From delicious seafood and island-hopping adventures, to history and water sports, these are the best things to do in Guernsey.
I’m about to tell you all about a little slice of paradise. With spectacular white sandy beaches, glittering turquoise sea, delicious fresh seafood and a welcoming island dynamic, it might sound like I’m going to share stories of a trip to the Caribbean or one of the Greek Islands. But no… surprise! This post is all about the underrated island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
I couldn’t believe that after spending under an hour on a plane we could touch down somewhere quite so different from where we’d left behind. The buzz of London’s roads seemed far away.
Over the next few days I went on a mission to see and do as much as possible. We hired a car from the airport and set off to uncover what makes Guernsey tick.
I really loved our time on the island and I’m so excited to share why I fell in love with Guernsey… and why I think you will too!
Whether you’re visiting in a couple (as we did), as a family or going solo, there are lots of amazing things to do in Guernsey. You can take it easy with leisurely strolls to pretty viewpoints and relaxed meals by the beach. If you live life at a faster pace, you could hire bikes to zoom around the island, join a kayak tour or explore Guernsey’s neighbours on an island-hopping adventure.
I saw plenty of kids who were having a whale of a time in Guernsey, especially on the beaches! During the summer months it’s a classic bucket and spade destination. Kids will love running in and out of the sea, building sandcastles and refuelling with ice cream.
Whatever you have in mind for your trip, I’m here to help with some tips and suggestions on where to go, what to do and how to make the most out of island life.
25 Amazing Things to do in Guernsey
Go for a cliff walk on Guernsey’s south coast
You’re never far from the sea in Guernsey, so you’ll have plenty of great views as you drive around the island. One of my favourite walks was from Petit Port to Moulin Huet Bay. It takes you along the steep cliffs on the island’s south coast where the scenery is wilder and more rugged.
If you can, I’d recommend timing this walk for mid / low tide (check tide times here) as rocky coves and secret bays will be uncovered. I found myself taking photos every few steps, as the view changed and the panoramas became even more spectacular. If you fancy a rest, there are plenty of benches along the trail, or you can refuel with a cuppa and a scone with jam and cream at Moulin Huet Tea Rooms.
Visit the Little Chapel
A few minutes’ drive from the airport is this adorable chapel decorated with mosaics, ceramics and shells. Measuring just 9ft by 16ft, it’s an incredible work of art. It’s actually the third tiny chapel to stand on this site, each being a tad larger than the previous! The original chapel was built to resemble the famous grotto and basilica found at Lourdes in France.
It won’t take you long to walk through the Little Chapel, although I’ll admit I was surprised by how large it was inside. There are three small rooms to see and you can light a candle inside too. Be sure to look at all the intricate details of the mosaics and shards of ceramics. Even the stairs outside are decorated!
The Little Chapel is restored using donations, so do leave what you can in the box outside. There’s a car park at the silversmiths store right by the chapel, plus a gift shop if you want to pick up any souvenirs.
Kayaking with Outdoor Guernsey
Being on an island means there are a lot of great things to do in Guernsey involving water. I’d recommend having a look at Outdoor Guernsey’s website and picking an activity to try. From kayaking and coasteering to wildlife excursions and stand up paddle boarding, there are numerous options to choose from.
We booked a kayak tour from Petit Bot on Guernsey’s south coast. Over the course of 2 hours we paddled west, weaving in and out of the epic rocks, along small gullies and under rock archways.
The special thing about this part of the coast is how many caves are dotted along the steep cliffs. We ventured inside quite a few, paddling inside gently as the rocks got narrower and narrower around us. I couldn’t believe quite how far in they went! The views as we exited the caves were absolutely magical too, with the light streaming through, illuminating the turquoise water.
Visit the best beaches in Guernsey
We visited Guernsey in August and had great weather, enjoying warm sunshine and blue skies throughout. We loved exploring the various beaches on the island. I’d struggle to pick a favourite but here are a few I’d recommend visiting.
Cobo Bay is a very special beach, with a wide stretch of white sand, turquoise water, interesting rock formations and plenty of rock pools at low tide. It’s popular with families as there are several places to stay nearby, as well as a few restaurants and shops. The fish and chip shop here has an excellent reputation too.
Fermain Bay is a much quieter beach, which feels nicely tucked away. You can either drive down to it past the Fermain Valley Hotel, or walk along the cliff path from St Peter Port.
