Guernsey / Travel

Short Break: A Visitor’s Guide to Guernsey

For this trip D and I had a full week and decided that we would not plan activities in advance but arrive and be guided by the weather and our lovely host who blogs at She Who Went Away.  I imagine that most of what we did can be experienced in a much shorter time frame but as we had the luxury we explored at a leisurely pace.  These are my highlights.

Guernsey Cows

Explore from Coast to Coast

In a previous post here I detailed that on our first day we did a cliff walk starting from Icart Point.  The coast line in the south is dramatic, rugged and beautiful.  Walkers are both challenged and rewarded with constant ascending and descending but the views at the top are worth it.

The east coast is dominated by St Peter Port, west is predominately for swimming and surfing, and North (my favorite) combines a little bit of everything.  The rock formations in the north coast and the softer coloring of the area really drew me in.  Try to visit each coast if you have the time.

L'Ancresse Bay

Visit the Tiniest Chapel in the World

The Little Chapel is one of those sites that walks a fine line between tacky and spectacular.  While not officially named as the smallest in the world it must be near the top of that list.

It was built by Brother Déodat who started work in 1914, his plan was to create a miniature version of the famous grotto and basilica at Lourdes in France.  The Chapel is decorated with seashells, pebbles and broken china.  It is free to enter but donations are encouraged.

Take in Tea with a View

As you can imagine there are many places on the island to take in a cream tea but I must recommend making a visit to the Moulin Huet Tearoom on the south-east coast.

Located in St Martin Parish, this tea room is cute and after the steep descend to get there a cream tea is a good way to spend some time before taking on the hike back up.  Wander down a bit further from the tea room and you can also see the vantage point where Renoir painted this.

Hold the Fort at Castle Cornet

It wasn’t my idea to go to the castle, and I will admit I kind of wanted to skip it altogether but I was happy that D wanted to go and that I followed along.

Located down a long pier off St Peter Port you will find Castle Cornet in all its simple (for a castle) glory.  Inside the castle there are multiple gardens and museums that make a visit very good value for money at £9.75.

Castle Cornet Canons

Go on a Puffin Patrol

Puffins used to be one of the main reasons that I want to go to Iceland.  Well that and Bjork, Puffins are the clowns of the bird world.  While not a major bird enthusiast I’ve wanted to spot these birds ever since I bought an Iceland guide book for a friend many years ago and we planned a trip.

When researching things to do when in Guernsey I was delighted to find that Puffins have colonies on the nearby islands of Herm and Jethou.  We spotted so many puffins but alas my camera zoom was not sufficient to take a close up of these very tiny birds.  The cost of the trip was £25 for a 1hour 15 min journey.  We went with Bumblebee Boat Cruises and I would 100% recommend them.  They also do a seal safari.

westray_puffins_1Picture source

Learn about the Occupation

The Chanel Islands were occupied during the second world war by the Nazis.  Remnants of this history is found all over the island but there is a dedicated museum which documents this time.

While a little damp and cold at the time of our visit it is a very well presented museum.  You can properly see everything in less than 2 hours.  I found it particularly interesting reading the old newspaper headlines and warnings given to the public.

German Occupation Museum Guernsey

These activities just scratch the surface in terms of what is offered on the island.  You could also make a trip to the nearby islands of Herm and Sark but we decided against it this time around.  With flights around £85, and many free or inexpensive things to do, Guernsey easily makes for a reasonably priced holiday.

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7 thoughts on “Short Break: A Visitor’s Guide to Guernsey

  1. What a fabulous place. I love your post and I think I’d like to experience Guernsey this way too – slow travel is definitely the way to go. I’m really interested in their WWII history and am learning more and more about it from you and your lovely host!

  2. Pingback: The Year in Review – My Travels in 2014 | Here There Everywhere

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