As the capital of Guernsey, St Peter Port is a vibrant hub of activity with exciting attractions, phenomenal dining and a vibrant nightlife scene. Home to the largest population on the island, St Peter Port is at the centre of the action. This charming parish is considered one of Europe’s prettiest port towns boasting cobbled streets, a historic backdrop and exquisite marina views. As the beating heart of the island, St Peter Port is Guernsey’s most visited parish and a great base for those visiting the island.
St Peter Port Historic Sites and Attractions
The history found in St Peter Port is truly remarkable from the captivating presence of Castle Cornet to the home of one of the world’s most famous French writers. Standing guard, the iconic Castle Cornet has watched over St Peter Port for over 800 years and is St Peter Port’s most notable landmarks. Touring Castle Cornet offers a great insight into the island’s military history along with unrivalled views back towards St Peter’s Port.
During his exile, the legendary author Victor Hugo resided in Guernsey and lived at Hauteville House. The house was where Hugo wrote his most famous works including the renowned Les Miserables. Now a museum, a visit to Hauteville House takes you through Hugo’s life and work through an exploration of his creativity in the home he designed himself.
As the largest port on the island, St Peter Port has a strong military and war history and across the parish, historic war sites highlight the German Occupation during World War II. The German Naval Signals HQ is a dedicated war museum which is a restoration of the original headquarters for the German Naval Commander. The site is set up to showcase the day-to-day inside this bunker and document this time in Guernsey history. Meanwhile, La Vallette Underground Military Museum is another of St Peter Port’s important war sites documenting the island’s war history including both world wars. Housed in the tunnels created by the Germans, the museum showcases displays and exhibitions of artefacts and memorabilia through Guernsey’s military history including the occupation-era.
The award-winning Candie Gardens showcase a breathtaking example of a 19th century flower garden with exquisitely manicured lawns, vivacious plant beds and tranquil fish ponds. At the top of Candie Gardens, the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery is dedicated to the island’s heritage with fascinating archaeological discoveries, historical finds and a unique public art space.
St Peter Port Other Points of Interest
The parish is home to a number of rocky beaches with scenic promenades including the hidden gem of Fermain Bay. The rugged coastline, white sands and turquoise waters of this secluded spot make Fermain Bay one of Guernsey’s most breathtaking beaches and just a short cliff walk from St Peter Port.
With many of St Peter Port’s beaches rugged and pebbled, La Vallette Bathing Pools is a Victorian lido that fills with seawater during high tide and offers a safe space to swim. The facilities at La Vallette Bathing Pools have recently undergone an extensive renovation offering new changing rooms, sun trap bathing benches and a revamped cafe. In addition to relaxed swimming, La Vallette is also a destination for excitement with diving boards, swimming competitions and community events.
There is a huge variety of tourist attractions and events held there to suit all interests. Below is a list of attractions:
- St Peter Port Harbour
- Castle Cornet & Museums
- The Guernsey Tapestry
- Castle Carey
- La Vallette Underground Military Museum
- Candie Gardens
- Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery
- Elizabeth College
- Hauteville House
- Victorian Shop & Parlour
- Guernsey Aquarium
- St James Concert & Assembly Hall
St Peter Port Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
The idyllic streets of St Peter Port are bursting with incredible shopping as UK high street stores and designer boutiques take over the centre of the capital. As the main tourist destination in Guernsey, St Peter Port is the best location to purchase gifts and souvenirs with an incredible variety of goods and crafts available to buy. St Peter Port also boasts outstanding dining locations including some of the island’s best restaurants overlooking the waterfront.
Whilst nightlife on the island reflects the island’s vibe and is relatively chilled, St Peter Port is where the party is at. The town is home to an incredible selection of bars with a laid-back atmosphere and live music. The capital is also home to the island’s three nightclubs including Fusion, the largest nightclub on the island which welcomes a host of international djs throughout the year.
St Peter Port Sports and Events
As the capital of the island, it is no surprise that St Peter Port is a central destination for a large chunk of the events on Guernsey’s calendar. From seasonal fairs, markets and festivals to displays of local heritage, there is always something going on in St Peter Port.
The capital comes alive throughout the festive period with an abundance of yuletide events. Throughout the holiday season, St Peter Port offers Christmas markets, festive parades and a light switch on. However, the parish’s biggest event of the Christmas period is on December 25th with Polar Bear Swim held at La Vallette Bathing Pools.
However, the highlight of St Peter Port’s events is undoubtedly Liberation Day. An annual event taking place on May 9th, Liberation Day celebrates the Channel Islands’ freedom from the German occupation throughout the Second World War. Events take place across the island with the biggest festivities held in St Peter Port. The festivities include parades, motorcades, live entertainment and stalls with the grand finale firework display.
St Peter Port is also home to St James Concert Hall, the island’s leading performance venue. The concert hall welcomes entertainment acts of all varieties including singers, comedians and other live performers.
St Peter Port Transportation
When it comes to transportation, St Peter Port is Guernsey’s most affluent parish. The capital is extremely easy for drivers to navigate, however, due to the parish’s popularity and attractions, parking can be both busy and expensive.
For those exploring Guernsey using the excellent public transportation system provided by CT Plus, St Peter Port is the ideal base. With St Peter Port Bus Terminus the island’s main public transportation hub, the capital offers connections across the entirety of the island.
A different way to explore St Peter Port is by catching The Petit Train. This charming land train is perfect for family sightseeing with a scenic journey around St Peter Port taking in the best views and landmarks of the capital.