Guernsey IslandEarth : Europe : Britain and Ireland : Channel Islands : Bailiwick of Guernsey : Guernsey Island
The islands of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops during World War II.
Guernsey can only be reached by plane or boat.
Guernsey airport has flight links to
- The UK - London (Gatwick and Stansted), Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands and Exeter. There are seasonal services to Norwich, Edinburgh and Belfast.
- France - Dinard. There is a seasonal service to Grenoble
- Isle of Man
- Netherlands - Rotterdam (April-September only)
- Germany - Stuttgart and Dusseldorf (April-September only)
Flybe links Guernsey to 22 destinations including:- Scotland (Aberdeen#, Edinburgh, Glasgow# and Inverness#), Ireland (Belfast and Dublin#), England (Birmingham, Exeter, Leeds/Bradford#, London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle#, Norwich and Southampton), Switzerland (Geneva#), Germany (Frankfurt#), France (Chambery# (winter only) and Paris CDG#), Netherlands (Amsterdam#), Spain (Malaga#), Isle of Man# and Jersey.
Aurigny  link Guernsey to similar destinations to FlyBe, but can sometimes be used as a cheaper alternative; destinations include: Gatwick, Stansted, East Midlands, Southampton, Bristol, Dinard, Grenoble, Alderney, Jersey and Manchester.
BlueIslands  are the 3rd airline who operate year-round Guernsey services to and from Alderney, Geneva, Isle of Man, Jersey, Southampton and Zurich.
- =A change of plane is needed
Ferries run from St Peter Port to the UK, France and other Channel Islands. There is a conventional ferry year round from Portsmouth, and high speed catamarans from Weymouth and Poole in the summer with a less frequent service in the winter. The conventional ferry runs in all weather, the catamarans can be delayed or cancelled by high seas.
- The UK - Portsmouth, Poole, Weymouth
- France - St Malo (year-round), Dielette (summer only), Granville (summer only, infrequent)
There are no trains on the island; roads are small (and very narrow at times) but not busy. The island is 12 miles long by 5 miles wide, so a bicycle is a good way to get around.
Alternately there are hire cars available, taxis and frequent bus service during the day operated by Guernsey Buses. Buses cost £1 no matter where you go on the island (immediate transfer included, ask driver for transfer ticket before disembarking). A day ticket can be purchased for £4.50, two days for £7.50, and seven day pass is £16.00 (as of September 2017, cash only, change given). For a £1 do-it-yourself bus tour around the island hop on route 91 or 92, it takes about 90 minutes to circumnavigate Guernsey. Pick up the route schedule book at the info desk inside airport terminal, at the bus terminus in St Peter Port or at the Tourist Information Center
Many roads have no pavements and the few that do can legally be driven on by motorists. It is also legal to not wear seat belts whilst in the back of a car. It is common for cars to drive on sidewalks when passing (in few places that sidewalks exist).
The other Channel Islands can all be reached by ferry from St Peter Port. Jersey and Alderney can also be reached by plane.
