An Unconventional Guide To Guernsey
Firstly, let me begin by setting out where exactly Guernsey is located on the map. Nestled in the Gulf of St Malo, you will find the island of Guernsey 75 miles south of England’s south coast, and 30 miles west of France’s Normandy coast. This means Guernsey is only a 50-minute flight from London Gatwick and also uses the pound sterling currency denomination given its stature as a British Crown dependency.
Now the necessary conventional information is out of the way, let us begin to explore and delve into some of Guernsey’s hidden treasures.
Photo credit: Joe Dunckley
If this were some regular, plain vanilla guide then I would be telling you how taking a bus ride around the island is a fantastic way to take in the views of Guernsey. I wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s not the most adventurous way now is it? If I were doing it however, I would strongly recommend walking or cycling your way around, depending on your level of fitness. Not only is it great exercise, but it allows you to use all of your senses to gather an insight into island life, rather than just looking out of a window and getting off at a few select stops.
Only 25 square miles in area, you could easily walk most of Guernsey in a whole day, however I wouldn’t recommend this unless you want your legs to fall off, or you are extremely fit and used to walking such distances.
Photo credit: Neil Howard
The second option is cycling and while Guernsey does not have any motorways that you would find in most major countries, the roads here are usually quite busy. But don’t let this put you off! Once you are out of the capital, and away from the residential areas of the north and south east, the roads are delightfully great for having a two-wheeled adventure, especially so once you hit the west coastal roads.
Cycling means saving your legs, your time, the environment, and with cycle hire available on the island for £45 a week, your money as well.
So now you’ve decided how you want to get around the island, how about deciding where to stay? Sure, you could pick one of the island’s fine 4 and 5 star hotel establishments, but why not spend the week moving around the island’s various camping sites, or even better, why not spend the week in your very own tipi!?
Right, so I’ve twisted your arm to spend your holidays in a tipi, but don’t think you can get away with playing cowboys and indians and that be it. No sir. Guernsey has an inordinate amount of activities to partake in and sites to visit, and you are sure well going to be doing some of those, aren’t you? Exercise is good for us remember.
So what sort of activities are on offer, I hear you ask. Being an island, Guernsey is unsurprisingly surrounded by water. With that comes an endless list of water sports, but the main three to try out while here are surfing, kayaking, and coasteering. Coasteering is my favourite of the three, maybe because it’s the most unconventional, but also because it is just great fun as you climb your way around sections of Guernsey’s coastline before jumping off into the sea. If this sounds a bit daunting don’t worry, the guides are incredible, they won’t let you put a foot wrong.
If you want to be a bit safer, the island is home to three separate golf courses, an indoor leisure center, as well as multiple spas and health centers, but really who would want to do that instead of throwing themselves off some rocks into the sea?
So we’ve nailed down how to get around, where to stay, and what to do. All that’s left is to decide what’s for lunch. Unless dietary requirements are specific, please don’t be those people that come on vacation and eat what they would at home. Again, with Guernsey having strategically surrounded itself with the sea, you pretty much have to try the seafood. The vast majority of the restaurants on the island will have seafood on their menu, and you can be pretty certain it was still in the sea until not too long ago.
Photo credit: Jan Foborsky
But here’s a great idea, go catch your own! Hire some rods, buy some bait, ask the lovely people at the fishing store where to go and what time, and then set off to catch your own dinner. Buy some locally grown potatoes from one of the island’s many hedgerow vegetable boxes, some batter mix from the shop, and cook up your own homemade Guernsey fish and chips. Perfect for eating outside while you watch the sun set over the west coast, and a great way to end your holiday, especially when washed down with some local cider.