Guernsey holidaysThe sample prices are per person based on two people travelling!
Although it is not officially part of the United Kingdom, Guernsey is a British crown dependency which is close to UK territory. Thus, English is the primary language spoken here. Because of the dependency’s history involving the French-speaking Normans, the secondary language here is Guernésiais, a variety of Norman French with heavy English influences.
Guernsey has its own official currency called the Guernsey pound (GGP, £). It is at parity with the British pound, which is also accepted on the island. ATMs, which are widely available, indicate whether they dispense the Guernsey pound or the British pound. Foreign money can be exchanged in currency exchange bureaux, banks and hotels. Travellers’ cheques are widely accepted. The same goes for Diners Club, American Express, Visa and MasterCard credit cards.
British citizens can freely enter Guernsey Island or any of the other islands belonging to the bailiwick, namely Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou and Lihou. For all other nationalities, UK entry requirements apply. Nationals of the US, Canada and Australia need to present a passport. EU nationals need only posses a valid national ID card upon arrival.
The climate of Guernsey is temperate. Winters are mild but see the most amount of rainfall. February is the coldest month of the year, with temperatures averaging from 4 to 8°C but which can feel a lot cooler because of the Arctic winds. Summers are warm and sunny. July and August are the warmest months. Temperatures average 13 to 20°C at this time of the year. Anytime from Easter to October is a good time to visit.
The largest airport in the Bailiwick of Guernsey is Guernsey Airport. It is the only airport on the island, located about three miles southwest of the bailiwick capital of Saint Peter Port. The airport receives domestic and international flights, as well as scheduled, seasonal and chartered flights not only from the UK, but from mainland Europe. The London to Guernsey route is the most popular.
The main carrier at Guernsey Airport is Aurigny Air Services, an airline which is wholly owned by the States of Guernsey. It connects Guernsey to London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Manchester, East Midlands and Bristol. It also connects to other Channel Islands, namely Alderney and Jersey, as well as to Dinard and Grenoble (seasonally) in France. Flybe flies from London-Gatwick and other UK destinations to Guernsey, while Blue Islands connects Guernsey to Jersey and Southampton. A London to Guernsey flight only takes 1 hour.
Flight fares are cheaper during the winter months, especially February. In order, Blue Islands, Flybe and Aurigny offer the lowest air fares to Guernsey. Bus numbers 4 and 7 connect Guernsey Airport to Saint Peter Port as well as other destinations on the island. However, the most convenient way to get from the airport is via metered taxi or car hire.
Ferries are the cheapest way to get to Guernsey. The main port is in the capital, Saint Peter Port. Ferries connect Guernsey to Portsmouth, Poole and Weymouth in the UK, the island of Jersey, as well as St Malo, Dielette and Granville in France.
Flights are available for those travelling around Guernsey and Alderney. Buses are reliable and the network services most parts of the island, including the main attractions. The only railway network in the bailiwick is in Alderney. Ferries are the cheapest and most effective public transport options to and from the many islands. Car rental is the best way of exploring Guernsey.
There is only airport on the island of Guernsey, all 24 square miles of which are easily navigable by land. Of the other islands within the bailiwick, only Alderney has an airport which is connected to the main gateway, Guernsey Airport. Aurigny Air Services is the only airline that regularly flies the Guernsey to Alderney route.
Guernsey’s bus network is extensive, with stops provided in most parts of the island, especially at the main visitor attractions. While private vehicles are the most popular form of transport, buses are reliable enough to be the sole form of transport for any visitor. All buses have disabled persons’ access and fares are cheap.
Ferries ply routes to and from the other islands in the bailiwick. From the main port in Guernsey in the capital Saint Peter Port, ferries take passengers to Sark, Alderney and Herm. Chartering boats is a popular means of getting around, especially for tourists.
There is only one working railway network for public transport in the bailiwick, and in the entire Channel Islands. The Alderney Railway runs for two miles, mainly along the island’s coast, from Braye Road to Mannez Quarry and Alderney Lighthouse.
Hiring a car is the most effective way of exploring Guernsey. Many car hire companies are present and rates are reasonably competitive, especially when compared to those on the mainland.
With its mild weather and seaside setting, Guernsey is a popular holiday destination for many British citizens. Tourism is well developed on the islands and arranging trips to the attractions in the bailiwick is easy.
The main gateway to the group of islands is the capital of Guernsey, Saint Peter Port. The town still has the character of a traditional fishing village, with narrow streets and slopes overlooking the sea. It is also the site of the historic Castle Cornet, the main landmark of Guernsey Island.
Also on Guernsey Island is the parish of Saint Martin. Here, visitors can visit the parish’s beaches and explore the coastline through beautiful walks around Moulin Huet and Petit Bôt.
In the western part of Guernsey, in the parish of Saint Pierre du Bois, lies Rocquaine Bay. It has a couple of good beaches and is home to the Fort Grey Maritime Museum, which features the shipwrecks of the Channel Islands as well as its naval history. At low tide, visitors can easily access Lihou Island from the bay via a causeway.
The other bailiwick island of Alderney is a popular destination as well. Aside from the stunning wide open countryside, Alderney has a high number of pubs for its size. It is also the premier destination for e-gaming in the bailiwick.
The car-less island of Sark, also called Sercq, Sèr or Cerq, has a number of visitor attractions worth seeing. Aside from the spectacular and rugged natural surroundings, Sark features La Seigneurie Gardens, with their beautiful grounds located around a 17th century manor.
