Guernsey Festivals: What’s on in 2019?

Heritage Festival fireworks Guernsey

If you’re thinking of taking a holiday in Guernsey at some point in 2019, you’ll be pleased to know that there is, as always, plenty happening on the island this year for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Before you decide when to book your trip, have a look our guide, which will give you more information about many of the most anticipated events that will be taking place in Guernsey over the next 12 months – some of these festivals could be perfect for you and your family!

April

Guernsey Heritage Festival (19 April – 10 May)

Celebrating hundreds of years of our island’s wonderful history in under a month is a daunting task, but the Guernsey Heritage Festival manages it! Over three weeks, an amazingly diverse programme of interactive events – ranging from guided walks to living history performances – will help you learn more about Guernsey through the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Festivals in Guernsey during April

May

Guernsey Heritage Festival (19 April – 10 May)

See April section

Guernsey Literary Festival (1 – 6 May)

2018 was a special year for the Guernsey Literary Festival, as the island was celebrating the release of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, the successful film adaptation of a much-loved novel that was set on the island. This year’s event is set to be even more special, however, with confirmed speakers already including Benjamin Zephaniah, Lionel Shriver and Libby Purves.

Liberation Day (9 May)

The Nazi occupation of Guernsey during the Second World War was one of the darkest periods in the island’s history. However, Liberation Day – held every year – has a celebratory tone, focusing on the freedom that has been enjoyed in the Channel Islands over the last seven decades. A military band, a firework display and a cavalcade of wartime vehicles are just some of the many highlights those attending can look forward to.

Spring Walking Festival (25 May – 9 June)

Exploring Guernsey’s coastline and countryside is rewarding all year round, but the island’s beauty really comes into its own during the spring months. That’s why the Spring Walking Festival is always a huge draw, with dozens of guided walks introducing ramblers to Guernsey’s stunning landscape and rich heritage.

Festivals in Guernsey during May

June

Spring Walking Festival (25 May – 9 June)

See May section

Guernsey Air Display (6 June)

Every year, the Guernsey Air Display sees the island’s skies come to life. With flypasts from Spitfires, Lancasters and many other legendary planes, this day is a real treat for anyone interested in classic aircraft, military history or both. The highlight of the event, however, is surely always the closing display from the iconic Red Arrows team; once seen, it will never be forgotten.

Guernsey Air Display

July

Rocquaine Regatta (27 July)

If you’re after some classic, family-friendly seaside entertainment during your trip to Guernsey, you could do no better than visiting the Rocquaine Regatta. With everything from boat races and an evening barbecue to apple bobbing and wheelbarrow racing, your day out in Rocquaine will be jam-packed with fun!

Rocquaine Regatta Guernsey

August

The West Show (14 – 15 August)

If you have ever been to an agricultural show on the UK mainland, this should give you a good idea of what to expect at the fantastic West Show. Having celebrated its centenary in 2013, this is one of Guernsey’s longest-established events, and features everything you would expect from a traditional county show, including livestock competitions, live music and even lawnmower racing!

The North Show & Battle of Flowers (21 – 22 August)

Held one week after the West Show, the North Show is another excellent family-friendly event with an agricultural theme. As well as a wide range of animal, horticultural and craft displays, the North Show also hosts the ever-popular Battle of Flowers competition on its final day, which sees islanders parading the many incredible flower-covered floats they have created through the grounds of Sausmarez Manor.

Festivals in Guernsey during August

September

Autumn Walking Festival (14 – 29 September)

With its beautiful foliage, mellow light and comfortable temperatures, some people would say that autumn is an even better time to go rambling than spring. It’s for this reason that the Autumn Walking Festival gives visitors another chance to enjoy and learn more about many different aspects of Guernsey via a series of informative guided walks.

October

Tennerfest (2 October – 8 November)

There are plenty of reasons to visit Guernsey once the weather has turned colder, with the island’s bustling culinary scene being one of the very best. And, as an added incentive to diners, many of the finest local restaurants now offer a range of amazing three-course meals for just £10 per head (with £12.50, £15, £17.50 and £20 options also available) for the duration of the hugely popular, six-week Tennerfest event.

Tennerfest in Guernsey

November

Tennerfest (2 October – 8 November)

See October section

Around the Islands

During your visit to Guernsey, why not also plan on visiting one or more of the other islands that make up the bailiwick, such as Alderney, Herm or Sark? All can be reached daily via passenger ferry and each host their own selection of brilliant annual events.

Alderney

May

Alderney Performing Arts Festival (24 – 27 May)

For the last few years, Alderney has been holding its own Performing Arts Festival, and the event has quickly established itself as a fantastic place to see some of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming artists showcasing their talents across a range of mediums (with a strong focus on music in particular).

July

Alderney Food & Drink Festival (1 – 12 July)

Alderney is proud of the diverse wealth of local dairy, meat and seafood fare it can offer its visitors – and rightly so! Come to the island at the start of July and you’ll be treated to a mouth-watering celebration of its finest food and drink.

Alderney Festivals

August

Alderney Week (3 – 10 August)

If you want to see the island at its busiest and most vibrant, be sure to head there during Alderney Week. Highlights include a ‘daft raft race’ and the famous torchlight procession, which rounds the week off.

Herm

June

The Mermaid Real Ale & Cider Festival (4 – 9 June)

If you’re a fan of fine ale and cider, visit the Mermaid Tavern on the tiny but charming Herm Island when it hosts its annual drinks festival. Those who attend can also look forward to enjoying an exclusive gin menu, a champagne bar and live music. For autumn visitors, a second instalment of the festival will be held between 10 – 14 September.

Mermaid Tavern Real Ale Festival

Sark

July

Sark Folk Festival (5 – 7 July)

The annual three-day folk festival on Sark sees the island’s population treble – and, with the quality of the acts that play there, it’s easy to see why! The main draw of the 2019 line-up is set to be Kate Rusby who, whilst enjoying mainstream popularity throughout her 20-year recording career, has always remained true to her folk roots.

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