With its staggeringly pretty coastline, rich history, fantastic food and lively culture, Guernsey is an excellent choice for a short break. The island may be just 12 miles long, but guests at The Duke of Richmond or The Old Government House Hotel & Spa certainly won’t be short of things to do, from fantastic coastal walks to fascinating museums, delicious meals to energetic outdoor pursuits. Here’s our suggested 48-hour itinerary to make the most of all that Guernsey has to offer.
After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, spend the morning exploring the charming cobbled streets and pretty harbour of St Peter Port on foot. Start out at St Julian’s Pier, where you’ll spot the Liberation monument, which was unveiled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. Head south on the esplanade, admiring the sailboats fortifications as you go, before turning left to visit Castle Cornet. Built to protect the harbour, this impressive castle has stood watch for over 800 years, and is visited today for its museums and gardens as well as being a venue for live music and theatre.
For lunch, head back to Victoria Pier to feast on chancre crab, a local speciality, at The Boathouse restaurant. This rustic eatery has superb harbour views and serves up a tasty version of this local crab dish.
Spend the afternoon browsing St Peter Port’s fantastic selection of independent boutiques and gift shops. Stock up on locally made Guernsey fudge, gin, liqueurs and chocolate, and treat yourself to a delicious ice cream, made with Guernsey’s famously creamy milk, or a slice of Gâche, a sweet fruit bread that’s often served toasted with Guernsey butter. Having refuelled, take a short walk through the town to Hauteville House, the home of acclaimed writer Victor Hugo during his exile from France (the house will close at the end of September until 2018). The talented author, who lived here from 1855 until 1870, decorated the house himself and wrote some of his most famous works here, including Les Miserables. Step into the Crystal Room, where Hugo used to sit and write, and admire the panoramic coastline view that the writer himself must have seen on a daily basis.
Head back to your hotel to get ready for drinks and dinner. Gin lovers will love taking part in The Crown Club’s Gin Passport experience at The Old Government House Hotel & Spa Work your way through The Crown Club’s 37 different types of gin, including some locally made blends, each of which is served with a bespoke garnish and tonic. Follow this with dinner in The Duke of Richmond’s Leopard Bar & Restaurant, where the menu combines daily specials, which put Guernsey’s fantastic market produce and seafood to good use, alongside established favourites like Bea Tollman’s chicken noodle soup or Half Rotisserie Chicken.
Begin the morning with a short drive to the Little Chapel at St Andrew, the smallest consecrated chapel in the world. Built in 1914, this diminutive structure was inspired by the grotto at Lourdes and is decorated with pebbles, seashells and broken china. Unique and photogenic, the building can fit about eight people at a time and is one of Guernsey’s most distinctive attractions.
From here, it’s a five-minute drive to the German Occupation Museum, which provides an important insight into the German Occupation of Guernsey that took place between 1940 and 1945. Expect to see Second World War Fortifications and military artefacts as well as an authentic replica of a Guernsey street during the Occupation.
Afterwards, blow away any cobwebs by walking down to ‘Le Gouffre’ for fantastic sea views. You’ll soon arrive at Petit Bot Bay, which has its own loophole tower. Enjoy a seaside lunch at the café here which serves a good variety of food, from fresh seafood to homemade cakes. If the weather’s fine, this is also a great place to take part in one of the guided kayak explorations, which last for two hours and are conducted at an easy pace. Adventure junkies can try their hand at Coasteering, an exhilarating mix of rock scrambling, jumping, swimming and sea traversing through Guernsey’s coastal gullies and caves.
After a high energy afternoon, return to St Peter Port and reward yourself with dinner at the charming Le Petit Bistro. This family-favourite turns out crowd-pleasing French classics in a cosy environment. Highlights include French onion soup made with Brandy and topped with melted Gruyere cheese croutons, duck foie gras terrine, Moules Marinieres and Fillet of beef Rossini.
Interested in island hopping or booking surf lessons for the whole family? The Concierge Teams at The Duke of Richmond and The Old Government House Hotel & Spa are on hand to help you make the most of your time in Guernsey.
Image Credits: All images courtesy of VisitGuernsey.