Guernsey may be a small island but there’s a huge number of things to see and do – more than enough to keep visitors of all ages occupied for a good couple of weeks at least.
As you look over the sea your eyes are inevitably drawn to the castle that has stood guard over the town and harbour of St Peter Port for nearly 800 years. It is now home to four fascinating museums: the Story of Castle Cornet Museum, the Maritime Museum, the 201 Squadron (RAF) Museum and the Militia Museum.
You can also explore the interesting gardens that have been created through the ages to provide the garrison with herbs, vegetables and flowers.
The Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery is conveniently nearby, in Candie Gardens. Fascinating displays show how the Island and its people developed over the centuries, while a changing programme of temporary exhibitions is held in the Rona Cole and Brian White Galleries.
The hotel is also close to the beautifully preserved home of Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. During the reign of Napoleon III he enjoyed 14 years of exile on Guernsey and spent much of that time decorating the interior of his house in flamboyant style.
St James Concert and Assembly Hall is also only a few streets away – it stages a wide variety of shows and performances, whist also providing a home for the very popular Bailiwick of Guernsey Millennium Tapestry.
The island is littered with impressive prehistoric sites and chambered tombs that go way back to 4500BC. Lovers of maritime history will be fascinated by The Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum and Martello Tower, which tells the gripping tales of the many ships that have come to grief on this beautiful but treacherous coast.
The National Trust of Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum offers a vivid insight into life on the island 100 years ago and Sausmarez Manor is a remarkable family home with a fascinating story stretching back to the time shortly after the Norman invasion of England.
You can also discover the island’s turbulent recent history at the German Occupation Museum, La Vallette Underground Military Museum, Fort Hommet and the German Military Underground Hospital.
With over 28 miles of spectacular cliff top paths, plus numerous bays, rural lanes and areas of common land, Guernsey offers walkers numerous opportunities to get out and about on foot. If you want someone to show you around there’s no shortage of experienced accredited tour guides who are eager to share their knowledge of the island, its history and its outstanding beauty.
A 20 minute ferry trip takes you to the neighbouring island of Herm – it’s a tranquil beach paradise perfect for a day trip and a drink in the Mermaid Tavern. Only slightly further away is the extraordinary island of Sark. This tranquil traffic-free environment is overflowing with natural beauty - hire a bike, take a horse drawn carriage or tuck into freshly baked scones with sumptuous Sark cream.
Alderney is just a 15 minute hop by plane and makes a peaceful and relaxed day trip that features shipwrecks, forts and bunkers galore.
In springtime the bluebell woods make a spectacular excursion – the woodland floor becomes a carpet of colour beneath the budding canopy of lush leaves.
One of the island’s many curiosities is The Little Chapel, possibly the smallest chapel in the world - a miniature version of the famous grotto and basilica at Lourdes, beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china.
Finally, no visit to Guernsey is complete without a guided tour of Randall’s Brewery to taste the local ale, while the ladies can admire the designs at Catherine Best’s stunning jewellery workshop and showroom.