For a territory of its small size, the Bailiwick of Guernsey has a lot of historic landmarks and interesting attractions, some of which date back to the prehistoric age.
Guernsey has many structures dating back to the Neolithic age. Two menhirs, or carved standing stones, are famous attractions on Guernsey Island: the Grandmother of Chimqiere, located in Saint Martin, and the Grandmother, located in Castel.
Some of the more prominent landmarks of Guernsey are the many castles, towers and forts which dot the often rugged coastline. Castle Cornet is a popular one as it is located in Saint Peter Parish. The castle was built during the reign of King Stephen and now houses the Royal Guernsey Militia Museum. Other structures of note are Vale Castle in Saint Sampson and Fortress Rousse, located along the west coast.
While the Germans never made it to Britain during WWII, they occupied the Channel Islands. Remnants of the occupation are now found in German Underground Hospital in the Parish of Saint Andrew and the German Occupation Museum in Forest.
The island of Sark has a number of natural curiosities which are worth venturing to. One such attraction is La Coupée, a narrow isthmus which links Sark to a small offshore island called Little Sark. The ruggedly beautiful caves of Sark, the Boutique Caves and the Gouliot Caves, are famous attractions, with some of the caves only accessible when the tide is low.
Famous French writer Victor Hugo lived in Guernsey and his house now stands as a landmark on the island. Located in Saint Peter Port, Hauteville House was once home to the author and is said to be where he wrote the Toilers of the Sea.
Entertainment in Guernsey comes in the form of the usual English pubs as well as lively bars which serve cocktails, ciders and a number of local brews. Two of the most recommended drinks are the local Randalls beer and Guernsey cider.
There are venues for drinks, live music, dancing and even cabaret. There are also karaoke bars and places where open-mic sessions are held. Most of these night-time entertainment joints can be found in the bailiwick’s capital of Saint Peter Port. In the summer, and in most parishes outside Saint Peter Port, most hotels offer in-house entertainment so visitors do not need to venture far to get their nightlife fix.
The island of Alderney is a particularly popular place for night-time entertainment in the bailiwick. It has the highest number of local pubs and watering holes for its size, as well as several establishments for e-gambling.
Visitors will find that for most locals, evening entertainment consists of a quiet walk along the beach, along Cobo Bay, for example. A relaxing evening may begin with watching the beautiful sunset by the beach along with dinner in the form of fish and chips. Films are also an entertainment option and locals head to the cinema in Amherst to see the latest releases.
Those visiting in the winter need not worry as the Guernsey Eisteddfod Society Annual Festival is held every January and lasts through to March. The festival started around 80 years ago and features the best of the arts on the island.
Guernsey takes advantage of the freshest seafood and produce which is easily obtainable from the Channel Islands’ pristine seas and rich farms. As a result, a number of great seaside restaurants, French-style bistros and even contemporary dining venues are available to visitors. Aside from the usual British fare, restaurants in Guernsey also cater to those looking for international cuisine, ranging from French, Spanish and Italian, to Indian and Chinese.
Summer is the best time to hunt for great culinary experiences in Guernsey and luckily for tourists, finding good cuisine here is easy. Summer is the season for al fresco dining as seaside restaurants set up chairs and tables right on top of cliffs with spectacular views of Guernsey’s coastline. Heading inland, visitors will find a number of farm houses which offer leisurely dining at reasonable prices.
One popular seaside eatery is Crabby Jack, located on Guernsey’s western coast with perfect views of the sunset. It has a dance floor which becomes the place to be at night. A bistro that makes remarkably delicious seafood is the Fermain Beach Café, which prepares some of the best crab sandwiches and scallops on the island.
Visitors to Guernsey need to try the exceptionally good local dishes. Guernsey gâche is local bread which contains mixed peel, raisins and sultanas. As for main courses, rose veal in Guernsey is especially popular and a must-taste. Ormer casserole is basically a seafood stew with pork. Another seafood favourite is spider crab, which is usually eaten with bread and butter.
Guernsey’s great beaches are the main tourist attractions in the bailiwick. In the capital of Saint Peter Port alone, visitors can head to Belle Grève Bay and Havelet Bay. Sunbathers will want to head to the south coast to get to the hidden beach coves of Petit Bôt and Moulin Huet Bay. It is in the north, however, where the wide sandy beaches of Guernsey are located. The main ones are Grande Havre and L’Ancresse Bay.
Any of Guernsey’s fantastic hotels, most of which have a romantic natural setting, will surely define any couple’s romantic getaway. Couples have the option of staying in a seaside property with stunning views of the coast where the only sound heard is the lapping of the waves. If they prefer, a stylish, quiet countryside hotel is also an option. A romantic dinner at any of the contemporary restaurants of Saint Peter Port is the ideal finish to a wonderful day.
Guernsey has a number of attractions which whole families will enjoy. The many beaches of Guernsey are naturally the first places families should head on their holiday to the Channel Islands. Chartering a boat to explore not just the neighbouring islands, but the outlying islets and coves of Guernsey is another popular activity.
Being a holiday destination full of natural attractions, Guernsey is an adventure-seeker’s paradise. The bays and beaches are the perfect locations for various water sports. The stunning landscape begs hikers and bikers to explore them at a relaxing pace. Great hikes can be found in Moulin Huet and Petit Bôt. Surfing, too, is popular here and the best beach for surfers is Vazon Bay.