How to Unwind and Cool Off on The Islands of Guernsey
Just off the coast of France, our Islands have a temperate climate that create balmy and pleasant summers. Some, like Herm, even have their own microclimate that makes summer days particularly hot, perfect for beach days.
So whether you have been getting active, want to relax or simply need to take a break from the heat of the day, here are our suggestions for unwinding and cooling down.
Dips in the Sea
When you have been enjoying a day at the beach or exploring, a dip in the fresh seawater can be just the thing to make you feel refreshed. With miles of coastline to enjoy, there is always somewhere nearby to dip your toes in the sea. Sea swimming is especially popular with island residents who head to the beach first thing or after work to cool down.
Popular spots for a dip include the horseshoe-shaped beach Port Soif, Pembroke and L’Ancresse in the northwest of Guernsey, and the picturesque Fermain Bay on the East coast. All have beach cafés and bathrooms, making a dip easy and fun.
To discover more about wild swimming on The Islands of Guernsey, read more here.
Drinks with a view
From beach kiosks to restaurants on the water, there are plenty of spots to enjoy a cool drink with a breeze. In town, head to Octopus to take in the views over Castle Cornet, or enjoy the balconies at Christies and Red overlooking the harbour. Around the Islands there are many beach kiosks that serve soft drinks and snacks, you can also find some cafés that serve chilled beer and rosé, including at Shell Beach in Herm (view the full list of Beach Kiosks here). If you’re spending time on the West coast, The Rockmount is a great option to stop for a drink. With outside seating at Cobo Bay, it is particularly well positioned for enjoying the unforgettable Cobo sunset.
Relax with an Ice Cream from Guernsey's Dairy
A summer classic. Guernsey is well known for its dairy. You can find the ice cream at many restaurants, cafés and kiosks around the Islands. If you’re in town, you can also pick up an ice cream from the van at Havelet Bay and head for a wander around Castle Cornet and the Lighthouse, or visit Waffle & Co at the Liberation Monument for cones before a trip to Herm or Sark.
Search out the cool indoors at a museum
The Guernsey Museum at Candie Gardens is the perfect place to take some time to cool down and learn about the history of the Islands. With exhibitions on the archaeology of Guernsey, treasures from around the world and the folklore of Guernsey with an art gallery showing 200 works of art, you'll be spoilt for choice. These are running alongside temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year and the Discovery Room for families houses a Cabinet of Curiosities, old-fashioned games to play and the very popular ‘Timewarp’ that changes each year.
There is also a public art space run by the Arts Commission which shows a rolling programme of local art displays, a café and a gift shop, all housed within the restored Victorian Candie Gardens where you can enjoy fantastic views over the harbour and see the statues of Victor Hugo and Queen Victoria.
Seek out the shade
Around the Islands, you can find pockets of woodlands and parks ideal for relaxing in the shade. A popular stop is on the cliff paths between St Peter Port and Fermain Bay at the Bluebell Woods. Though the flowers aren’t in bloom at this time of year, the woodland is a peaceful and shaded space to explore, with benches dotted around for rest. Along the path, you can take in views over neighbouring islands Herm and Sark, before popping in for an ice cream at the Fermain Beach Café when you reach your destination.
Cliff paths around the Islands are ideal places to visit in the heat, generally providing shade and a cool breeze. So bring your picnic blanket and unwind with a view.
In-land on Guernsey you can find a whole host of parks to enjoy, especially with smaller children, as well as nature trails and reservoirs.
- Saumarez Park, Castel - A popular spot with locals, Saumarez park has tree-lined trails, an excellent tea room, Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden, ponds and an adventure park for children.
- Delancey Park, St Sampsons - With panoramic sea views, Delancey Park is perfect for cooling down with a picnic. There is a playground for children, ramps for skateboarding and lots of open space to explore.
- Cambridge Park, St Peter Port - Situated near Beau Sejour (Guernsey’s Leisure Centre) and the Duke of Richmond Hotel, Cambridge Park is a short walk from the centre of town. With wide tree-lined avenues and lots of green space, take a cool drink and relax with a book.
- Candie Gardens, St Peter Port - Candie Gardens is a short walk from the seafront and offers a beautiful spot to unwind surrounded by flowers. The restored Victorian-style gardens are split into several sections at different levels so there is always a spot of shade. Explore the variety of plants from all over the world before heading to the Guernsey Museum and art gallery houses within the gardens.
- Millennium Walk at St Saviour's Reservoir - Located in the heart of Guernsey is St Saviour's Reservoir, a peaceful area with great wildlife spotting. Cool down with a stroll around the reservoir on the Millennium Walk with shaded woodland and picturesque views.
Head to The Bathing Pools
La Vallette Bathing Pools in St Peter Port are great for enjoying a cool dip. Just a 10-minute walk from the centre of town the tidal pools are available for everyone, free of charge. There are four pools to choose from; the Gentlemen's Pool, the Horseshoe Pool, the Ladies' Pool and the Children's Pool - all are welcome to swim in any of the pools. The Children's Pool is a ideal for those looking for shallower swims, and each of the others offer greater depth alongside different views out over Castle Cornet, Herm and Sark.
The pools have recently undergone renovations to become more accessible and now offer modern changing facilities and a café overlooking the water.
Discover more about the bathing pools here.
Cycling around the Coast to Catch a Breeze
Catch a breeze by exploring the Islands by bike. Whether you are looking to spend a few hours cooling down or a day out on the road, cycling is a good way to get to know the Islands like a local. You can hire bikes on Sark, Alderney and Guernsey, however cycling is not permitted on Herm Island due to its small size.
There are cycling routes to suit all abilities and distances, visit this page to learn more.
Paddleboarding and Kayaking on Cool Waters
Getting out on the water is one of the best ways to chill out on a hot day. Paddle boarding and kayaking are two options, whatever your skill level, that can be hired from Outdoor Guernsey, Adventure Sark, Shell Beach in Herm and Braye Beach in Alderney, for some relaxed adventures.
You can also book group sessions with instructors at Outdoor Guernsey, Go Guernsey Land and Sea, and Adventure Sark. From puffin tours to cave exploration, there is so much to explore out on the water.
After your watersports adventure, head to one of the beach kiosks for a cool drink and some chips to finish off a perfect visit to the beach.