The island of Guernsey lies just off the Normandy coast and is a British Crown dependency. Guernsey also includes the outlying islands Herm, Jethou, Lihou, Alderney and Sark.
The islands feature beautiful natural scenery along with heritage attractions and charming taverns, cafes and shops. some low cost airlines providing Guernsey flights, this is an ideal time to explore this attractive and interesting destination. Here are six of the top attractions on the island.
1. Castle Cornet
Castle Cornet is a fortress on a former tidal island just offshore of St Peter Port. First fortified in the 13th century, the castle has a rich history with many sieges and attacks leading to continued modifications. Today the castle houses several museums, including the Maritime Museum, Story of Castle Cornet and Militia Museums. The castle also features period gardens.
2. Sausmarez Manor
This grand manor house offers several attractions, including house tours, ghost tours, a popular farmers market, pitch and putt and craft shops. The manor is also home to a sculpture park and the RHS recommended Sub Tropical Gardens, a beautiful garden featuring palm trees, bamboo, ginger, bananas, camellias and birds of paradise amongst others, with colour throughout the year.
3. Moulin Huet Bay
This beautiful bay was painted several times by Renoir and has become well known for its rugged beauty and panoramic views over the azure waters. Scenic coastal walks can be started from here, and there is a charming tearoom with delightful gardens overlooking the bay. The beach itself has gorgeous sand and plenty of rock pools.
4. German Military Underground Hospital
Covering 7000 square metres, this building is the largest construction on the island and an eerily impressive presence. Dug out of solid rock in the early 1940’s by slave workers from countries including France, Spain, Holland, Morocco and Russia, at first glance it is almost invisible, lying beneath the surface with only entrances and escape shafts to be seen. Inside, several exhibits and collections give an insight to the hospital’s dark history.
The tiny island of Herm is just a mile long by half a mile wide and features stretches of beautiful white sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters, with Shell Beach a favourite. The visitor can relax with swimming, rock pooling and snorkelling. Alongside the stunning coastal scenery, the island offers woodland walks and garden tours. Visitors can enjoy a drink at the White House Hotel overlooking the harbour or at the Mermaid Tavern, an old fisherman’s pub.
The small island of Sark is a royal fief with its own laws and parliament. It covers about two square miles and cars are banned, giving it a charming old world feel. Visitors can explore the island by cycling or horse drawn carriage. Attractions include La Seigneurie, home of the Seigneurs, or government heads. The house features RHS recognised and award winning gardens. Sark’s beautiful coastline includes many stunning bays and headlands, such as La Coupée, the isthmus joining the two parts of the island and La Grande Grêve, a gorgeous bay with golden sands and crystalline waters. With its wonderful scenery and profusion of wildflowers, Sark is the ideal place for rambling and exploring.