Need some ideas for your holiday to Guernsey? Despite its small size, approximately 25 square miles, the island has everything you could wish for: great outdoors, miles of cliff paths to walk along, beautiful beaches, historic landmarks that depict the island’s past, and the chance to island-hop around the Bailiwick.
We’ve compiled just a few of the top attractions in Guernsey that you should visit during your stay:
One of Guernsey’s most famous landmarks, Castle Cornet has guarded St. Peter Port harbour for 800 years. Formerly, it was an isolated fortress on a tidal island built approximately a mile offshore, today, is a popular attraction among visitors with its different museums, gardens and stunning views of the sister islands (Herm and Sark).
There is a free tour at 10.30am most days and a daily noon-day gun firing of a 32-pound cannon by a gunner dressed in the traditional 19th century redcoat of the Royal Guernsey Militia.
Check out Guernsey Museum & Galleries to find out more.
The Little Chapel is a unique folly decorated with seashells, pebbles and tens of thousands of pieces of broken pottery, and is a must-see attraction and photo opportunity when visiting Guernsey. It was built by Brother Déodat, who started work in 1914 and intended to create a miniature version of the famous grotto and basilica at Lourdes in France. The version you see today is actually the third and largest version fitting up to 8 people.
You can visit the chapel daily from 9am to 5pm and entrance is free.
3.A day at the beach
Regardless of the season in which you’re visiting Guernsey, take some time to explore the many beautiful beaches and bays that the island has to offer. Beachgoing makes for a great day out with the kids, a relaxing day just lazing by the sea or a romantic stroll at the sunset.
We’d struggle to pick a favourite but here are a few we’d recommend visiting:
Port Soif, for sublime sunbathing. Located on the north-west coast, this crescent-shaped beach has soft white sands and is sheltered by dunes, making for a picturesque landscape. The location is ideal for basking in the sun, walking along barefoot, and beach games for children of all ages. Plus, Port Soif beach is a terrific spot for a BBQ on a warm summer evening.
Cobo beach, which has remained almost untouched, is famed for its fine white sands, clear blue waters and rock pools. The tranquil waters are great for a refreshing swim with the kids, and the rock pools, which are only accessible at low tide, are home to a variety of interesting marine creatures. When the night falls, it is popular among couples for watching spectacular sunsets.
Vazon Bay is great for surfing. Situated on the western coast of Guernsey, this beach is a sight to see. It is about two miles long, making it the largest on the island with plenty of space for lazing in the sun. Also, if you’re after water sports, Vazon is the place to go surfing, kite-surfing and bodyboarding.
Check out our guide to Guernsey beaches for more inspiration.
4.German Occupation Museum
One of the most significant and intriguing episodes in Guernsey’s history was the German Occupation during WWII, between 1940 and 1945. The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles that were under German control throughout the conflict and, sadly, evidence of the occupation abounds.
We highly recommend to visit the German Occupation Museum while in Guernsey. There’s a short documentary, a reproduction of a local street, and a collection of vehicles and fortifications from WWII that provide visitors an interesting glimpse into everyday life back then.
The museum ranks as one of Guernsey’s most popular attractions, so even if you aren’t particularly interested in history, it is a sight to see! Plan my visit.
6.The Hauteville House, Victor Hugo’s Residence
Victor Hugo is one of Guernsey’s most famous past residents, and you can learn more about his life in Guernsey, at his former home, Hauteville House and gardens (open April to September, except Wednesdays).
World-renowned author, poet, playwright and political activist Victor Hugo came to live on Guernsey whilst in exile from France, his home country. He settled in St. Peter Port in 1855, where he remained for 15 years, until his departure back to France in 1870.
The Hauteville House was the residence where he lived in exile, today, it is a museum that displays many of his personal possessions along with his very particular and unique design aesthetic. During your visit you will admire unique apartments, such as the tapestry room, the photographic studio, the wood gallery with Chinese artefacts and the living room that stands out for its porcelain ceiling. Hugo’s vibrant and evocative home is like peeking behind the curtain of his creative process.
Perched above St. Peter Port, the Victorian Candie Gardens houses are home to the oldest heated glasshouses in the British Isles (built in the late 18th century), the Victor Hugo Garden and the remembrance monument of the French writer. With views over St. Peter Port to Herm and Sark beyond, the location is just perfect to have a picnic! While there, you venture to the top of the gardens to explore the Guernsey museum and one of the island’s best art galleries.
Learn more about the life of Victor Hugo in Guernsey.
One of the greatest attractions of a visit to Guernsey is the ease of being able to explore the neighbouring islands, Herm and Sark.
With boats taking you to Herm in 20 minutes and Sark in 45 minutes, why not explore further afield? In the stress-free island of Herm, you can stroll around the coastline, hike the cliff paths, or settle down for the day on the clean white sands of Shell beach. In Sark, with no cars and unpaved roads, you can step back in time to unspoilt landscape and explore by bike or horse drawn carriage. Why not book a trip that includes all 3 islands? One holiday, three locations! Find out more about our Island-Hopping Package.
Inspired by all that Guernsey has to offer? To book your accommodation or holiday packages, visit GuernseyTravel to find the best option for you!