A highly anticipated event each spring, the Guernsey Heritage Festival celebrates the Bailiwick of Guernsey’s rich history with a busy programme of events. The festival’s three-week run includes daily activities that bring to life the history of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm, and shed light on a range of subjects, from the islands’ Neolithic past and ancient folklore to Guernsey’s most celebrated literary resident, Victor Hugo.
Make the most of the long days and balmy weather with WildGuernsey’s Wild Pilgrim’s Forage on the first weekend of Guernsey Heritage Festival. Suitable for all ages, it’s an opportunity to get outdoors and harvest food from Guernsey’s abundant hedgerows and coastline. WildGuernsey’s founder D’Arcy explains that the experience focuses on ‘sharing knowledge and experiences of wild food, enjoying spectacular locations and tasting edible plants that people have gathered and relied on for nutrition over many hundreds of years.’
The romantic drama Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was released in cinemas last year, and is the inspiration behind Pork, Walk & Talk. Inspired by the novel on which the film was based, the event is a chance to meet locally reared pigs at Wallow Farmstead, listen to accounts of farming during the occupation, stroll along coastal lanes to German fortifications and enjoy a local gin and tonic, followed by dinner with an artisan charcuterie tasting.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who fell in love with Guernsey’s Moulin Huet Bay while staying on the island in 1883. He subsequently painted several different views of it. Learn more on the Walking in Renoir and Victor Hugo’s Footsteps guided tour, which takes in the landscape that Renoir was so struck by, as well as Victor Hugo’s frequent visits to Moulin Huet in St Martin. Participants are invited to visit the cottage where Renoir painted during his stay, as well as the spot where Victor Hugo liked to picnic.
Learn about the history of the famous Guernsey jumper at the National Trust of Guernsey Folk & Costume Museum. Having been knitted on the island since the early 1800s, it originated from the fishermen’s wives, who would knit jumpers for the family and pass on their patterns to their children as a treasured heirloom. Guernsey knitwear has been exported since the 15th century and the museum explores the intriguing story of Guernsey’s wool industry. Alongside the tactile exhibition, visitors can try their hand at spinning wool.
Pay a visit to Guernsey Heritage Festival, 19th April–10th May 2019, while staying at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Duke of Richmond Hotel.