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How to Explore Guernsey in One Day? A Practical Guide to Day Trips to Guernsey.

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Picture this: explore the stunning island of Guernsey in just one day, soak up its rich history and breathtaking natural beauty, and indulge in its diverse culinary scene. Surely you can't get there and back in one day? Sounds too good to be true, right?


Guernsey's capital - St Peter
Guernsey's capital - St Peter

Well, buckle up because we're about to show you how to plan and make the most of a day trip to Guernsey, a hidden gem in the Channel Islands just off the French Coast!


Short Summary

  • Set off and return from Poole Harbor at 9 am; you'll have four hours to soak up the slow-paced way of life before the ferry departs for England for only £19pp.

  • Explore Guernsey's 800 years of history, stunning natural beauty and unique WWII past!

  • Indulge in tax free shopping, delicious local seafood dishes & experience the charming streets of St Peter Port.

  • Pack your sunscreen, camera and comfortable shoes for an unforgettable day trip to Guernsey!


Day Trips to Guernsey - Getting there!


St Peter - Guernsey
St Peter - Guernsey

First things first, let's talk about how to reach this beautiful island. There are two main ways to get to Guernsey: by air or by sea. Flying is a convenient option, with direct flights from the UK, France, and the Channel Islands.


But if you prefer a more relaxed and picturesque journey, take a ferry from the UK (or France), which allows you to enjoy the sight of sailboats gliding past set against the backdrop of gorgeous rolling green hills as you approach Guernsey.


Flying to Guernsey

Aurigny is the airline that offers direct flights to Guernsey from various UK cities such as London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter, Southampton, Bristol, and Leeds Bradford. Once you arrive at Guernsey Airport, you can easily reach St Peter Port by taxi for around £10 or by bus for a flat fare of just £1.

Fast and affordable, flying to Guernsey is a great option for those short on time but eager to explore!


Day Trips to Guernsey - Ferry Services


 Condor Liberation Fast Ferry
Condor Ferries - high speed service

For those who prefer a more leisurely family trip, Condor Ferries is the only ferry company operating between the UK and Guernsey.


The high speed service is a treat, with beautiful views of the English coastline and the possibility of spotting sea life along the way, as volunteers from Marine Life eagerly point out dolphins and whales.


On board the Condor Liberation Ferry, you can enjoy amenities such as a café, sit-down restaurant, duty free shop, and even a play area for children, which help to while away the short 3hr journey.


If you're travelling by foot, the round trip costs £19pp, and for a car and two adults, it's £90 (excluding bank holidays). Click here to book on Condor's website.


Discovering St Peter Port

St Peter, Guernsey
St Peter Port, Guernsey

Confusingly, Guernsey is situated just off the French coast of Normandy, yet British Crown Dependency with its own government. It has a strong British character but different enough to feel like you're abroad.


On arriving in Guernsey, you'll be greeted by the charming town of St Peter Port, the island's capital. With its winding cobbled streets, local shops selling unique products and gifts, and an array of historic sites to visit, St Peter Port is the perfect starting point for your day trip.


From here, you can delve into the town's 800-year history by visiting Castle Cornet and Hauteville House, once home to famed author Victor Hugo.


Strolling Through Town

St Peter Port is a picturesque town that invites you to stroll through its bunting-strewn, winding, cobbled streets and admire the stunning Regency architecture, reminiscent of some of Cornwall's finest. As you explore, you'll find various local shops offering unique products, gifts, and souvenirs with genuine duty free savings.


When hunger strikes, treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the town's fine dining restaurants, such as La Frégate, The Boathouse, The Catch Bistro & Bar, Da Nello, Red, The Conservatory at Moore's Hotel, or The Old Quarter Restaurant.


Must-Visit Historic Sites

Castle Cornet, Guernsey
Castle Cornet, Guernsey

Castle Cornet

Castle Cornet is an impressive fortress guarding the island for over 800 years, is a must-visit historic site just a short walk from the centre of St Peter Port.


Stroll through the castle's enchanting passageways, marvel at strategically placed cannons, and discover beautiful gardens. If you're there at midday, you'll even hear the cannon fire ring out across guernsey harbour.


You'll be transported back in time!


The castle also hosts five museums that tell the stories of 201 Squadron (RAF), Maritime, Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, and Royal Guernsey Militia.


Perfect for a family trip as there's something for all ages: admission fees for adults are £10.50, while children 7+ and students pay £3, and children under 7 enter for free.



Hauteville House
Hauteville House, Guernsey

Hauteville House

Another fascinating historic site to visit is Hauteville House, once home to the renowned author Victor Hugo. This beautifully preserved house, now open to the public, showcases some of Hugo's original artwork and offers a glimpse into his life during his 15-year exile in Guernsey. Adult admission is £10. Concessions are £8 and those under 18 can enter for no cost.


Don't miss the chance to explore these remarkable historic sites during your day trip to St Peter Port!


Guernsey's Natural Beauty

One of the highlights of any visit to Guernsey is undoubtedly the island's stunning natural beauty and golden sandy beaches, which can be enjoyed through various coastal adventures and tranquil gardens. Take a bus tour to the west coast, explore the Victorian flower garden at Candie Gardens with its heated glass houses, or spend some leisure time at one of the island's 27 beautiful bays, each with its own unique charm.


