Castle Cornet & Its Museums
This 800 year old castle standing at the mouth of the harbour and much bigger than it first appears. Explore five museums and four period gardens and feel free to enjoy the daily attractions which include a guided tour at 10.30am and the firing of the noon-day gun by scarlet clad gunners. Stay to see a Living History performance after the gun firing and look out for other activities and special events. The Castle is bigger than you might think so to make the most of your trip, allow at least three hours.
Just a short walk from the town centre, the Castle not only offers a fascinating insight into hundreds of years of island history - but spectacular panoramic views back towards St Peter Port and out across our sister islands.
The story of the castle and other aspects of Guernsey's past can be found in the five museums housed within the Castle. These comprise of The Story of Castle Cornet, 201 Squadron (RAF) Museum, Maritime Museum, Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum and Royal Guernsey Militia Museum.
There are four historic gardens within the castle walls, lovingly tended by the castle Keepers who keep them free from weeds, dead-headed and watered daily. The keepers have also recently transformed many areas of the castle not acknowledged as formal gardens but which serve to make the castle a interesting horticultural experience.
The Governor's Garden follows the layout of the Bastide plan quite closely and is planted up in the formal 17th century style of a knot garden.
The Sutler’s kept a kitchen garden, growing herbs, vegetables and fruit and an adjacent area called a 'plaisance'. Planted with roses and passion flower and hollyhocks and with a camomile lawn for the enjoyment of the officers who resided in the castle.
Lambert's Garden is laid out following 17th century patterns and is situated near the building where General Sir John Lambert had been imprisoned in 1660 for his part in the English Civil War. The garden has been planted with the same varieties of herbs and flowers he would have used to make medicinal remedies to treat the ailments of the soldiers within the castle.
The fourth formal garden in the castle - the Master Gunner's Garden - is laid out in a 19th century domestic pattern. The area is east-facing and subject to the harsh and salty seas that would have made growing difficult. The raised bed most likely would have kept some caged animals, perhaps goats kept for their milk and rabbits to eat.
Visitors may enjoy these gardens at their own pace or look out for special garden tours on selected weekends in the summer.
A guided tour begins at 10.30am every morning and the Noonday gun is fired daily by soldiers in 19th century costume - a must-see for any visitors. Most days throughout the season, the Guernsey History in Action Company re-enacts stories from Guernsey's past and the Regency Dancers can sometimes be found performing in the Hatton Gallery. For more information on the times of these performances, check their website or contact the Guernsey Information Centre on 01481 723552. There are self-guided trails and a treasure hunt perfect for children to enjoy and so much space that a secluded spot for quiet reflection can always be found even on the busiest of days. A café overlooking Herm and Sark and a gift shop will complete your visit to the castle and make you always glad that you made the time.
Admission: Adults: £10.50, Children 7+/Students: £3, Children under 7: FREE,
Discovery Pass £18 - An Annual pass that gives you unlimited seasonal entry to Castle Cornet, Guernsey Museum in Candie Gardens and Fort Grey - all accompanying children go free.
The Castle will be opening earlier in 2017
17th February - 30th March: 10am - 3pm (No noonday gun or cafe)
Normal hours from 31st March:
10am – 5pm / 9.30am - 5pm July and August.
29 October (Sunday) Closes
Accessible using the following bus routes: All buses which will end at St Peter Port Terminus (All buses apart from 111)