If you are searching for a staycation with a difference, you don’t need to look any further than across the Channel to the fascinating island of Guernsey. Despite being only a short flight or ferry ride from home, you’ll quickly become aware of Guernsey’s distinctive culture, landscape and activities that make it an attractive and convenient holiday destination. Throughout this blog, we’ll share with you a tempting selection of what makes Guernsey the ultimate staycation destination and we hope that you’ll feel inspired to discover the Island’s unique qualities for yourselves.
We have our own currency
A big benefit of visiting Guernsey is that we use British Pound, so there’s no need for you to change your change before you travel! However, you’re likely to notice that we have our own £1 notes and the Guernsey Pound, which has been used across the Island since 1921. If you end up with a note or coin of your own it could serve as the perfect (and affordable!) souvenir from your holiday.
We have a unique occupation history
During World War II, the Channel Islands became the only part of the UK to be lost to German forces, and Guernsey along with its five smaller Bailiwick islands and Jersey entered a nearly five-year period of occupation that has left a permanent mark on the Island’s people, history and landscape. While you visit the Island you’ll see plenty of reminders of the German rule in the shape of German bunkers and fortifications, with the Channel Islands now being the most fortified place in the world! You can learn more about the Island’s occupation history in the Occupation Museum, which tells the fascinating story through an archive of images, replicas from the time and people’s intimate accounts.
But we also have a fantastic Liberation Day celebration!
Whilst the German Occupation caused great hardship across the Island, the people of Guernsey were finally liberated by the British Forces on the 9th May 1945. This marked the start of the annual celebration of Liberation Day for the local people and that still occurs to this day! It is well worth visiting Guernsey during the liberation celebrations, where you can join in with the lively atmosphere of people cheering in the streets, colourful parades and a wide range of activities for all ages.
We have car-free Islands
Sark and Herm are two of Guernsey’s Bailiwick islands, and are unique in the fact that they are both free of vehicles, apart from the occasional tractor! As you can imagine, this makes them peaceful and refreshing places to explore and help you to leave the hustle and bustle of modern-day life behind. Relaxing and unwinding on the islands becomes second nature, and visitors can opt to walk, cycle or, if they’re visiting Sark, take a horse and carriage ride around the unspoilt bays, cliff-paths and country lanes. We’d recommend spending a full day on either Island to make the most of your time there, with frequent boats travelling to and from St. Peter Port in Guernsey every day.
We have Dark Sky Status in Sark
As previously mentioned, Sark is the ultimate place to unwind and feel at one with nature. As well as having low levels of noise pollution from cars it doesn’t have any street lights to pollute the skies, and in 2011 Sark became the World’s First Dark Sky Island. If you decide to stay overnight at one of the hotels or campsites, you can experience the spectacular night sky for yourself, spotting countless stars and meteors flashing above you on a cloudless night.
We have deliciously fresh Hedge Veg
Guernsey is known and loved for its wide variety of fresh and local produce, from tempting dairy products to delicious seafood and home-grown vegetables. If you are on a self-catering holiday in Guernsey or simply want to experience a unique part of the island’s culture, you can sample some of the local produce for yourself through Hedge Veg boxes that are dotted up and down the country lanes while you explore Guernsey. These roadside stalls come in all shapes and sizes and are filled with seasonal vegetables, homemade jams and fresh eggs. The beauty of Hedge Veg boxes is that they work on trust and truly reflect the close community feel of the island, as people are expected to pay for what they take in an honesty box.
We have spectacular sunsets
An amazing aspect of island life is the remarkable sunsets that cast a spectrum of colours over the crashing waves and beaches every night. Locals and visitors alike never tire of gazing up at the sky to witness this breath-taking end to the day, and in the summer, it becomes a daily ritual where people flock to their favourite beaches to watch the sun go down. No matter where you are staying on the Island, this time of day makes for an idyllic walk along the coast or spectacular cliff paths and is a favourite for all photography or Instagram fanatics!