A charming island bursting with history, natural beauty and cultural richness, Guernsey is an exciting destination at the heart of the Channel Islands. Awaiting you on this picturesque island is a seemingly endless list of things to do and places to see. Whether you are looking for a relaxing escape, an adventurous break or a cultural weekend, Guernsey is an island that offers it all with an outstanding collection of fascinating attractions and exhilarating activities. From exploring historic fortifications to wandering through quaint villages, Guernsey caters to every visitor. Immerse yourself in its unique blend of French and British influence, indulge in the delectable local cuisine and discover the hidden gems that make Guernsey a captivating destination that is simply perfect for your next summer holiday or spontaneous weekend break.
For Guernsey’s visitors looking to explore the best that Guernsey has to offer, the island’s Discovery Pass is a great way to discover multiple attractions for great value. Costing £22 per adult (ages 18 and over), the Discovery Pass is valid for 12 months and offers unlimited visits to some of Guernsey’s biggest attractions. The pass includes free entry for all accompanying children and a 10% discount in museum discounts.
Discovery Pass can be used at the following attractions:
- Castle Cornet
- The German Naval Signals HQ
- Guernsey Museum
- Fort Grey
The pass can also be used for free entry at Jersey Museum and Alderney Museum.
Discovery Passes can be purchased at the following locations:
- Guernsey Museum at Candie
- Castle Cornet
- Beau Sejour Leisure Centre
- Guernsey Information Centre
- The German Naval Signals HQ
- Guernsey Pearl
Things to do in St Peter Port
As the capital of Guernsey, St Peter Port is an exciting cultural hub packed with things to do. Boasting captivating attractions from historic museums to relaxing bathing pools, St Peter Port is often the first port of call when visiting the island.
Hauteville House (Victor Hugo House)
Offering a fascinating glimpse into the life of the famed French writer, Victor Hugo, Hauteville House is where Hugo penned his most impressive work. During his exile from France, the renowned author of Les Miserables resided in this charming abode from 1856 to 1870. The house, perched on a hill overlooking St. Peter Port, was witness to the creative genius of Hugo and showcases his distinct interior design and personal artefacts. Visitors can wander through the elegantly furnished rooms, impressive library and beautiful garden, immersing themselves in the ambiance that once inspired this literary legend. For literary lovers, a visit to Hauteville House is considered a pilgrimage offering a deeper understanding of Hugo’s life and work.
La Vallette Bathing Pools
The bathing pools of La Vallette have provided Guernsey locals and visitors with a safe and refreshing place to take a dip in the sea since 1865. Throughout history, many famous names spent time at the bathing pools including Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables, and the famous Renaissance painter Renoir. Home to four Victorian lidos, La Vallette Bathing Pools is a destination suitable for the whole family to enjoy a swim away from Guernsey’s world renowned tidal range. During high tide, the pools fill with natural salt water from the English Channel whilst the walls keep out seaweed and any marine life. In addition to enjoying a relaxing swim, the bathing pools also feature diving boards and regularly host swimming competitions. Following a recent renovation, La Vallette Bathing Pools also boasts world-class facilities with brand new changing areas, an impressive cafe and new areas for sunbathing.
A symbol of Guernsey’s rich history, Castle Cornet is a captivating fortress perched on a rocky islet connected to St. Peter Port’s harbour. This historic marvel boasts over 800 years of heritage and has witnessed numerous sieges, wars and history unfolding. Visitors can explore its storied walls, picturesque gardens and the fascinating museums including the Maritime Museum and the Royal Guernsey Regiment Museum offering insights into the island’s past. You can take advantage of guided tours, explore self-guided trails and enjoy re-enactments of Guernsey’s history performed by The Guernsey History in Action Company. The castle’s strategic location also provides breathtaking panoramic views of St Peter Port and the scenic coastline.
Castle Cornet can be visited with Guernsey’s Discovery Pass.
