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Guernsey (St. Peter Port) - best excursion


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What is the best excursion to do in Guernsey? What have you enjoyed about this port?

 

I hear that the port can be missed. I think I would prefer to book with the cruise line due to this.

 

Thanks

 

Edited by Coral
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Stories of port missing in Guernsey are overstated. It has a success rate in the 80-90% range. 

 

 

The "best" excursion is one of personal preference, of course.  Guernsey has quite a variety to offer, from coastal "cliff" walks, to shopping in town, to beaches, beautiful scenery, historical sites (castle, churches and more), and of course an abundance of remnants from the German occupation. 

 

Do you have preferences or specific interests? 

Edited by D C
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Yes, "best" is definitely personal preference. We did an early morning bike ride, which took us to another part of the island, and then we walked around the castle and town ourselves midday. But not everyone would be up for that ride (some low hills).

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I signed up for Sark Island and Horse Drawn Carriage ride.

 

Sorry - best is different for different people. The tours through the cruise line don't look that exciting and am trying to figure out what is most popular for this port. I like scenery and castles are pretty cool. A lot of tours have "Little Chapel" as the main attraction which doesn't appeal to me as the main attraction. Though if the scenery to get there is amazing - that would change my mind.

 

I was trying to figure out if I would see the pretty scenery on the ferry ride over to Sark Island.... Cliff walks would be something I am interested in also. Is this something I can do from where the tender drops us off?

Edited by Coral
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A visit to Sark is exciting and a carriage ride is a great way to see many highlights while having a narrative of the island and its history. (it's "Isle of Sark" btw 🙂

 

You won't see much of Guernsey though.  The Isle of Sark Shipping Company boat might actually pick you up directly from your ship, in which case you head in the direction opposite the regular tenders and make the ~8 mile journey to the far side of Sark.   You will see a good bit of Sark's rocky coast and cliffs for the last 15-20 minutes of your roughly 45 minute ride. 

 

The ship may also offer a bike rental package on Sark as well if you're looking for a bit more activity.   I'd be more than happy to give you some pointers on Sark either way if you decide to visit. The island has a special place in my heart as my family has a long history on the island, dating back to 1565.

 

 

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We did a private walking tour with Annette Henry Tours which was excellent! She was very knowledgeable and gave lots of history about the island. It was a very different walking tour than any we have done, she holds your interest. You can find her on tripadvisor.com with excellent reviews. It's a beautiful island we didn't know what to expect when it was on our itinerary but was very impressed and enjoyed it. 

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Back on Guernsey, yes you can do a cliff walk from the tender location.   This walk is one of my favourites.  It takes you from town to Fermain Bay, which has a nice cafe (Fermain Beach Cafe). We usually plan the walk so we can have lunch there. I believe the opening time is 10am. 

 

From the pier, you would make a left turn and walk along the seafront, past the bus ranks, past the road to Castle Cornet.  Stay on the sea side of the road and keep going past the bathing pools and past la Vallette Underground Military Museum (constructed by the Germans as a submarine refuelling station). 

 

At the end of the road, climb the stairs to Clarence Battery. As you enter the battery, you'll notice a path leading towards your right. This is effectively the start of the cliff path.  There are milestones along the way at intersections that will direct you towards Fermain. Once there, you can continue along the path and eventually find a way back to a road, or you can walk up the road directly from Fermain Bay, make a right at the top of the hill and follow Fort Road to George Road and back into town. 

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We visited this port in June 2018, and used Steve Martin (yes, just like the comedian!) as our guide. He. Was. Amazing. Seriously, one of the best tours that we ever did...he took us places that were jaw-droppingly beautiful; he gave us all sorts of historical tidbits about the island, especially when it was occupied by the Germans; and we had a delightful lunch with him, where he told/showed us even more. There were four of us on this tour, and it was one of our favorites. 

 

I don’t know if he has a website - if you google his name, along with St Peter’s Port (so you don’t get the funny guy), you’ll find his email address on how to contact him. 

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Hi Coral-

Last May we did The Guernsey Explorer 90 minute bus tour: https://www.visitguernsey.com/see-and-do/things-to-do/the-guernsey-explorer/   While not a complete tour it gave us a general idea of Guernsey.  We booked the first tour, around 10:00am, so we had time to stroll around St Peter Port afterward.  I must say that I had back problems and could not have walked for a long time or spent a long time sitting.  The tour worked well for us and I am now pain free after spine surgery back in October.  Off to the Baltic's this summer:classic_biggrin:.