If you can time your beach trip for low tide, I’d also recommend Moulin Huet Bay. After you’ve walked past the tea rooms, you’ll be faced with a captivating beach of pebbles, epic rocks and turquoise waters.
Another lovely spot on the east coast is Port Soif. We visited this beach for our seaweed tour, but I’d honestly say the water is some of the bluest I saw on our entire trip. Kids will love rock pooling here too!
Take a seaweed tour
There are plenty of unique things to do in Guernsey, but this is one of my top recommendations! How many times have you either walked over seaweed without a second glance… or physically avoided it? This tour with Guernsey Seaweed opened my eyes to just how amazing seaweed is.
Our tour guide Ben explained how there are over 3,000 varieties of seaweed in the world, and a whopping 750 are found in Guernsey, partly due to the island’s huge tidal range. Every single one is edible, but some are tastier than others! From bladder wrack and sea lettuce, to dead man’s fingers, kelp and spirulina, we tasted some, touched others and even lathered one over our skin.
We learned how some are used in cooking, while others have antibacterial and cosmetic properties. It was a fascinating tour, which I’d recommend to anybody who is interested in food, foraging or sustainable living.
Go on a Day trip to Herm
One of the top things to do in Guernsey is to visit the neighbouring island of Herm. This island is also part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, but offers a lovely contrast to the island as it is so wild. There’s very little on it, just two pubs, two cafes, a hotel, a few campsites, and no cars!
With birds, seals, dolphins and more, Herm is the perfect place to appreciate nature and switch off. I’d seen photos of the island before our trip and I couldn’t believe how dreamy it looked (definitely not like somewhere within the British Isles!) Well, I can tell you now that the photos are all real… Shell Beach really does have pure white sand and Belvoir Bay is one of those paradise beaches that you’d expect to find in the Caribbean.
To reach the island, you simply catch the 20-minute Travel Trident ferry from St Peter Port. There are several throughout the day, so you can spend as long as you fancy on the island. This day trip was one of the highlights of our time in Guernsey.
For more information, read our comprehensive guide to visiting Herm on the Great British Bucket List.
Relax with sundowner cocktails
I’m a firm believer that all the best holidays involve sunset cocktails! There are plenty of gorgeous spots to go for a drink during golden hour in Guernsey. To watch the sun set directly onto the water, head to The Rockmount (a.k.a. The Rocky) in Cobo Bay.
While it’s on the wrong side of the island for sunset, we visited Fermain Beach Café for drinks as the light was dipping and it was gorgeous. There are lots of seats by the beach to enjoy the last rays of the day, and these Hugo Spritzs were the perfect accompaniment!
Climb Victoria Tower in St Peter Port
If you’re looking for the best view of St Peter Port, definitely visit Victoria Tower. It’s free to enter, you just need to collect the key from Guernsey Museum in Candie Gardens.
Just 99 steps stand between you and a beautiful panoramic view of St Peter Port, the harbour, Castle Cornet and the island of Herm. It’s definitely worth the climb!
Go glamping in Guernsey
From luxury hotels and B&Bs to campsites, there are a variety of places to stay in Guernsey. One of the newest is Camp De Rêves, which offers a variety of glamping options. There are five safari tents which sleep six (ideal for families) and two brand new shepherd huts. All are designed for comfort and have luxurious amenities including BBQs, a pizza oven, warm water and an indoor games room.
The view from this glamping site is spectacular too, overlooking the west coast with captivating sea views.
Indulge with Guernsey’s rich dairy products
As I sipped on a flat white from Mylk in St Peter Port, I realised it tasted very different from my usual coffees back in London. Then I remembered that Guernsey cows produce some of the richest milk and dairy products on the planet. Wow did it taste indulgent!
Guernsey milk contains more protein, more cream and a lot more vitamins than standard milk. You’ll notice the richness when you taste anything with it in. We had Guernsey butter at a few restaurants and noticed the flavour difference with that too. It’s delicious and definitely one of the things that makes Guernsey’s cuisine even more special!
Take a dip
With so many beaches to choose from, how about going for a swim in Guernsey? Yes, the water is pretty chilly, but as I learned on my recent trip to Kent, it’s an exhilarating experience!
If you fancy trying something new, my friend Emily visited the island recently and went for a swim with the Guernsey Swim All Seasons Group. They meet regularly and have created a wonderfully supportive community, ideal for helping you past that bracing first step.