- Discovery Pass, . Provides one year of unlimited admission for one adult and all accompanying children under 18 to Castle Cornet, Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum, Guernsey Museum at Candie, German Naval Signals HQ (see below) as well as Jersey Museum and Alderney Museum. £18 (September 2017). edit
- Castle Cornet, Castle Emplacement, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 1 AU (Southern arm of St Peter Port harbour), ☎ 01481 721657, . 10am-5pm, 9:30am-5pm in July and August. For over 800 years Castle Cornet has defended the harbour at St Peters Port. It now has five museums, gardens, shop and refectory to explore and they also offer guided tours. Adults - £10.50, Children (7-18 years) & students (with valid student card) - £3.00 (September 2017). edit
- Guernsey Museum at Candie, . 10am-5pm. Art collections, Discovery Room with family activities, Guernsey folklore, library, shop, cafe and Candie garden. Borrow the key to Victoria Tower and climb up to the top for the view of the island. £6.50 adults, £2 children/students. edit
- Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum, (Located at Rocquaine Bay on the southwest side of the island), . 10am-4:30pm. Houses a shipwreck museum at an old fort building, including remains of a Roman ship. £4 adults, £1.50 children/students (September 2017). edit
- The Aquarium, ☎ 01481 723301, . 9am-6pm. Newly refurbished with focus on local fish and marine life, giant jellyfish tank, tropical fish displays, fish spa and cafe. Located inside the tunnels used by Germans during WWII at the Clarence Battery, part of original outer defenses of Fort George built in 1780. Ten minute walk from Albert Pier. Good views of St Peter Port. £5 adults, £3 children (September 2017). edit
- La Valette Underground Military Museum, Opposite the Bathing Pools in St Peter Port, ☎ 01481 722300, . 10am-5pm. Guernsey history with focus on military operations during WWII, housed in tunnels used as fuel storage for German Uboats. edit
- Folk and Costume Museum, Saumarez Park, ☎ 01481 255384, . 10am-5pm, 15 Mar-1 Nov). 18th century stable complex converted into museum showcasing past 250 years of daily life on the island. Situated inside the park with walled garden, cafe, and children's play area. £5 adults, £4 students, £2 children (September 2017). edit
- German Occupation Museum, Behind the Forest Church near the airport, . 10am-4:30pm. Life in Guernsey 1940-1945, authentic occupation street, audio and visual experiences, Liberation tearoom. £6 adults, £3 children (cash only, September 2017). edit
- Victor Hugo House, Hauteville House, 38 Hauteveille, St Peter Port, GY1 1DG, ☎ 01481 721 911, . 10am-4pm (Apr 1-Sep 30, closed Wednesdays). [will be closed for refurbishment in 2018] Home to Victor Hugo for nearly 15 years from 1856 to 1870 with its spaces designed and architectural adjustments by Hugo himself. The only house that he ever bought, it was given as present to city of Paris in 1927 by his descendants. edit
Shopping, cycling, all the water activities you can imagine, and well-marked breathtaking coastal walks. Day tours to nearby islands and various walking tours around St Peter Port. Stop by visitor center in St Peter Port for leaflets and information.
- Petit Train, (look for small white shack on Albert Pier), . hourly after 11am. 35 minute "train" tour with commentary around St Peter Port. The route takes in points of interest including Castle Cornet, The Bathing Pools, The Town Church Square, The parliament and Court buildings, Guernsey’s harbour and seafront. Adult £5, Child (under 14) £3 (September 2017). edit
- Tasty Walks, . Pick up the brochure at visitor center detailing 18 walks around various parts of the island with brief notes on points of interests, food spots, and other things along the way. free. edit
The Guernsey pound (£) is in a currency union with the United Kingdom (GBP) and all pound sterling notes are accepted wherever they were printed. Guernsey banknotes can be exchanged at par at all banks in the sterling area (including the UK) but many retailers in England are suspicious of them in the same way they are sceptical of sterling banknotes from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Jersey. Consequently, its less hassle if you make sure you leave with Bank of England notes. ATMs generally describe which currency is being dispensed - 'Local' or 'English'.
Financial services - banking, fund management, insurance, etc. - account for about 55% of total income in this tiny Channel Island economy. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular tax haven. The evolving economic integration of the EU nations is changing the rules of the game under which Guernsey operates.
- Plaisirs Boutique, 17 Le Pollet, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 1WQ, ☎ 01481 722002, . Mon - Sat 09:00 - 17:30. Stocking a great range of bath, body and beauty products alongside nightwear, lingerie, jewellery and gifts. A boutique for pure indulgence and focused on ethical, natural and effective products. edit
Eating out is quite expensive in Guernsey as compared to either France or England.
Most international cuisines are represented with, not surprisingly, fresh local seafood taking centre stage. For nice views and good food head for L'Auberge de Jerbourg, La Fregate, La Nautique, Pier 17, Sawatdi (Thai) or Mora's. The Crow's nest has good views but is overpriced. Le Petit Bistro and L'escalier for French and Da Nello's for Italian.
