel De Havelet is located on a hill on the outskirts of St Peter Port, this Georgian house hotel overlooks the harbour and Castle Cornet.

Moores Hotel

Moores Hotel

3

GUERNSEY – The Moores Hotel is suited for those who like to be in the hubbub of the town, just a few minutes’ walk from the marinas, shops, and restaurants.

Peninsula Hotel

Peninsula Hotel

3

GUERNSEY – The Peninsula Hotel is aptly named and ideally situated on a sandy beach and small peninsula on the North West coast of Guernsey.