The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
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Travel Guide: Guernsey

About  •  Understand  •  Cities  •  Get In  •  Get Around  •  Talk  •  Buy  •  Eat  •  Drink  •  Learn  •  More »

About

Guernsey is a group of islands in the English Channel, part of the Channel Islands.

Understand

The islands of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops during World War II.

Cities

  • Saint Peter Port
  • Saint Sampson

Get In

Guernsey can only be reached by plane or boat.

By plane

Guernsey airport has flight links to

  • The UK - London (Gatwick and Stansted), Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands and Exeter. There are seasonal services to Norwich, Edinburgh and Belfast.
  • France - Dinard. There is a seasonal service to Grenoble
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Alderney
  • Netherlands - Rotterdam (April-September only)
  • Germany - Stuttgart and Dusseldorf (April-September only)

Flybe link Guernsey to 22 destinations including:- Scotland (Aberdeen#, Edinburgh, Glasgow# and Inverness#), Ireland (Belfast and Dublin#), England (Birmingham, Exeter, Leeds/Bradford#, London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle#, Norwich and Southampton), Switzerland (Geneva#), Germany (Frankfurt#), France (Chambery# (winter only) and Paris CDG#), Netherlands (Amsterdam#), Spain (Malaga#), Isle of Man# and Jersey.

Aurigny link Guernsey to similar destinations to FlyBe, but can sometimes be used as a cheaper alternative; destinations include: Gatwick, Stansted, East Midlands, Southampton, Bristol, Dinard, Grenoble, Alderney, Jersey and Manchester.

BlueIslands are the 3rd airline who operate year-round Guernsey services to and from Alderney, Geneva, Isle of Man, Jersey, Southampton and Zurich.

  1. =A change of plane is needed

By boat

Ferries run from St Peter Port to the UK, France and other Channel Islands. There is a conventional ferry year round from Portsmouth, and high speed catamarans from Weymouth and Poole in the summer with a less frequent service in the winter. The conventional ferry runs in all weather, the catamarans can be delayed or cancelled by high seas.

  • The UK - Portsmouth, Poole, Weymouth
  • France - St Malo (year-round), Dielette (summer only), Granville (summer only, infrequent)
  • Jersey
  • Sark
  • Herm

The two ferry operators between the Channel Islands and the UK/France are Condor Ferries and Manche-îles Express .

Get Around

There are no trains on the island; roads are small but not busy. The island is 9 miles long x 3 miles wide, so a bicycle is a good way to get around. Alternately there are hire cars available, taxis and a frequent bus service during the day.

The other Channel Islands can all be reached by ferry from St Peter Port. Jersey and Alderney can also be reached by plane.

Talk

Overwhelmingly English is spoken, but Norman-French Guernesais is taught in schools in a bid to preserve it.

Buy

Economy

Financial services - banking, fund management, insurance, etc. - account for about 55% of total income in this tiny Channel Island economy. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular tax haven. The evolving economic integration of the EU nations is changing the rules of the game under which Guernsey operates.

Guernsey Pound on parity with British pound (GBP); Notes from Jersey are also accepted. Note - Guernsey pounds are not accepted in the UK and should be changed for UK pounds before leaving the islands. ATMs generally describe which currency is being dispensed - 'Local' or 'Sterling'.

Eat

Most international cuisines are represented with, not surprisingly, fresh local seafood taking centre stage. For nice views and good food head for L'Auberge de Jerbourg, La Fregate, La Nautique, Pier 17, Sawatdi (Thai) or Mora's. The Crow's nest has good views but is overpriced. Le Petit Bistro and L'escalier for French and Da Nello's for Italian.

Summer in Guernsey is all about al fresco dining, with long cliff top lunches and leisurely gatherings at old farmhouse restaurants. One of the locals’ best-kept secrets is fresh fish and chips and chilled local cider on the wall outside the Rockmount Cafe at Cobo Bay; the local's favourite for sun set. Crabby Jack's is another good sunset location on the west coast; caters for families and large groups and around 11pm the dance floor fills up for some old fashioned rocking to all time favourites (NB not for a romantic meal a deux!).

Guernsey’s beach kiosks are a gastronomic odyssey in their own right. The Fermain Beach Cafe started life as a kiosk and evolved into a bistro-cafe specialising in seafood. You can work up an appetite (or work off lunch) with a stunning clifftop walk and then sit down to local crab sandwich, scallops with bacon or locally caught monkfish or sea bass with a view of Guernsey's prettiest bay. In summer, you'll need to book two weeks in advance tel 01481 238636. For a wooden basket of traditional cream tea (to take to the beach) head for the kiosk in Saint's Bay or Portelet Bay (the latter better accesible for wheelchair users).

Picnics are also popular. For the ultimate spontaneity, pack fresh French bread and cheese, local tomatoes and paté and a bottle of wine and head for the cliffs. There’s a view from a bay or winding path that really is yours alone. ALternatively check the diary of castle Cornet http://www.museum.guernsey.net/outdoor_theatre.htm for outdoor theatre or, in summer, life music on Friday nights (usually free!). Come early and eat your picknick on the top lawns of the castle, descent with your bottle of wine to watch outdoor theatre or life music in a great medieval setting. (NB dress warm!)

Breakfast: Bacon butties from Nelia's Bakery, Continental style breakfast at Victor Hugo's, Fry up's at White Rock cafe, Halfway Cafe or Half Moon cafe.

Drink

There are lots of pubs to be visited all over the island, in St Peter Port the pubs are easy to find and are mostly along the waterfront. Laska's has an enourmous list of cocktails and is a popular spot. Start here and work your way north along the waterfront, ending at the taxi rank.

Guernsey cream teas: The OGH hotel is an excellent location for wintertime cream teas. The Victoria Cafe in Candy gardens has excellent views (but you mustn't be in a hurry!). Cobo tea room on the west coast has excellent home made cakes. Or sample a piece of coffee cake from the kiosk at Port Soif; No real indoor space there but a lovely sheltered garden to hang out in.

  • Market Kitchen, Market Square, St Peter Port (5 mins walk from Harbour seafront), ☎ 01481 712249, [8]. Good coffee with a slice of homemade cake. Milkshakes for kids. Wine, beer and local cider for the adults. Very pleasant indeed. Sit outside in the al-fresco area, there is sometimes live music and you are in Guernsey's only public square watching the world go by. Worth a visit.

Learn

There are plenty of opportunities to learn in Guernsey with everything from ceramics to surfing on offer. If you, or your child, want to try something creative while visiting there is a good gallery with art workshops in the older area of town. The Gallery (www.thegallery.gg) is at the top of a cobbled hill (Mill Street) which goes up from the old markets. There you can sign up for pottery, mosaic, painting and photography workshops. There are also plenty of fun and unusual things on offer for children.