Summer in Guernsey is all about al fresco dining, with long cliff top lunches and leisurely gatherings at old farmhouse restaurants. One of the locals’ best-kept secrets is fresh fish and chips and chilled local cider on the wall outside the Rockmount Cafe at Cobo Bay; the local's favourite for sun set. Crabby Jack's is another good sunset location on the west coast; caters for families and large groups and around 11pm the dance floor fills up for some old fashioned rocking to all time favourites (NB not for a romantic meal a deux!).
Guernsey’s beach kiosks are a gastronomic odyssey in their own right. The Fermain Beach Cafe started life as a kiosk and evolved into a bistro-cafe specialising in seafood. You can work up an appetite (or work off lunch) with a stunning clifftop walk and then sit down to local crab sandwich, scallops with bacon or locally caught monkfish or sea bass with a view of Guernsey's prettiest bay. In summer, you'll need to book two weeks in advance tel 01481 238636. For a wooden basket of traditional cream tea (to take to the beach) head for the kiosk in Saint's Bay or Portelet Bay (the latter better accessible for wheelchair users).
Picnics are also popular. For the ultimate spontaneity, pack fresh French bread and cheese, local tomatoes and paté and a bottle of wine and head for the cliffs. There’s a view from a bay or winding path that really is yours alone. Alternatively check the diary of castle Cornet http://www.museum.guernsey.net/outdoor_theatre.htm for outdoor theatre or, in summer, life music on Friday nights (usually free!). Come early and eat your picnic on the top lawns of the castle, descent with your bottle of wine to watch outdoor theatre or life music in a great medieval setting. (NB dress warm!)
There are no fast food restaurants in Guernsey.
Breakfast: Bacon butties from Nelia's Bakery, Continental style breakfast at Victor Hugo's, Fry up's at White Rock cafe, Halfway Cafe or Half Moon cafe.
There are lots of pubs to be visited all over the island, in St Peter Port the pubs are easy to find and are mostly along the waterfront. Laska's has an enormous list of cocktails and is a popular spot. Start here and work your way north along the waterfront, ending at the taxi rank.
Guernsey cream teas: The OGH hotel is an excellent location for wintertime cream teas. The Victoria Cafe in Candy gardens has excellent views (but you mustn't be in a hurry!). Cobo tea room on the west coast has excellent home made cakes. Or sample a piece of coffee cake from the kiosk at Port Soif; No real indoor space there but a lovely sheltered garden to hang out in.
- Market Kitchen, Market Square, St Peter Port (5 mins walk from Harbour seafront), ☎ 01481 712249, . Good coffee with a slice of homemade cake. Milkshakes for kids. Wine, beer and local cider for the adults. Sit outside in the al-fresco area, there is sometimes live music and you are in Guernsey's only public square watching the world go by. edit
- The Ellingham Cottages, Camps du Moulin (St. Martins), ☎ 01481 239360, . checkin: 2:00; checkout: 10:00. Highly recommended well appointed cottages rated 4 Star by Guernsey Tourism. The Ellingham Cottages are operated to high standard of presentation and cleanliness. The owners take great pride in welcoming their guests to Guernsey and provide hospitality and services well above most establishments. Situated in the parish of St. Martins, the Ellingham Cottages are a ten minute walk from Guernsey's dramatic cliffs and beaches and a short two minute stroll to the village centre, pubs, restaurants and shopping. Fans of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will find many locations referenced in the book within walking distance from the cottages. Seasonal discounts and last minute deals are available on website www.stayguernsey.co.uk. Noted for a high level of customer service and attention to detail. 75 Sterling. (49,2) edit
There are plenty of opportunities to learn in Guernsey with everything from ceramics to surfing on offer. If you, or your child, want to try something creative while visiting there is a good gallery with art workshops in the older area of town. The Gallery (www.thegallery.gg) is at the top of a cobbled hill (Mill Street) which goes up from the old markets. There you can sign up for pottery, mosaic, painting and photography workshops. There are also plenty of fun and unusual things on offer for children.
Guernsey has some of the most intense sunlight in the world during summer, noticeably more than the rest of Europe, so sunscreen is vital!