As Guernsey’s only landlocked parish, St Andrew does not have the coastal attractions that the rest of the island offers making it truly unique. Nestled in the centre of the island, St Andrew is surrounded by seemingly endless woodland, fields and valleys providing the parish with a luscious, natural landscape. Predominantly an agricultural parish, St Andrew features an abundance of farms surrounded by charming country lanes and scenic trails to explore. For those in search of a traditional countryside retreat, it can be found in St Andrew with a charming landscape and a slower pace of life.
St Andrew Historic Sites and Attractions
For those interested in war history, St Andrew is one of the best places to visit in Guernsey with a rich history and fascinating attractions. Home to one of Guernsey’s most fascinating attractions, St Andrew features The German Underground Hospital. Featuring over 75,000 square feet of tunnels, The German Underground Hospital is the largest World War II structure still in existence from the German Occupation in the Channel Islands and is staggering to explore. The labyrinth of tunnels is somewhat invisible from above but within the hill is an impressive concrete maze. Used by occupying forces as both a hospital and ammunition storage, the museum offers an eerie walkthrough tour with tales of casualties during construction and wartime imagery.
In religious history, St Andrew is home to the most unique chapel on the island, a small church affectionately named The Little Chapel, thought to be the smallest consecrated church in the world. The Little Chapel is inspired by the famous grotto in Lourdes with the aim to create a miniature version of the basilica Notre Dame in the heart of Guernsey. The beautiful chapel has a breathtaking and unusual facade crafted using tiny pebbles, pretty seashells and colourful china.
Guernsey Military Underground Hospital
This is the largest remaining structure from the Occupation in the Channel Islands and is almost invisible from the surface. A concrete maze of 7000 square metres, construction started in 1940 and it took slave workers from France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Russia and Guernsey, three-and-a-half years to complete with many losing their lives. The tunnels were built as shelters for troops and the hospital was only used for about six weeks. Guernsey Military Underground Hospital is privately owned but open to the public.
The Little Chapel
The Little Chapel is possibly the smallest chapel in the world – 9 feet long by 4.5 feet wide. It was built as a miniature version of the famous grotto and basilica at Lourdes in France by Brother Déodat in 1914. A work of art and a labour of love, the Little Chapel is beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china and there is an ongoing programme of repairs and improvements. There is no charge to enter the Little Chapel, but they do rely totally on public donations.
Next to the chapel is the Guernsey Clockmakers, a large showroom featuring handmade clocks and barometers by the makers and importers of fine clocks.
St Andrew Other Points of Interest
As the agricultural centre of Guernsey, St Andrew is not short of farming attractions. There are many farms where visitors can stop by for an insight into Guernsey’s farm industry including Guernsey Dairy. Located in the heart of St Andrew, Guernsey Dairy processes fresh milk from their world-famous Guernsey cows. Not only does Guernsey Dairy supply fresh milk to the island, the farm also creates Guernsey butter, cheese, cream and even ice cream. The dairy farm offers tours to showcase the ‘grass to glass’ process with an educational insight into how the dairy products are made complete with delicious samples.
Meanwhile, nestled on the border between St Andrew and Castel, Heritage Farm is an animal farm welcoming visitors on select days. Visitors to the farm can interact with the animals and get involved in feeding times. The farm aims to provide access to local wildlife and heritage with engaging and educational experiences for all. In addition to the sheep, pigs and chickens, Heritage Farm also has a little playground making it the perfect day out for all the family.
As well as the farms of St Andrew, the parish features an abundance of country lanes and nature trails to explore. Hiking and cycling is popular in the area with a wealth of green space to discover. St Andrew’s traditional farming buildings add charm to the landscape whilst the tranquil environment makes the parish one of the island’s most peaceful locations. You can download self-guided tours online taking you past some of the parish’s highlights and most scenic country locations.
St Andrew Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
Shopping, dining and nightlife is limited in this farming community with just the occasional local store, pub or high street retailer to be found scattered throughout the parish. There are a number of charming country pubs to enjoy a hearty, wholesome meal but nightlife is practically non-existent. If you are looking for a peaceful, rural escape in the middle of nowhere, away from the buzz and the noise, St Andrew is the ideal country retreat for you.
St Andrew Sports and Events
The far north of the parish, on the border between St Andrew and St Peter Port, is home to the Footes Lane Stadium. The homeground of Guernsey Football Club hosts regular sporting fixtures in the Isthmian League with a 5000 capacity and is the island’s national football stadium.
As a largely agricultural parish, St Andrew hosts limited events throughout the year with just the occasional church fair and farm event. However, straddling the border between St Andrew and Castel, Heritage Farm took over one of the island’s biggest seasonal events in 2021. When another farm retired its pumpkin patch in 2020, Heritage Farm grabbed the reins to provide Guernsey with a new autumnal wonderland. With a field of approximately 1200 pumpkins, Heritage Farms offers a family-fun day out of pumpkin picking and tractor rides complete with a spooky maze and a selection of stallholders.
St Andrew Transportation
Drivers will have an easy time navigating St Andrew with quiet roads and easy to find parking. As a farming parish and one with little tourism, St Andrew is separate from the hustle and bustle of the island with limited traffic. However, many of St Andrew’s roads are country roads so caution should be taken when driving along these narrow, rural roads. There is plenty of parking at many of St Andrew’s most popular locations, much of which is gravel parking and free of charge.
For those navigating Guernsey by public transportation, there is just one bus route that runs through the parish. Route 71 operates a frequent service through St Andrew and connects Guernsey Airport to St Peter Port Bus Terminus. The route has a designated stop for The Little Chapel. Connections to other parts of the island can be made at St Peter Port Bus Terminus. The Guernsey bus service provides convenient public transportation across the island provided by CT Plus.