Guernsey: a glorious beach holiday destination
With its balmy micro-climate, butterscotch beaches and time-forgotten fishing ports, Guernsey is made for relaxing getaways. It packs plenty of interest into a mere 25 square miles, including some seriously swanky restaurants, a seemingly endless network of walking trails and a few top-class family attractions.
Although the island enjoys an oceanic climate with moderate temperatures experienced throughout the year, the months between May and September are widely regarded as the best time to go. The best bit? This pint-sized paradise is just a short hop from Glasgow by air.
This imposing 800-year-old fortress guards the harbour of St Peter Port, Guernsey’s charming capital. A ticket gives you access to five museums, including the Maritime Museum and the Story of Cornet Castle, as well as four period gardens. Garden tours are available when the flowers are in full bloom.
Address: St Peter Port
Opening times: Daily 1000-1700 (Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct); 0930-1700 (Jul-Aug)
Victor Hugo House (Hauteville House)
The great French author Victor Hugo spent 15 years in Guernsey during his exile from France. A year after he arrived, he bought Hauteville House and wrote some of his most famous books and poems there. Visits are available by guided tour only. Tours start every 20 minutes and take an hour.
Address: 38 Hauteville
Opening times: Thu-Tue 1000-1600 (Apr-Sep)
Hit the beach
Glorious beaches aplenty in Guernsey. The wide Vazon Bay is best for surfing, sheltered Petit Bot and Moulin Huet are perfect for swimming, and the secluded Petit Port is ideal for paddling and snorkelling. For spectacular sunsets, head to Cobo Bay, Les Ammareurs and Grandes Rocques.
Quirky things to see and do
Only accessible during low tide for around two weeks every month, this tiny island off Guernsey’s west coast is home to over 150 bird species. Cross the cobbled causeway to discover a ruined 12th-century priory, swim in the sheltered Venus Pool and learn about the island’s fascinating history.
With just enough space for a priest and a congregation of five, Little Chapel is thought to be the smallest church in the world. The walls of the building are covered in pebbles, seashells and colourful fragments of china, making it a quirky spot on the island.
With picturesque coasts and lush valleys, Guernsey is a cyclist’s dream holiday destination. The island’s visitor centre has a leaflet detailing 11 cycling trails for you to explore. So rent a bike, ride through rolling countryside and golden sandy bays and say hello to Guernsey’s famous cows along the way.
Food and drink
It may be small, but Guernsey punches far above its weight when it comes to gastronomy. The island’s secret is a wealth of mouth-watering local produce, from seafood fresh off the boats to delicious salad crops. The must-try specialities include Guernsey Gâche (bread made with raisins and mixed peel) with a generous layer of rich Guernsey butter, and Gâche Melée (apple cake).
- Le Nautique, Quay Steps, GY1 2LE
- Octopus, Havelet Bay, GY1 1AX
- Portelet kiosk, Portelet Bay, Torteval