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The Essential Guernsey: A Channel Islands Masterpiece
Fans of the BBC show Doctor Who may instantly recognize pictures of Guernsey because the bright blue police boxes that make up the modern TARDIS are essentially replicated throughout the communities of this Channel Islands location in the form of telephone boxes. More than just a place to enjoy fan fiction, however, Guernsey has held a unique place in history. It is currently a defensive possession of the UK, but it is its own nation in almost every other way. It has tradition relationships with the EU and has no national debt. It even issues its own currency, although UK currency is also readily welcomed.
Are you taking a holiday in Guernsey soon? If so, we’ve put together a list of the essentials this beautiful island has to offer so that you can maximize the enjoyment of your stay. What hidden gems does this island have to offer you?
Shell Beach Offers Incredible Combing Opportunities
Guernsey makes up more than just the primary island. The small islands of Alderney, Sark, Jethou, and Lihou also fall under the bailiwick, as does the small island of Herm. When you’ve made your way to Guernsey for a holiday, then you must make your way over to Herm at least once to experience the stretches of sand along its north coast. Amongst the beaches, however, Shell Beach stands out as one of the world’s best.
Shell Beach has everything you’d want in a great beach. There are expansive white sands to enjoy. The waters turn to turquoise as they approach the beach. There are rocky outcroppings to explore when the tides are out. There are several lovely gardens to enjoy when the tides are in. It’s big enough to give yourself plenty of privacy and peace and the amount of shells that you’ll find here is outstanding! On a cool day, be sure to grab a hot chocolate at the local cafe.
The Historical Sites in Guernsey Are Impressive
Guernsey has been a strategic location for many empires and ruling authorities dating back to medieval times. One of your first stops on a historical tour of this islands is Castle Cornet. It’s got plenty of exploration opportunities in a family friendly environment that is engaging in fun. You’ll hear the guns fire at noon and the battlements of the castle are a great place to get a photo op of the surrounding area, especially St. Peter Port. The museum on site has several historical exhibits and there are plenty of little corner gardens to explore.
The Little Chapel in Les Vauxbelets is another unique glimpse into the history and personality of Guernsey. It’s completed in a mosaic styling and sits atop a small series of steps. The inside of the small chapel reflects the outside mosaic patterns, as doe the alter where flowers and a guest book often reside. Be sure to explore the outdoors around this small hidden gem because it contains some incredible artistic masterpieces separate from the chapel.
The history of Guernsey includes some darker chapters as well. During World War II, the Nazis occupied this small chain of islands that are part of the Channel Islands group and the German Occupation Museum explores this time through the display of many examples of memorabilia from this time. Be sure to take the time to read some of the letters that were written by the locals during this period of history to really get a good glimpse of what island life was like.
Guernsey Offers Green Spaces Too!
Sometimes you just want to get away from everything and enjoy nature in your own way. Many head to the beaches for this experience, but Guernsey offers some parkland areas to enjoy as well. Saumarez Park leads the list of these areas, where a relaxing stroll in the afternoon under a canopy of trees is just the beginning of what you can accomplish. Rent a bicycle to enjoy the paths, relax by the Japanese gardens, and bring your camera for the flower gardens. There’s a tea room on site as well and plenty of opportunities for the kids to play too.
For a more traditional gardens experience, the Candie Gardens offer some unique views of the area. There are several monuments to explore amongst the blooming flowers and there is a small cafe and souvenir shop to browse through as well. Make sure to see the statue of Victor Hugo, take in the views of the harbor, and schedule time for one of the concerts that happens in-season. If you’re feeling energetic, a trip up to the top of Victoria Tower is the perfect way to end your time here at the center of St. Peter Port.
Are You Ready To Visit Guernsey?
As your visit begins to wind down, you may just want to find a way to relax and let someone else do the exploration work for you. There are several RIB tours that are offered on the island that will take you around to explore the magnificent lighthouses of the area, see some of the native wildlife, and even explore some of the caves that dot the shores of the many islands! With local guides providing reference points and all your supplies, anyone of any age will enjoy a good outdoor tour.
Before leaving, you’ll also want to pick some locally made chocolate from Ben le Prevost. You’ll find artisan selections at fair prices and you can even get a quick tour of the facilities to see how the chocolate is being made. Many have said that they’ve never tasted chocolate as good before or since after stopping here – that’s why taking the time to find this small shop is worth the effort!
The hidden gems make Guernsey special, but so does its focus on nature, history, and culture. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes, let your adventurous spirit take over, and you’ll certainly have a wonderful time finding these and other local favorites on this island.
Travel resources for Guernsey
How is the weather in Guernsey ?
When is public holidays in Guernsey ?
Below you can see a list of the public holidays / no working days.
|January 1||New Year's Day|
|Variable||Early May Bank Holiday||1st Monday in May|
|May 9||Liberation Day|
|May 10||Liberation Day||Only Sark|
|Variable||Spring Bank Holiday||Last Monday in May|
|Variable||Summer Bank Holiday||Only Alderney: First Monday in August|
|Variable||Summer Bank Holiday||Last Monday in August|
|December 15||Homecoming Day||Only Alderney: First Monday in August|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
|December 26||Boxing Day|