The German Naval Signals HQ
Visiting the German Naval Signals HQ in Guernsey offers a fascinating insight into the island’s wartime history. A restoration of the original bunker, this site was a crucial hub during the German occupation in World War II. It was responsible for all radio traffic to and from Germany and the other occupied islands in addition to being the last active Signals HQ operating until 9th May 1945. Exploring its tunnels, visitors can see original equipment, uniforms and artefacts that help to provide a deep understanding of Guernsey’s wartime experiences.
The German Naval Signals HQ can be visited with Guernsey’s Discovery Pass.
Established in the early 19th century, the Victorian Candie Gardens boast meticulously landscaped grounds, vibrant floral displays and majestic trees that are beautiful to explore. Visitors can stroll along the winding pathways, enjoy panoramic views of St. Peter Port and discover the restored greenhouses. At one end, you will find a statue of Queen Victoria to mark her Diamond Jubilee whilst at the opposite side of the gardens, Victor Hugo overlooks the gardens. A serene spot in the heart of St Peter Port that is the perfect blend of nature and history, Candie Gardens is a beautiful location to explore away from the hustle and bustle of the busy capital.
Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery
Nestled at the top of Candie Gardens, The Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery is a cultural treasure trove showcasing the island’s diverse heritage and artistic expressions. The museum features a variety of exhibits on archaeology, natural history and the island’s maritime history. Art enthusiasts will find a compelling collection of local and international artworks highlighting Guernsey’s artistic evolution. The museum hosts temporary exhibitions and events, making each visit unique and with its informative displays and engaging installations, the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery provides a fascinating insight into the island’s past and present.
Guernsey Museum can be visited with Guernsey’s Discovery Pass.
Fermain Bay in Guernsey is a picturesque coastal haven, renowned for its pristine beauty and tranquil ambiance. A hidden gem just a short cliff walk from the heart of St Peter Port, the bay boasts crystal-clear waters surrounded by towering cliffs. The sheltered bay offers a serene escape that is great for swimming and sunbathing. Adventurous souls can explore nearby coastal trails with stunning panoramic views whilst The Beach Cafe is a great stop for refreshment. Enjoy the best of Guernsey’s rugged coastline at one of the island’s most secluded beaches.
Things to do in St Martin
Just south of the capital, St Martin is a parish with an excellent mixture of Guernsey’s best parts. The perfect blend of urban and rural, St Martin is one of the most scenic corners of the island whilst remaining close to the action.
An iconic attraction in St Martin, Sausmarez Manor is a majestic manor house nestled within meticulously manicured gardens. The gardens never fail to awe with an ever-changing array of seasonal flowers and is a site that has received praise from the Royal Horticultural Society listed amongst the ‘1001 Gardens To Visit Before You Die’. Nestled within the estate is the Sculpture Park featuring a diverse collection of unique and intriguing artwork by various artists. Complementing the outdoor space is a charming miniature railway that winds through the woodlands travelling alongside the sculpture park. Sausmarez Manor itself is an exploration of historical riches, home to captivating artefacts and impressive artwork. Dating back to the 1700s, the manor house is one of the best-preserved 18th century structures in the Channel Islands, steeped in a rich tapestry of history. The manor house also has a prominent place in literary history serving as the inspiration for the house depicted in the best-selling novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.
A coastal marvel showcasing Guernsey’s true natural beauty, Moulin Huet is a beautiful corner of the island that has long been a source of artistic inspiration. Nestled along the island’s southern cliffs, this bay is a scenic masterpiece, immortalised in no fewer than 15 paintings by the renowned French artist Renoir who fell in love with this corner of the island during his stay in 1883. Featuring pebbled shores and glistening turquoise waters, Moulin Huet offers the most serene ambiance on the island. As the sun sets, the bay’s beauty deepens and there is no doubt that this is one of the most magnificent spots in Guernsey.