The crystal clear waters at Cobo Bay Beach make it the perfect spot to end your day trip with a sunset view.


Cobo Bay Beach Guernsey
Cobo Bay's Golden Sandy Beaches

Coastal Adventures

Whether you choose to take a bus tour along the coast or partake in water activities such as swimming, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding, you're in for a treat with Guernsey's breathtaking coastal scenery.


If you stay the night, try to catch the incredible sunsets on the western coast of the island, which are sure to leave you with lasting memories of your trip to Guernsey!


Tranquil Gardens

Candie Gardens Guernsey
Candie Gardens, Guernsey

Candie Gardens, perched above the port and castle cornet is a historic Victorian flower garden established in 1894 and is a must-visit for nature lovers exploring Guernsey.


At the top of the gardens, enjoy refreshments at Café Victoria and visit the Guernsey Museum to learn more about the island's history.


Another beautiful garden worth visiting is Saumarez Park, a public park located in the north of Guernsey, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic.


Island Hopping


Sark Channel Island
Channel Islands - Sark Day Trip from Guernsey

If want to extend your trip and you're eager to explore even more of the Channel Islands, consider taking a day trip with Condor Ferries to the nearby islands of Sark and Herm, easily reached by ferry from Guernsey. Both islands offer guided excursions, with Sark being the last feudal state in Europe, adding a unique historical twist to your island-hopping adventure.


Exploring Sark

Sark, car-free and the smallest of the Channel Islands, is a treasure trove of natural beauty and unique history. The island offers a range of exciting attractions, including stargazing, visiting Buddhist carvings, walking the narrow isthmus of La Coupée, swimming in rock pools, and exploring caves.


Tip: Book a guided tour and learn about Sark's fascinating past as a feudal state!


Discovering Herm


Herm Channel Islands
Channel Islands - Herm

Herm, another of the stunning channel islands off the coast of Guernsey, boasts a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy, from gorgeous beaches and walking trails to thrilling water activities and birdwatching.


While on the island, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine at restaurants like The Conservatory Restaurant, The Ship Inn, and The Mermaid Tavern.


With so much to see and do on such a small island, Herm is a fun little addition to your trip to Guernsey.



Delving into WWII History

Pleinmont Observation Tower Guernsey
Pleinmont Observation Tower, Guernsey

Guernsey has a rich WWII history and is the only part of the British Isles to fall under German rule.


From the imposing Pleinmont Tower, built by German forces as an observation tower, to The Occupation Museum and La Vallette Military Museum, there's no shortage of intriguing sites to discover. These museums showcase Guernsey's fascinating wartime past, providing visitors with an insight into the island's history.


Pleinmont Tower

Pleinmont Tower, an observation tower built by German forces during WWII, offers visitors a unique insight into the island's wartime history. As you explore the tower, you'll be struck by the strategic placement of cannons and the breathtaking views of the island from its vantage point.


The tower serves as a poignant reminder of Guernsey's past, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

Military Museums

In addition to the Pleinmont Tower, two military museums in St Peter Port, The Occupation Museum and La Vallette Military Museum, offer a deeper dive into Guernsey's WWII history.


Through captivating exhibits and artefacts, these museums tell the stories of the German occupation of the island and the role of the British forces in liberating Guernsey. Don't miss the opportunity to learn about this fascinating chapter of the island's past.


The Little Chapel


The Little Chapel, Guernsey
The Little Chapel, Guernsey

The Little Chapel, believed to be the smallest consecrated chapel in the world, is another must-see site in Guernsey. This tiny chapel, a replica of the magnificent basilica and grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Massabielle, was built by Brother Déodat and features intricate details and artwork.


The chapel, which is open to the public and relies on donations, offers a unique glimpse into the island's religious history and is well worth a visit during your day trip to Guernsey.


Guernsey's Culinary Scene

No day trip to Guernsey would be complete without indulging in the island's diverse culinary scene.


From a delicious lunch at Old Government House, a five-star hotel with panoramic views of the sea, to sampling the local cuisine at some of the island's best restaurants, there's something to satisfy every palate.


Whether you're looking for a romantic dinner for two or a family-friendly meal, Guernsey has something for everyone.


With its stunning scenery, friendly locals, and delicious food, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.


Lunch at Old Government House


Old Government House, Guernsey
Old Government House, Guernsey

Treat yourself to a delicious meal at this iconic Guernsey establishment.


The Old Government House is a historic hotel in St Peter Port and doubled as the Nazi headquarters during WW2. With stunning panoramic views of the sea, you can enjoy a memorable and mouthwatering meal in an elegant setting while soaking up the hotel's fascinating history.



Recommended Restaurants

Guernsey is home to a fantastic range of fine dining restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.


