Our visit to Guernsey was one of the highlights of our recent cruise on Sky Princess. I was so excited to visit this beautiful little island and get a taste of island life.
Guernsey was the first stop on the Sky Princess cruise. We left Southampton the previous afternoon and woke up on the sunny coast of Guernsey.
Read more about my departure here: Cruise from the UK and board the Sky Princess in Southampton
Guernsey has a small port so we had to take a small tender boat from the ship to Albert Pier. There, we were greeted by dazzling sunshine and a bustling Sunday market.
I instantly fell in love with Guernsey and immediately knew that visiting Guernsey on an extended trip in the future was on my bucket list.
this small island is part of the Duchy of Normandy and is just 30 miles from France, making it a beautiful combination of French elegance and English charm.
Guernsey felt like being abroad, yet had the familiar comforts of home.
It has a British seaside vibe and is just a little bit more beautiful, a little warmer, bluer, clearer and just a little bit more exciting for a British travel blogger who loves traveling abroad!
I quickly realized that I could happily spend a long weekend in Guernsey, but with only 6-7 hours to visit from a cruise ship, every second was crucial!
How to get around Guernsey when visiting from a cruise ship
If you are visiting Guernsey from a cruise ship, you have several options:
- Book a cruise tour
- Using the local bus service is a great option, but we visited on a Sunday when buses were limited. We recommend using Google Maps to navigate local buses.
- Participate in a local tour
- Rent a bicycle (please note that there are many hills on the island and the roads are narrow in some places)
- take a taxi
- Take a tuk tuk! (Details below)
The biggest concern when visiting Guernsey from a cruise ship is getting back to the ship on time. If you’re late, the ship will leave without you! So, keep that in mind and avoid going off the beaten path.
I was visiting with my friend Jen, so we decided to hire a tuk tuk to see the nearby attractions.
When we got off the shuttle boat, a Tuk Tuk Guernsey tuk tuk was waiting at Albert Pier and we boarded right away with our guide Tim. The standard tour takes you around St. Peterport, but we wanted to see Little H Capel as well, so we asked them to extend the tour to visit the chapel as well.
This made the tour 1 hour and 45 minutes and cost £90 for both of us.
You could pay by card and the tuk tuk had a retractable roof and a blanket in the back in case it got cold. Luckily it was a sunny day and I really enjoyed spending time with the roof down and enjoying the breeze on the streets of Guernsey.
What to do in Guernsey
There are so many things to do on Guernsey. I’ll first share what I did and add some options at the end.
Guernsey’s Victorian Baths
We started by visiting Gurney’s Victorian heated pool, La Valette. These historic pools have been in use since 1865. The pool is submerged in the ocean and flushed with fresh water twice a day at high tide.
The pool has recently been renovated and a large cafe and changing rooms have been added.
During the recent hot summer (summer of 2022), the water temperature in the pool sometimes reached 20 degrees Celsius. It might not seem that expensive to someone visiting from overseas, but for us Brits, this is definitely tropical!
Our second stop was the Mignot Plateau, where we enjoyed stunning views of St. Peter Port and the harbour. This was a great place to get our starting point and bearings. You can see all the way to the nearby Isle of Sark in Jersey, and you can almost see France!
We passed the home of Victor Hugo (who spent 15 years on the island and famously wrote Les Misérables) and visited Fermaine Bay. Not only was it a beautiful pebble beach, but it was a great drive down a steep, tree-lined road. In fact, you need a permit to go down this steep hill, so a tuk-tuk came in very handy here!
This truly felt like a hidden gem and a world away from St Peter Port.
The Little Chapel
Little Chapel was our next destination and a personal highlight of my visit to Guernsey. I came across this small shrine while reading a novel called “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”. This chapel was not included in the film adaptation of this book, which seems like a shame because the book is such a classy yet incredible masterpiece.
The Little Chapel is somewhere between a small church and a cave. When you look at it from a distance, you might think it’s full size, but it’s actually quite small!
Construction of the chapel began in 1914 by the Deoda brothers, and this is actually the third version of the chapel. It was first built by the Deoda brothers, but his brother criticized it, so they quickly demolished it and started over. His second version of the chapel was built for several years, but Brother Deodat was disappointed when the Bishop of Portsmouth came for a visit and was unable to get through the door. The Deoda brothers immediately demolished it and began building a new chapel with a larger door. This is the completed chapel we see today.
It is beautifully decorated using clean pebbles and broken pottery shards. During construction, the Deoda brothers actually put out a call for donations of broken pottery, and Chinese boxes poured in from all over the world.
The Little Chapel was a bit out of the way, but well worth the trip.
Next we passed through a beautiful church square that was very beautifully decorated with bunting and flags.
Our tuk tuk driver, Tim, showed us record-breaking pubs and churches in the British Isles. Look out for this pub and church. Located just around the corner, this pub is the closest to a church in all of Britain. Note the gargoyle on top ensuring the two buildings are only inches apart.
Lunch at Octopus
We got off the tuk tuk and strolled to Octopus, a seaside restaurant a short walk along the coast.
The setting of this restaurant was perfect and we enjoyed our fish and chips while drinking a refreshing glass of Rose.
While we were visiting Guernsey, we were lucky enough to see a large and busy market open. One section was filled with local crafts, and the second section was reserved for food, drinks, and local musicians. It was a great opportunity to sample local food and soak up the atmosphere.
We then took a walk along the coast before returning to the ship, but there are plenty of other things to do when visiting Guernsey from a cruise ship.
What to do when visiting Guernsey from a cruise ship
This is what I thought about when I visited Guernsey, but if you have a little more time, here are some other great things to do in Guernsey.
Visit Guernsey’s beaches
Guernsey has many beautiful beaches. I hear Cobo Bay is one of the best!
Visit the neighbouring islands
Guernsey’s neighboring islands are easily accessible by ferry. Many people jump on the ferry to the island of Sark, known for its white sandy beaches, which is 50 minutes away. Sark is often considered the finest and most beautiful of the Channel Islands.
Visit (and climb) Victoria Tower
We saw Victoria Tower from our tuk tuk tour but didn’t have time to climb to the top.
This is a place with some of the best views in the city, but it’s also an unusual place where you have to collect a key from the Kandy Gardens museum!
There are 99 steps to the top, offering stunning views of Guernsey.
Wander around Candie Gardens
The Victorian Candy Gardens are spectacular and just a short walk from St Peter Port. This garden was founded by him in 1894 and is still free to enter.
Visit the German Underground Hospital
The German Underground Hospital was the largest structure on the island during World War II. With 75,000 square feet of tunnels, it’s a creepy and heartbreaking place to visit, but it’s also an important reminder of the German occupation of the island.