 

<<<Karen>>>

 

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4 hours ago, KansCocoa said:

We visited this port in June 2018, and used Steve Martin (yes, just like the comedian!) as our guide. He. Was. Amazing. Seriously, one of the best tours that we ever did...he took us places that were jaw-droppingly beautiful; he gave us all sorts of historical tidbits about the island, especially when it was occupied by the Germans; and we had a delightful lunch with him, where he told/showed us even more. There were four of us on this tour, and it was one of our favorites. 

 

I don’t know if he has a website - if you google his name, along with St Peter’s Port (so you don’t get the funny guy), you’ll find his email address on how to contact him. 

Thank you. His website indicates he is booked for the day :( Must be a favorite.

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11 hours ago, D C said:

Back on Guernsey, yes you can do a cliff walk from the tender location.   This walk is one of my favourites.  It takes you from town to Fermain Bay, which has a nice cafe (Fermain Beach Cafe). We usually plan the walk so we can have lunch there. I believe the opening time is 10am. 

 

From the pier, you would make a left turn and walk along the seafront, past the bus ranks, past the road to Castle Cornet.  Stay on the sea side of the road and keep going past the bathing pools and past la Vallette Underground Military Museum (constructed by the Germans as a submarine refuelling station). 

 

At the end of the road, climb the stairs to Clarence Battery. As you enter the battery, you'll notice a path leading towards your right. This is effectively the start of the cliff path.  There are milestones along the way at intersections that will direct you towards Fermain. Once there, you can continue along the path and eventually find a way back to a road, or you can walk up the road directly from Fermain Bay, make a right at the top of the hill and follow Fort Road to George Road and back into town. 

Thanks - this sounds promising. 

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11 hours ago, crusingnut said:

We did a private walking tour with Annette Henry Tours which was excellent! She was very knowledgeable and gave lots of history about the island. It was a very different walking tour than any we have done, she holds your interest. You can find her on tripadvisor.com with excellent reviews. It's a beautiful island we didn't know what to expect when it was on our itinerary but was very impressed and enjoyed it. 

Thanks - she has really good reviews. Will look into this also.

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12 hours ago, D C said:

A visit to Sark is exciting and a carriage ride is a great way to see many highlights while having a narrative of the island and its history. (it's "Isle of Sark" btw 🙂

 

You won't see much of Guernsey though.  The Isle of Sark Shipping Company boat might actually pick you up directly from your ship, in which case you head in the direction opposite the regular tenders and make the ~8 mile journey to the far side of Sark.   You will see a good bit of Sark's rocky coast and cliffs for the last 15-20 minutes of your roughly 45 minute ride. 

 

Which do you recommend - Guernsey or "isle of Sark" - thanks for the correction.

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2 hours ago, Coral said:

Which do you recommend - Guernsey or "isle of Sark" - thanks for the correction.

As long as you make it off the ship, you can't go wrong :)

 

Sark is absolutely a low-key, relaxing, see the sights visit.  I think the cruise tour time there is a bit limited, but it's easy to get around and see some of the beautiful scenery.   Sark is only 1.5 x 3 miles, so getting around even on foot isn't difficult.  With few natural harbours and many cliffs, it wasn't viewed as strategic to Nazi Germany as were Guernsey and Jersey, so it's unspoilt with any visible signs of the German occupation.

 

Guernsey, while still small, has a greater variety of sights.  The cliff walk I mentioned previously is on the South side of the island.  Imagine Guernsey as a bit tilted.  The South has gorgeous cliffs, the East (St Peter Port) is blessed with a hillside that makes for a picturesque town, while the West and North have beaches.  The best way to make the most of Guernsey would be to pre-arrange for a taxi to give you a private guided tour that covers much of the island.  For a first visit, I personally would capture more of the outdoor sights as opposed to the museum tours, but that's personal preference, of course.

 

As for which one, that's too difficult to say.  As it is, I'm in the planning stages for a visit this September.  Trying to decide not on where to go, but rather for how long to be there.  We'll likely be 4 nights each in Guernsey and Jersey, and 3 nights on Sark.  Too difficult for us to exclude any of them.  :)  

 

As for the name, I think cruise lines must say "Sark Island" in the excursion brochures.  We recently had some friends over for dinner, and the date of a friend recognised the photo of St Peter Port on our kitchen wall.  She'd been there, and to Sark, on a cruise ship.  She also referred to Sark as "Sark Island".