Saints Bay Beach
Saints Bay Beach is a pristine coastal retreat, nestled along the island’s south coast offering sandy spots ideal for basking under the summer sun. Surrounded by rugged cliffs, this secluded bay offers tranquillity, natural beauty and calm waters. The golden sandy beach gently slopes into crystal-clear waters and is the perfect place for a relaxing swim or a peaceful sunbathing session. Adventure seekers can explore nearby caves and rocky formations, adding a touch of excitement to the visit. The beach also serves as a launch point for various water sports and with its scenic backdrop, Saints Bay Beach is a perfect spot for a day by the water.
Arguably Guernsey’s best scenic viewpoint, Jerbourg Point offers the most impressive panoramic view on the island. Perched on the southeastern tip, this spot boasts unrivalled scenery that on clear days, stretches across to the neighbouring Channel Islands of Alderney and Sark. The beauty of the vast expanse of the English Channel is truly captivating from this spot and Jerbourg Point provides one of the best visual treats that Guernsey has to offer.
La Gran’mère du Chimquière
The Channel Islands are bursting with neolithic landmarks and Guernsey boasts a wealth of them. Nestled within the parish church courtyard in St Martin is Guernsey’s most ancient structure, the fascinating and enthralling La Gran’mère du Chimquière. Dating back to 2500 BC, this menhir named the ‘Grandmother of the Cemetery’ stands as one of the island’s most renowned monuments.
Things to do in Forest
As the name may suggest, Forest is one of the greenest parishes on the island. Full of natural beauty, Forest is a hub of outdoor activity and scenic locations that are exquisite to discover.
As one of Guernsey’s most beautiful beaches, Petit Bot is a top choice for a day by the sea. This stunning location boasts calm waters protected from the elements by the towering cliffs and lush vegetation surrounding the bay. With such serene waters, water sports are extremely popular here with kayaking and paddleboarding the top activities. Boasting a long stretch of golden sands, the beach provides plenty of space for a secluded bathing spot. Adding to its allure, the beach unveils intricate rock pools at low tide and it is fascinating to discover the sealife lurking there. Opposite the beachfront, Petit Bot Tearooms offer delicious refreshments and local delicacies served up with splendid beach views making it an ideal spot to unwind with a cup of tea or coffee.
A peaceful hamlet nestled in the scenic countryside in Forest, Le Bigard provides a peaceful escape from the bustle of daily life and is perfect for leisurely exploration. Strolling along its charming lanes, visitors can admire traditional Guernsey homes and well-preserved stone farmhouses that beautifully showcase the island’s rural heritage. The lush greenery provides some of Guernsey’s most scenic walking trails whilst the cliff tops offer stunning sea views and the rocky shores are great for birdwatching and seal spotting. Ultimately, Le Bigard is a charming haven, the perfect place to soak up Guernsey’s cosy, country vibes.
German Occupation Museum
A must-visit for history enthusiasts and those intrigued by the island’s war history, the German Occupation Museum is one of the island’s best historic attractions. A treasure trove of authentic war artefacts whilst providing a fascinating glimpse into the life of Guernsey islanders during World War II’s German occupation, the curated exhibits offer a deep understanding of the harsh daily realities faced during the war. Showcasing the courage and resilience of its inhabitants during the island’s darkest days, the museum stands as the most poignant historic attraction in the Channel Islands.
Allied Aircrew Memorial
Located near the terminal of Guernsey Airport, the Allied Aircrew Memorial is the first landmark you will likely encounter on the island and marks the beginning of a historical journey across Guernsey. This memorial stands as a tribute to the sacrifices of Allied Aircrews during World War II, particularly those who perished in Bailiwick waters during the German Occupation. Crafted with exquisite detail, honours those who lost their lives and underlines Guernsey’s crucial role in the war and its lasting impact on the island’s narrative.
Things to do in St Pierre du Bois
The most picturesque corner of the island boasting stunning coastal views and countryside walks, St Pierre du Bois is overflowing with natural beauty with just a touch of mythology.
