St Peter Port, Guernsey cruises
Your guide to St. Peter Port, Guernsey.
Lying approximately 20 miles off the coast of France, the British isle of Guernsey is the oldest settlement in the Channel Islands, and its capital, St. Peter Port, is full of character. In years gone by, the island formed part of the Duchy of Normandy, and, consequently, many street names still appear in French. Cobbled lanes, originating at the boat-filled harbor, snake upwards through the town, while the 800-year-old Castle Cornet looks down overhead. Year-round, wild plants flourish in Guernsey’s mild climate, and visitors will note the overwhelmingly European feel of this exceedingly picturesque port.
St. Peter Port is easily walkable, and the wider island is connected by a comprehensive bus service. Near the harbor, you will find Guernsey Tapestry, illustrating 1,000 years of local history in ten embroidered panels. Castle Cornet, built during the reign of King Stephen, contains The Royal Guernsey Militia Museum and - along with the La Valette Underground Military Museum - reveals Guernsey’s history during wartime occupation. Candie Gardens, a beautifully restored Victorian-age garden, is where you will find French poet Victor Hugo’s statue, while The Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery at Candie charts Guernsey’s history from neolithic times to present day.
Eating and drinking.
Guernsey offers a wide variety of places to eat and drink, from fine-dining restaurants and brasseries to gastropubs, tearooms and beachfront kiosks. Traditional French and English fare are widely available, while international cuisine such as Italian, Indian and Chinese are also represented on the island. Shellfish is abundant, with freshly caught lobsters, crabs and Guernsey scallops forming the basis of many dishes. Ormers (a specialty mollusk) join the line-up during wintertime, and restaurant menus tend to favor fresh seasonal produce grown locally. French patisseries are as easy to come by as a good English scone, and velvety soft Guernsey ice cream is a welcome treat on a warm day.
St. Peter Port is brimming with charming gift shops, as well as brands you’d find on the UK mainland, and dipping into those that take your fancy is a fine way to pass the time between exploring. Fashion and jewelry stores account for the vast majority of St. Peter Port’s shopping offerings, with everything from luxury items to eco-conscious products available. Fudge, made with Guernsey cream, is delicious, while several independent wine merchants are located on the island as well. A number of antique shops selling curiosity items and second-hand goods also trade in St. Peter Port and offer the perfect place to acquire your own piece of Guernsey history.
Beyond St. Peter Port.
Situated in the stables of a National Trust-owned country house, Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum inspires reflection on years gone by. Attractions include the cider barn, the wash house and horse-drawn vehicles. The German Occupation Museum transports you back to Guernsey during the occupation, with a full-scale street display and cinema helping to set the scene. The Fort Gray Shipwreck Museum, built in 1804 and nicknamed the “Cup and Saucer” by locals, provides details of the shipwrecks submerged in local waters. It’s situated within a Martello tower in Rocquaine Bay and offers excellent views of the Hanois Lighthouse.
Narrow cobbled streets and granite houses rise in tiers up the hillside surrounding the harbor, where you’ll find Castle Cornet, the 13th-century fortification and its museums.