Some of the best establishments to consider during your day trip include

  • Saltwater at Beaucette Marina - Enjoy Fish, shellfish, the freshest of produce - the very best of local ingredients, impeccably sourced and skilfully cooked in a fresh and modern way

  • Fat Rascal - Tucked away on a quiet street in the heart of St. Peter Port, you will find Fat Rascal in an old cellar, where you will discover a warm and cosy vibe that awaits you.

  • Le Nautique Restaurant - a truly exceptional seafood restaurant in the heart of Guernsey's picturesque St Peter Port. Occupying vaults used in the eighteenth century by shipowners and merchants, it was converted into a restaurant in the mid-1960s and can thus claim the distinction of being Guernsey’s oldest established restaurant.

  • Pier 17 - located in the heart of the harbour, offering a truly unique dining experience. The stunning waterfront views provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.

  • The Auberge Du Val -The restaurant at Auberge du Val has become very popular with locals and tourists alike.

  • Crabby Jacks - Crabby Jack’s is the go-to venue for families in Guernsey who are looking for a place where the kids can let off some steam, and the adults can kick back and relax.

  • The Hook - Seafood, sushi and steak are served in our first-floor restaurant, with stunning views over St Peter Port harbour.

  • Old Government House - The only five-star hotel on the island, with panoramic sea views

  • The Rock Garden Steakhouse -The Rock Garden Steakhouse serves a collection of the finest steaks around, including Herefordshire-reared fillets that just melt-in-the-mouth



Be sure to sample the local seafood and other dishes, as Guernsey boasts a rich culinary heritage that's sure to impress any food lover.


Practical Tips for Your Day Trip

To make the most of your day trip to Guernsey, keep in mind some practical tips:


Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the island is between May and September - the summer weather in Guernsey tends to be warm with frequent rains, but also offers some fantastic sunny days, making it a great time to explore the island's many attractions and natural beauty.


Top tip: the ideal months to visit are May, June, and September, as you can avoid the crowds associated with the UK school holidays in July and August!


Tax Free Shopping

One of the advantages of living and visiting Guernsey is that whilst you're still in the British Isles, most goods are not subject to any goods and sales tax (VAT). Your personal allowance when travelling on a commercial air or sea service is good up to £390.

However, while Guernsey is effectively "Duty-Free", you'll find the general prices in the pubs or supermarkets much more expensive than in mainland UK because of local taxes, and the only real place to enjoy tax free shopping is at the airport or the ferries.


Packing Essentials

When packing for your day trip to Guernsey, be sure to include essentials such as sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, comfortable shoes for walking and exploring, and a camera to capture the stunning landscapes and memorable moments of your trip.


A light jacket is also recommended, as the weather can be unpredictable at times. Don't forget to bring snacks and drinks to keep you energized throughout the day.


Travel Insurance Recommendations

Travel insurance is a crucial consideration for your day trip to Guernsey. In the event of an emergency, it can cover healthcare costs or medical treatment, giving you peace of mind during your adventure.


If you're flying, Aurigny has partnered with local company Oracle Finance to provide travel insurance for their trips to Guernsey, and other recommended providers include Cherry Godfrey and Ross Gower. Before your trip, be sure to research and select a travel insurance policy that best suits your needs.



Summary

In conclusion, a day trip to Guernsey offers an incredible opportunity to explore the island's rich history, breathtaking natural beauty, and diverse culinary scene. From strolling through the charming streets of St Peter Port and discovering the island's WWII history to indulging in delicious local cuisine and embarking on coastal adventures, there's no shortage of unforgettable experiences awaiting you in Guernsey.


So why wait? Start planning your day trip to this hidden gem in the Channel Islands and make some memories that will last a lifetime!


Frequently Asked Questions


Can you do a day trip to Guernsey from the UK?

Yes, absolutely! Experience the beauty of Guernsey on a day trip! With high-speed services leaving Poole, you can enjoy a full day of exploring the unique history and heritage this gorgeous destination has to offer.

Spend a day admiring the stunning coastline of Normandy as you explore Guernsey and its attractions.


Is there a day trip to Guernsey from Jersey?

Make a day trip to beautiful Guernsey from Jersey with Condor Ferries. Whether you're looking for a peaceful escape or a fun-filled adventure, the amazing beaches and local treats make it a perfect destination! Sail away on an unforgettable day out.


How long is a ferry to Guernsey?


Commodore Clipper conventional ferry
Commodore Clipper conventional ferry

Experience the delights of a short 3-hour journey to Guernsey on board the Condor Liberation fast ferry or enjoy a relaxing 7-hour voyage on board the Commodore Clipper conventional ferry!


Take in the stunning views of the Channel Islands as you travel in comfort and style. Enjoy a range of onboard facilities, including a bar, restaurant, and shop. With a choice of two vessels, you can choose the perfect journey for you.


How to get from Jersey to Guernsey?

Take a ferry ride and embark on an exciting adventure to Guernsey! The Condor Ferries and Manche Iles Express run up to 2 and 3 times per week, respectively, with the journey taking only 1-1.2 hours.


Plus, with the breathtaking sights of both Jersey and Guernsey, this is an unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss!



Enquire about your stay at the Bournemouth Beach House and incorporate a day trip to Guernsey for your Hen Do or Family Holiday.




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