Things to see and do
Overlooking the harbour in St Peter Port stands Castle Cornet. Built during the reign of King Stephen, it bears influences from many eras, through to the German occupation of WWII. It also contains the Royal Guernsey Militia Museum, a Maritime Museum and gardens.
The Little Chapel at Les Vauxbelets is thought to be the smallest church in the world, with space for a priest and a congregation of two. If that weren’t attraction enough, the exterior and interior walls are entirely bedecked in colourful fragments of crockery, making this a charmingly quirky spot in Guernsey.
Dolmens (Neolithic tombs) are common on the island. Among them are Déhus Dolmen, near the yacht marina in the Vale, and La Catioroc, on a mound overlooking Perelle Bay (reputedly once a witches’ meeting place).
Boasting two beaches and the Fort Grey Maritime Museum; the museum focuses on Guernsey’s many shipwrecks. At the northern end of the bay, Lihou Island is home to flocks of seabirds, and is accessible to walkers at low tide.
Take a peek into Guernsey’s only stately home open to the public: Sausmarez Manor at St Martin. The farmer’s market held every Saturday morning is full of fresh and local produce. For weekday visitors the grounds (which contain a sculpture park) and house tours provide a relaxed way to spend the day.
St Peter Port
Stroll around the island’s capital St Peter Port, which retains much of the character of a traditional fishing village. See the 12th-century church and the 17th-century oldest house, now a National Trust shop, in Cornet Street.
Victor Hugo's House
Pay your respects to Victor Hugo at Hauteville House, above the south side of St Peter Port, where he once lived. It was here that he wrote The Toilers of the Sea (which is set in St Sampson). His statue stands in Candie Gardens, as does the Island Museum.
Fortifications are scattered all around the coast – among them Ivy Castle near Le Bouet, a Norman stronghold, and Vale Castle at St Sampson. On the West Coast lies Fortress Rousse, an 18th-century tower open to the public.
Diving and snorkelling excursions and courses are popular with families and professional divers alike. Divers can enjoy a variety of marine life on the reefs, whilst more adventurous types can explore one of the many wrecks littered around Guernsey’s coast.
Enjoy interesting walks around the island’s cliff paths. The Water Lanes leading to the shore, particularly at Moulin Huet and Petit Bôt, are highlights among these.
Hit the beach
Within walking distance of St Peter Port are Havelet Bay and Belle Grève Bay. In the north are big sandy beaches at L’Ancresse Bay and Grande Havre. On the south coast, steep steps reach the beach at Petit Bôt, and Moulin Huet Bay is a sheltered location for sunbathers.
Experience German occupation
For a taste of life during Germany’s WWII occupation of the Channel Islands visit the German Underground Hospital at St Andrew, and the German Occupation Museum at Forest, where there is a reconstruction of an occupied street.
Catch the breaks with off the northwest-facing Vazon Bay, with its huge sweeping sands. There are several surf schools for beginners to grab lessons before trying their luck at sea. Kitesurfing is also possible on the west coast at the ever popular Cobo bay.