Try your first Herm oyster
Did you know that Guernsey is famous for oysters? Well, it’s the island of Herm to be exact. You simply have to order some during your trip! The fact they’re local means that prices are reasonable too, around £10 for six. Oysters absorb the flavour of the water from where they’re raised, so you might notice they taste different depending on where in the world they’re from.
Herm oysters are fed by the clear nutrient rich waters of the Gulf Stream, and after a few years, the oysters produced will be plump, with sweet tasting meat.
You’ll see them at menus across Guernsey, with many restaurants having multiple ways of serving them. Le Nautique offers a platter of six oysters, two with champagne sauce, two gremolata and two plain. At Copenhagen, you can have six oysters au gratin with a white wine and parmesan crust. Meanwhile on the west coast at La Reunion, you can order six oysters with a choice of shallot or Vietnamese dressing.
Feast on seafood in Guernsey
As well as the famous oysters, island life has other big benefits when it comes to food. Guernsey’s waters produce incredible seafood and fish all year round.
Over on Herm, we enjoyed a seafood platter at Shell Beach Café. Tasting each item while looking out over the pristine beach is an unforgettable experience.
Copenhagen Restaurant and Bar is a great spot for fish and seafood. As well as a dozen Herm oysters, we also tucked into fresh mussels and a tasty fillet of brill.
Meanwhile, Le Nautique in St Peter Port (often named as one of the best restaurants on the island) was the place I had my best seafood meal. After a tasty starter of scallops, I had an incredible fillet of dover sole with a champagne sauce and samphire. Simply divine – I’m salivating just thinking about it!
See Guernsey through Renoir’s eyes
The artist Renoir spent a month in Guernsey in 1883 and was so inspired by the island’s natural beauty that he created 15 paintings during his stay. He fell in love with the spectacular views around Moulin Huet (just as I did!)
To see the island through the eyes of the painter, you can go on a special Renoir walk along the south of the island. Along the route you’ll come across frames with nothing in… except when you look through them, you’ll see the views he painted! It’s a lovely way to look at the island, as if it were a series of artworks.
Go shopping in St Peter Port
St Peter Port is the vibrant capital of Guernsey. It’s compact, with several shopping streets decorated with bunting criss-crossing from side to side. There are several chain stores for basic items, but I enjoyed wandering around some of the independent shops, which seemed to be thriving during peak summer.
I’d recommend stopping by Gwyneth and Grey for chic clothes, Indica for nautical souvenirs and cute homewares, and Powell’s Jewellery for earrings, necklaces, hats and scarves.
Play crazy golf in Guernsey
Crazy golf is a classic holiday activity, and it turns out Guernsey has an excellent course. Pirate Bay Adventure Golf is a 12-hole course complete with shipwrecks, pirates and treasure chests. The highlights were the two pull-rafts which connect parts of the course. I’ve played a lot of crazy golf and never come across that before!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Guernsey that the whole family will enjoy, this is one of the best attractions to visit. There are also a few options on the same site for more serious golfers. There’s Golf19, a 16-bay driving range, and St Pierre Park Golf Course.
Go for cocktails in St Peter Port
If you’re looking for somewhere for a pre or post dinner cocktail in St Peter Port, there are a few great spots to choose between. We had dinner at Balthazar one evening, where the bar was busy with groups of friends enjoying delicious looking cocktails. As an aside, you have to check out the ladies toilets here! On the wall you’ll see a ‘boogie button’ which, when pressed, transforms the entire room into a disco!
Just along the waterfront is Red, where we stopped for a cocktail on our last evening. This bar has a beautiful view over the marina. When we visited it had just reopened and was full of curious locals, excited to try out one of the new local hotspots!
Learn about the German Occupation
There were a few places we’d loved to have visited if we’d had a bit more time. Guernsey’s history is fascinating, particularly throughout the Second World War when it was occupied by the Germans. The best place to learn more about this period is at the German Occupation Museum.
From a genuine enigma machine used for sending coded messages, to weapons, recreations of shop fronts and houses, this museum charts the history of what life was like in Guernsey between 1939 and 1945.
Enjoy a great value lunch at one of the best restaurants in Guernsey
If you’re visiting the island for the first time, you might find some of the restaurants a little on the pricey side. However, you can eat at some of the best restaurants in Guernsey if you order from the set lunch menu. It means you can experience exceptional cuisine at a fraction of the a la carte dinner cost.