 

So in short, nope.  I can't pick one 😄

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For those of you who are going to Guernsey and looking for tour guides, I'll provide this link  of accredited guides without any specific recommendation:  https://guernseyguidedtours.com/guides   The only guided tour I've had on Guernsey was on an Intransit.gg bus with a cousin of mine doing the driving and narrating.  Unfortunately, he's since moved to California.  

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11 hours ago, D C said:

As long as you make it off the ship, you can't go wrong :)

 

Sark is absolutely a low-key, relaxing, see the sights visit.  I think the cruise tour time there is a bit limited, but it's easy to get around and see some of the beautiful scenery.   Sark is only 1.5 x 3 miles, so getting around even on foot isn't difficult.  With few natural harbours and many cliffs, it wasn't viewed as strategic to Nazi Germany as were Guernsey and Jersey, so it's unspoilt with any visible signs of the German occupation.

 

Guernsey, while still small, has a greater variety of sights.  The cliff walk I mentioned previously is on the South side of the island.  Imagine Guernsey as a bit tilted.  The South has gorgeous cliffs, the East (St Peter Port) is blessed with a hillside that makes for a picturesque town, while the West and North have beaches.  The best way to make the most of Guernsey would be to pre-arrange for a taxi to give you a private guided tour that covers much of the island.  For a first visit, I personally would capture more of the outdoor sights as opposed to the museum tours, but that's personal preference, of course.

 

As for which one, that's too difficult to say.  As it is, I'm in the planning stages for a visit this September.  Trying to decide not on where to go, but rather for how long to be there.  We'll likely be 4 nights each in Guernsey and Jersey, and 3 nights on Sark.  Too difficult for us to exclude any of them.  :)  

 

As for the name, I think cruise lines must say "Sark Island" in the excursion brochures.  We recently had some friends over for dinner, and the date of a friend recognised the photo of St Peter Port on our kitchen wall.  She'd been there, and to Sark, on a cruise ship.  She also referred to Sark as "Sark Island".

 

So in short, nope.  I can't pick one 😄

Thank you! Glad I can't go wrong. Goal for weekend is to figure this out. It must be special with you spending much time there. That is so cool you can track your relatives back that far! Thanks for all of your help.

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10 hours ago, Coral said:

Thank you! Glad I can't go wrong. Goal for weekend is to figure this out. It must be special with you spending much time there. That is so cool you can track your relatives back that far! Thanks for all of your help.

Whichever you decide, feel free to send me a PM if you have any questions.  I've only spent a couple of weeks on Guernsey, and a bit less on Sark, so I'm really in the novice category, but I'm more than happy to help in any way I can. 

 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2020 at 5:10 AM, D C said:

Back on Guernsey, yes you can do a cliff walk from the tender location.   This walk is one of my favourites.  It takes you from town to Fermain Bay, which has a nice cafe (Fermain Beach Cafe). We usually plan the walk so we can have lunch there. I believe the opening time is 10am. 

 

From the pier, you would make a left turn and walk along the seafront, past the bus ranks, past the road to Castle Cornet.  Stay on the sea side of the road and keep going past the bathing pools and past la Vallette Underground Military Museum (constructed by the Germans as a submarine refuelling station). 

 

At the end of the road, climb the stairs to Clarence Battery. As you enter the battery, you'll notice a path leading towards your right. This is effectively the start of the cliff path.  There are milestones along the way at intersections that will direct you towards Fermain. Once there, you can continue along the path and eventually find a way back to a road, or you can walk up the road directly from Fermain Bay, make a right at the top of the hill and follow Fort Road to George Road and back into town. 

Approximately how much time would we need to make this walk (assuming a reasonable degree of fitness)? 

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7 hours ago, yvr49 said:

Approximately how much time would we need to make this walk (assuming a reasonable degree of fitness)? 

Stealing this from myself from a post I made last year about the same walk :)

 

 

I checked the time stamps on the photos I took.  This was a trip with my in-laws who are in their early 70s.  They're relatively active for their age.

 

Noon:  Cannon fired at Castle Cornet.... err... the canon wasn't fired AT the castle, the cannon at the castle was fired... really at nothing.  Although they recently did discover a cannonball that was lodged in one of the castle walls, which WAS clearly fired AT the castle... likely when the castle was under siege during the English civil war when the Parlamantarians (remember Oliver Cromwell from your history class?) had the island, but the Royalists held the castle.  

