5 Must See and Things to Do in Guernsey
After a few particularly stressful months of work and life in London without a holiday I decided to make the short trip over the English Channel to the beautiful island of Guernsey. I needed to completely unwind and just have some time and space to myself and I was not let down. Here are my top five things I recommend you to do and see during your time on the island:
1. Walk the South Cliffs
In comparison to London, there is a massive reduction in the pace of life in place on Guernsey. As such, I took this as a chance to pass most of my first day by simply walking the cliffs on Guernsey’s south coast. This may not sound like a lot, but for those readers living in cities or built up, urban or inland areas then this walk through nature is so delightfully refreshing and a very welcome change in scene from those we are exposed to daily at home.With over 28 miles of cliff paths to walk and discover, it is easy to see how Guernsey has become a paradise for walking holidays. The paths are punctuated with bays and beaches every few miles, most coming with a welcoming little café or kiosk so you can have a sit down, take in some refreshing food and drink, and generally relax. My personal highlights on the walk are the views of Moulin Huet, Petit Bot and Petit Port; three beautiful and breathtaking bays that warm the soul and fuel the imagination!
2. Hauteville House
On my trip I wanted to take in some of the island’s heritage and culture, and this meant visiting Hauteville House, the former home of the French novelist, Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables. Now a museum only offering guided tours, the house is located in the heart of St Peter Port, the capital of the island. Donated to the City of Paris in 1927, it has been restored to the decoration and layout present during Hugo’s residence there. Each room is ornately decorated, and the views on offer over the town centre are purely wondrous, it is easy to see where Hugo drew his inspiration from to help him write his marvelous works. If you are a fan of literature, or simply enjoyed the recent Les Miserables film, then I strongly suggest you make a visit here on your trip.
3. Try the Seafood
Another personal highlight of mine during my vacation was the abundance of fresh seafood available in pretty much all of the restaurants in the town centre. Each chef clearly puts a lot of care and personal pride into their cooking, and at the restaurant I visited it was no different. For starters I had seared local scallops, cooked with a cauliflower puree and curry oil; and for my main course I followed up with a grilled red mullet fillet, served with new potatoes crushed with crab meat and tomato, all served with a beautiful basil mascarpone. The freshness, taste and value for money was simply outstanding, you surely would not be able to get a meal of the same level in London without paying a lot more money.
4. Castle Cornet
In my quest for some culture and history I headed to Castle Cornet, at the southern end of the main harbour area in St Peter Port. The fortification was built in the 13th century and has remained present ever since. Decommissioned from military use halfway through the 18th century, the castle is now home to a host of museums, as well as a restaurant and cute little gift shop. I again took a guided tour as I spent the afternoon learning all about the naval and military history of the island from the five museums on offer. It was truly amazing that there was so much to learn about such a small island, as well as getting to see preserved original wreckage from a Roman ship!
5. Hit the Beach
The final thing you must do on a trip to Guernsey, weather permitting, is to spend a day lounging, running, sunbathing, swimming or whatever it is you want to do on one of the island’s 27 beaches. I headed to the west coast, and after a blissful afternoon soaking in both the sun and a good book, I simply picked up my towel and bag, walked up the steps and ate the best fish and chips I have ever had on the sea wall; all of this whilst watching the sun set over the bay!
Guernsey is a beautiful, amazing and culturally rich island, and under an hour away from the UK there really is no reason to not visit at least once. I know I got the rest and relaxation I had sought after so much!