Top things to do on Guernsey

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Need to go on holiday desperately, but can’t afford to go far? While the misfortunes of the British Pound in the past year have made it tough to afford the usual foreign holiday spots, there are plenty of excellent destinations located within the bounds of the United Kingdom.

This summer, enjoy a Guernsey holiday for the first time in your life, as this island in the English Channel contains attractions that will surprise and amaze you.

Below, we’ll share four of our favourite things to do on the island of Guernsey.

1) Relax on Shell Beach

Given its northern location, many people wouldn’t expect to find picture postcard beaches in this part of the world.

Guernsey proves this assumption wrong, as it is home to Shell Beach, a strip of sand that wouldn’t be out of place in the Mediterranean.

While the water is a bit more invigorating than what is found in more southerly climes, there is no place prettier in Britain to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

If you forgot to pack a picnic lunch, not to worry, as a small beach cafe on site provides an assortment of light food and drink that will help make your day here a perfect one.

2) Explore Castle Cornet

In addition to having amazing coastal scenery, Guernsey also has an intriguing backstory which can be relived through its historical attractions.

Start by exploring the ramparts and the inner sanctum of Castle Cornet. Built on a tidal island that is now joined to the mainland, it has defended the island for over 800 years.

To be perfectly honest, though, this castle wasn’t always a gallant defender of the people. During the English Civil Wars in the 17th century, the people stood with the Parliament, while the garrison in the castle remained loyal to the Royals; this resulted in Cornet’s cannons being turned on the town, to devastating effect.

These days, the castle is a living history museum, complete with the ceremonial firing of the noon hour gun every day, and with gardens that give this stone bulwark a needed splash of colour.

3) Tour Victor Hugo’s house

France was a tumultuous place during the 19th century, as the country transitioned from a monarchy to dictatorship before finally becoming a democratic republic.

Mid-century, one of the most critical voices of French policy was that of intellectual Victor Hugo, who agitated the public to support universal suffrage, free education for children, and the abolition of the death penalty.

These criticisms eventually earned Victor a one-way ticket out of France, as Napoleon III exiled Victor to the island of Guernsey.

During the fifteen years he was banned from France, he called Hauteville House home. This elegant manor proved to be a luxurious prison, as it and the lush gardens outside inspired many of his best works during this period.