Following my post last Autumn all about our trip to Jersey and my posts on Instagram, I was surprised by the amount of messages I had from people saying that they hadn’t previously considered a trip to the Channel Islands. And I was then pleased by them saying that now it was firmly on their radar! I realised just what an underrated holiday destination it is! When we recently had the opportunity to visit Guernsey I was so excited to see what one of the other Channel Islands had to offer, and also to be able to share it with all of you too. We had the most fantastic time away and so here I am, ready to tell you all the reasons why you should be adding Guernsey to your ‘to go’ list.
It is SO easy to get to
We travelled from Poole on the Condor Liberation and it took us around 3 hours to get to Guernsey and it would be approximately another 1.5 hours to get to Jersey. The Liberation is comfortable and has everything you could need on board so the time flies by. Travelling with two small children can be stressful at times but the great thing about travelling this way is that the children can roam around the boat as they please. We weren’t confined to our seats as you would be on an airplane and there is even a small kids area that they can visit which has beanbags and a television showing cartoons. We sat in the Horizon Lounge which is at the front of the Liberation and has stunning panoramic views for the duration of the journey. It was lovely to see Guernsey approaching on the horizon and to see all the flowers and moored boats as we got even closer. The food on board was delicious and there is also a duty free shop to browse. Travelling can be the hardest part of a holiday, so to begin our trip in this calm and stress free manner was just perfect.
It is beautiful
From the moment we caught sight of Guernsey from the ferry, I was taken aback by just how beautiful it is. As you arrive into Saint Peter Port you can see the flowers all along the streets and there are countless boats of all different sizes moored up in the harbour. It looks like a postcard and as you discover more of the island that only continues. Driving around Guernsey you see quaint villages, endless fields, beautiful beaches and cute pubs and restaurants. The roads are all quite quiet and the whole island has a maximum speed limit of 35mph. The whole island feels peaceful and relatively untouched. The coastlines have to be my favourite part of the island and driving and walking along them just felt so calm, the views are amazing and the weather is generally quite mild too.
Its’s easy to explore
Being such a small island, it is easy to explore Guernsey either by car or by foot. We didn’t use any public transport while we were there but we saw a lot of buses so I’m sure it would work well as a holiday destination even if you don’t drive. I think the longest we spent in the car was around 25 minutes and that was driving between two of the furthest points of the island. It was nice not having to have a plan for the day based on what things were close together, because it’s just all close together! You can explore multiple different parts of the island on the same day and know that you will never end up too far from anywhere. You can also take a short boat ride from Saint Peter Port to Sark or Herm, two of the smaller Channel Islands which both look really lovely. If you fancy going further afield you can easily get to St Malo too.
It has a rich and fascinating history
Both Jersey and Guernsey are steeped in history, most notably when the islands were under German occupation during World War 2. There are many places you can visit on Guernsey to learn all about the events that took place during the war and the effect it had on the islands and the people living there. We visited La Vallette Underground Military Museum and Fort Grey, both of which I would definitely recommend. There are also many more forts, castles, ancient ruins and also some maritime history to discover too.
I can categorically say that not a single beach on Guernsey dissapointed us – and we went to a lot! They were all stunning but our favourite side of the island had to be Cobo Bay. We discovered this part of the island on our last day which was such a shame as I would have loved to spend longer there, We were actually heading for a different beach but when we saw the bright turquoise colour of the sea and the stunning beaches we just had to stop. The sea seemed a totally different colour to the rest of the island – which is also incredibly beautiful! It was a bright turquoise and the sand was white and so soft. It definitely felt like we were somewhere much further from home that The Channel Islands. We also really enjoyed Petit Bot Bay which has a cute little tea room right by it too.
As someone who tries to eat in moderation the majority of the time, when we’re on holiday I definitely like to indulge a little more. Guernsey has an abundance of cute tea rooms and family friendly restaurants to discover and so we had many delicious meals during our stay. Three favourites stand out for me however. The first has to be Crabby Jacks, we went here for dinner one night and it was truly delicious. I would highly recommend the Flat Bread Kebab with pulled pork, it was sensational and I hope to be able to go back and have it again one day! Another restaurant that we really enjoyed was The Boathouse in Saint Peter Port, it is right on the harbour and if you sit out the back you have the most gorgeous view of all the little sailing boats moored up. On a summers day this is just the perfect place to sit outside with a glass of wine. They even bring out fluffy blankets as the temperature drops in the evening! My third favourite has to be the dessert bar at our Hotel – Hotel Jerbourg. I have a serious sweet tooth and dessert is always my favourite part of any meal so walking toward the selection of cakes, pastries and ice cream they have on offer was basically like walking towards heaven. Anyone can eat at the restaurant and dessert bar, not just hotel guests, so I would thoroughly recommend stopping by if you are in the area.
There’s plenty to do with the kids
Aside from all the gorgeous beaches on the island there are also many attractions to visit too. Oatlands Village stands out in my mind, particularly the play barn. Darcie (3) and Ernie (1) both had a great couple of hours playing in there! There is also crazy golf, an amazing chocolate shop and plenty of other attractions to explore. We also visited the aquarium which was quite small but nice enough. They had kids play equipment inside too which I thought was a really good idea. Darcie really enjoyed everything that the great outdoors had to offer on the island; exploring the ancient ruins and forts and playing on the beach. There was a fair bit of breeze while we were there so she had a lovely time flying a kite with Dan for the first time. Candie Gardens is lovely to wander around too and we also really enjoyed The Little Chapel. The Little Chapel was the perfect size for Darcie to explore, you can walk right through it, down the stairs and come out a little side exit. Anyone with young children will understand how much fun Darcie had exploring it all! If we’d been there for longer I would also have loved to visit Sausmarez Manor too.
Our thoughts on Guernsey
In case you couldn’t tell from the post so far, we absolutely loved Guernsey. It felt like a home from home, everyone was so friendly and we were never stuck for something to do. The beaches were my favourite part of the holiday and on sunny days it really felt like we were somewhere much further then The Channel Islands. There is a very ‘french’ feel to the island but it also has the convenience of being English speaking.
Although it is set up perfectly for tourists, it doesn’t feel like a typical ‘tourist destination’. It is beautiful with plenty to do but the whole time we were there it kind of felt like a well kept secret. Even the most popular parts of the island aren’t too busy and the attractions and cafes are really reasonably priced. It could be a different story in the school holidays, but while we were there nothing felt too busy!
I couldn’t recommend a trip to Guernsey more. It is beautiful, friendly and SO easy to get to, I’m not really sure what other reasons you would need to go!
I was thrilled to work with Condor Ferries and Visit Guernsey for this post. As always all opinions are my own, I would never recommend anything I didn’t truly LOVE.