Perched on a tidal islet within Rocquaine Bay, this Martello tower, affectionately known as Cup and Saucer to the locals, holds a special blend of history and folklore. Fort Grey, with its origins tracing back to the Middle Ages, has played a crucial role throughout various military eras. It notably stood armed with machine guns and anti-tank artillery during the German occupation in World War II but beyond its historical significance, the fort carries a mystical connection, linked to witchcraft practices and meetings with the devil. Today, Fort Grey stands as an intriguing shipwreck museum showcasing marine salvage and captivating narratives from the depths of the sea.
Fort Grey can be visited with Guernsey’s Discovery Pass.
With inviting waters and sun-kissed sands, L’Eree Beach is an incredible seaside location particularly adored by families. Its sheltered embrace limits the winds and offers calm waters, an ideal setting for swimming and relaxing water sports. Snorkelling thrives at L’Eree Beach with the tranquil waters perfect for exploring the vibrant underwater world. During low tide, mesmerising rock pools surface whilst crabbing is also a popular family-friendly activity here. From L’Eree Beach, you can also walk to L’Eree Battery, a prominent historical landmark, and catch sight of Hanois Lighthouse in Torteval.
Things to do in Castel
Guernsey’s largest parish is home to many of the island’s most scenic destinations whilst also accompanied with a myriad of historical sites, charming villages and incredible nature reserves.
Vazon Bay, a 2-mile Blue Flag beach in Castel, graces Guernsey’s western coast with its stunning beauty. With turquoise waters, golden sands and a rugged coastline, it’s amongst the Channel Islands’ most beautiful beaches. Beyond its natural splendour, Vazon Bay is a hub for water sports including surfing, kite-surfing and windsurfing which benefit from one of the world’s best tidal ranges. Not limited to water sports, the bay offers beach volleyball and has beautiful coastal walks.
Guernsey’s largest public park, Saumarez Park, is a beautiful spot inspired by Japanese gardens. Showcasing a rose garden, an oriental pond and a serene nature trail amidst beautifully landscaped gardens, the park boasts stunning corners to explore. Families can delight in the playground equipped with swings, slides, climbing frames and rope bridges whilst the idyllic tearoom is a delicious spot for dining. Picnic benches are available for those who prefer bringing their own food and the park is a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch surrounded by the park’s beauty.
National Trust for Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum
The National Trust for Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum is a popular tourist destination providing a deep dive into the island’s extensive social and economic history spanning 250 years. It offers a glimpse of daily life, work and education through fascinating exhibitions featuring an array of artefacts including traditional farming tools, household items and clothing worn by locals over the years. Notably, the museum’s special costumery exhibitions showcase the island’s textile traditions featuring intricate clothing and accessories like Guernsey jumpers and lacework. Beyond its permanent exhibits, the museum hosts diverse events, workshops and demonstrations creating an engaging experience for visitors of all ages and interests.
Things to do Elsewhere in Guernsey
Oatlands Village in St Sampson is undoubtedly the ultimate family-friendly destination on the island boasting a diverse range of activities to keep everyone entertained. Whether it’s the 18-hole mini golf, exciting play barn, delightful pet shop or tempting chocolate store, there’s something for all ages to enjoy at Oatlands Village. Youngsters can create their own bears while older children can experiment with pottery painting and everyone can engage in some friendly competition with a game of bowling. With additional attractions like an arcade and trampolines, Oatlands Village ensures families have a great day out.
The German Underground Hospital
For those fascinated by war history, The German Underground Hospital, located in St Andrew, is a remarkable site with over 75,000 square feet of tunnels. It is the largest surviving World War II structure from the German Occupation in the Channel Islands that once served as a hospital and ammunition storage. During your exploration of this concrete maze, you will dive into wartime narratives, detailing construction challenges and wartime experiences, providing a profound and haunting experience.
Amongst an impressive collection of war landmarks in St Saviour, Batterie Mirus is unquestionably the most notable. Housing the largest gun emplacement across the Channel Islands, Batterie Mirus offers a captivating exploration underground, navigating a complex tunnel network and providing access to Gun Emplacement No. 1. The guides have an incredibly extensive expertise not only about the battery but also about the island’s German occupation history making a visit to Batterie Mirus the most enlightening wartime experience in Guernsey.