I had an incredible two-course lunch at La Reunion overlooking Cobo Bay for just £18. I started with a beautiful plate of beetroot cured salmon, followed by steak frites. Food was well-presented, cooked to perfection and the service was impeccable. This restaurant is very chic inside and this was definitely one of my favourite restaurant experiences in Guernsey.
Other great restaurants on the island which offer a set lunch menu include Le Nautique in St Peter Port (£21 for two courses), Le Petit Bistro (£11 express lunch including a drink) and The Old Government House (£25 for two courses).
Visit Castle Cornet in St Peter Port
If you’re interested in history, don’t miss a trip to this 800-year-old castle, which is located by the harbour in St Peter Port. The castle features a mix of batteries, citadels, gardens, battlements and towers.
While the exterior is pretty spectacular, there’s plenty to see inside too, including five museums (including the military museum) and four gardens. There’s a gun salute daily at midday too, known as the “noonday salute”. It’s carried out using a gun made in 1799, with guards wearing military uniforms from between 1868-1881. The daily salute represents the call once used to alert soldiers of the time. Another used to be fired at 9.30pm to recall them back to their barracks, but don’t worry, that no longer happens or you might get a scare as you’re walking home after dinner!
Once you’ve learned all you can about Castle Cornet, don’t forget to take in the views of the town and the islands beyond.
Explore St Peter Port at night
St Peter Port is a pretty town, with cobbled streets and historic buildings. If you find yourself in the town in the evening, I’d recommend having a wander through the streets, taking in the beauty of the area.
I loved our after-dinner strolls and couldn’t help but take lots of photos! The area around the marina is also very photogenic, with the lights reflecting off the water.
Learn about Victor Hugo’s time in Guernsey
I was amazed to discover Victor Hugo lived on the island of Guernsey. The French author of Les Miserables spent 15 years on the island while in exile from France. The landscapes provided lots of inspiration for his works.
If you want to learn more about his life in Guernsey, you can visit his home Hauteville House (currently closed but will reopen at some point) or visit the Victor Hugo Garden in Candie Gardens in St Peter Port. There’s a statue of the author there too.
Enjoy a local Guernsey cider
There are plenty of great things to do in Guernsey for food and drink lovers. If you’re partial to a cider, definitely visit Rocquette Cider in the Fauxquets Valley. Run by the Meller family, this cider farm has grown and grown over the years. You’ll see the brand’s ciders on menus across the island too!
To make the most of your visit I’d recommend booking a tour. After a wander around the orchards you’ll get to taste 9 ciders and fruit liqueurs, as well as a few of homemade apple chutneys. No doubt you’ll end up buying a suitcase full of them to enjoy at home too!
Enjoy some of the best plane views you’ll ever see
Our flight from London to Guernsey with Aurigny took around an hour. After only being up in the air a short time, I noticed we were already descending. On a clear day you’ll see amazing views over the Channel Islands as you fly in, passing over Sark and Herm before reaching Guernsey.
Build up your driving experience!
I’ll admit I was quite happy that Macca was insured to drive for this trip. In some parts of the island the driving is a little intimidating! It’s not that it’s fast, in fact quite the contrary as there are speed restrictions of 25 and 35 mph across the island.
It’s more that it’s very narrow in places. Locals are used to it (and know the width of their car!) but it’s a little more difficult when you’re in a rental car driving the routes the first time. We didn’t have any scares, but if you’re a new driver, take it slow and maybe rent a compact car for your trip.
Also unique to the island is the ‘filter’ system. When you see the filter sign it means that all directions have equal priority.
One other thing to note about driving in Guernsey is that all public parking is free. However, there’s a ‘disc zone’ system which will tell you how many hours you can park in the area (usually ranging from 30 mins – 10 hours). Hire cars tend to have a ‘parking clock’ in the glove box. You just turn the dial to indicate your time of arrival. I have no idea how strict this is, or if it’s enforced, but it’s great it’s all free!
Take photos and make memories that will last a lifetime
We have a bit of a joke that when we travel somewhere beautiful we ‘walk ten paces and take another photo’. It’s an expression we’ve used in spectacular places such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Caribbean. I think Guernsey is the first place in the British Isles that we found ourselves saying it!
We are both keen photographers and we found ourselves snapping photos constantly. Photos of the beaches, the coastline, the boats, the architecture, our food and more. Arrive with several empty memory cards and prepare to fill them!
I hope you have a great trip to Guernsey. Let me know if you have any questions while you’re planning your adventure to the island.
A big thanks to Visit Guernsey for inviting me to explore this beautiful part of the Channel Islands. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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