Noon-1:00 We loitered around the castle for a while

1:02: Back on shore, looking back at the castle

2:25: On the beach at Fermain Bay.  Where we had lunch. (about a 90 min walk from the road near the castle)

There are steps and hills along this route.  Part of it is paved, but that which is unpaved really is quite walkable.

 

After lunch we walked up the hill at Fermain.  This is perhaps the most difficult part of the journey.  It's a long slope to get up to Fort Road. 

 

The walk back along Fort Road into town is mostly flat, until you get to the top of Les Valles de Terres where the roundabout is.  Then it's ALL DOWNHILL FROM THERE!

 

We stopped at the top of Havelet where it meets George Road.  If you come this way, walk the 50ft down Havelet until you see the narrow part.  Yes, that's actually a road.  (You'll see what I mean when you get there :) ). 

 

4:00 We were back in town near the Prince Albert Statue, which is near the pier.

 

4 hours, round trip, including 1 hour in the castle AND lunch at Fermain Beach Cafe.

Here's the route back to town.  Google doesn't know about the clif path. 

https://goo.gl/maps/NqYR1CvEZtBJjPfb9

 

 

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Can you use credit cards at most places in Guernsey?  What about entrance into LaVallette Underground Military MUSEUM? I have heard you can pay with GBP but will receive change is Guernsey pound but it can only be used there. I would prefer to use credit as much as possible. Thanks.

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25 minutes ago, trrn2016 said:

Can you use credit cards at most places in Guernsey?  What about entrance into LaVallette Underground Military MUSEUM? I have heard you can pay with GBP but will receive change is Guernsey pound but it can only be used there. I would prefer to use credit as much as possible. Thanks.

Yes, credit cards are widely accepted.  I recommend a Visa over others, and check your card for foreign transaction fees as well.  I'm not sure if la Valette Underground Military Museum accepts cards or not.  It's been some time since I was in there.  

 

When paying cash, you are likely to receive Guernsey pounds in change, but you can ask for British pounds or UK pounds.  I've yet to meet a shopkeeper that wouldn't oblige.  And if you give a £20 and get £8 in Guernsey pounds in exchange, I'm certain there's a pub or two in town that would be happy to trade those pesky notes for a pint or two 😉

Edited by D C
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4 minutes ago, D C said:

Yes, credit cards are widely accepted.  I recommend a Visa over others, and check your card for foreign transaction fees as well.  I'm not sure if la Valette Underground Military Museum accepts cards or not.  It's been some time since I was in there.  

 

When paying cash, you are likely to receive Guernsey pounds in change, but you can ask for British pounds or UK pounds.  I've yet to meet a shopkeeper that wouldn't oblige.  And if you give a £20 and get £8 in Guernsey pounds in exchange, I'm certain there's a pub or two in town that would be happy to trade those pesky notes for a pint or two 😉

Thanks for your reply!!

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Thanks for this post.  I emailed Steve Martin to inquire about a tour.  So I understand Guernsey is a tender port.  We'll be on Jewel of the Seas.....hope we can get tendered to the shore in plenty of time for the tour.  I've asked Mr. Martin for a 4.5 hour tour.  After he drops us off, it looked like there might be some nice shopping....is it walking distance from the ship?  Any particular place you had lunch while you were there?  I'm hoping to do the tour in the morning, then have lunch and browse in the shops before getting back on the ship. 

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6 hours ago, Cheryl H said:

Thanks for this post.  I emailed Steve Martin to inquire about a tour.  So I understand Guernsey is a tender port.  We'll be on Jewel of the Seas.....hope we can get tendered to the shore in plenty of time for the tour.  I've asked Mr. Martin for a 4.5 hour tour.  After he drops us off, it looked like there might be some nice shopping....is it walking distance from the ship?  Any particular place you had lunch while you were there?  I'm hoping to do the tour in the morning, then have lunch and browse in the shops before getting back on the ship. 

You'll tender from Albert Pier, which is essentially in town.  Here's a map from Albert Pier to the "top" of High Street, to the top of Market Square.  A little hilly, but not bad unless you venture farther...well... farther uphill I suppose :)   https://goo.gl/maps/tGwppZapuV83e9wJ9

 

I enjoy dining at Dix Neuf in town.    GuernseyCruiser (a local) has recommended Cafe Emila, or The Hideaway at Moore's Hotel.  I've not been to either, but they're both on the list for my next trip.

 

 

https://www.liberationgroup.com/pubs/dix-neuf

http://www.cafeemilia.co.uk/

http://mooresguernsey.com/Patisserie.html

 

 

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